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Post-Game Quotes

Oct. 3, 2015

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

Opening Statement
“I’m sure that our players feel like I do; I feel like I’ve been gut punched. [I’m] really disappointed. I thought we had plenty of chances. You have to give them credit. They made plays when they had to and came back and won the game. We kind of let it slip away from us. [We] had it on the goal line and then we came back with a short field and couldn’t do anything. We struggled to stop them. We played the game the way we needed to play it. They didn’t have the ball very much, but when they did have the ball we didn’t stop them much either.”

The effect of Adam Gotsis’ ejection on momentum
“There were a bunch of plays. The momentum changer was right before halftime when we were up 21-7, and we run the play action, and the guy’s behind him and we don’t get it. Then we let them come down and score a touchdown with a minute and 15 seconds because we had another special teams blunder and we dropped the snap. Right now we’re not good enough at any facet to overcome that. We need contributions out of everybody. It’s got to be offense, defense and special teams. There’s no one group that’s good enough to carry the other side.”

What explanation were you given about Adam Gotsis’ ejection?
“They don’t give you an explanation. They just say it’s targeting.”

Pass rushing struggles
“We’re not a very good pass rushing team with four guys. We just aren’t and not only that but we lost contain a bunch and [Marquise Williams] scrambled a lot on 3rd-and-longs for first downs.”

What did you tell the team at halftime?
“I said ‘we’re ahead 21-14. We need to get a stop and then we’ll score.’ We kind of did. We stopped them for a field goal, and we went and scored a touchdown. Then they went right back down and scored and went back up. Then they went back down and scored. I don’t know how many possessions there were in the game. There weren’t a lot if you take away the one minute at the end of the game. The killer is we’re up four, and we got the ball on the goal line and can go up 11. And then the defense made a nice stop and we got them three-and-out coming off the goal line. And then we turn the ball over on the first play.”

Failed 4th-and-1 conversion
“It was a quarterback follow and the offensive line blocked down and backed in and didn’t blocked out. Story of our season.”

What did you see from the new A-backs?
“I think Mikell [Lands-Davis] is athletic. He made a couple nice catches. At the end a couple of not so nice plays, but he’s going to get better. I think he’s athletic. We’ve lost so many guys on offense we’ve got to play all of those guys.”

Can you recall a season with this many injuries to a two-deep?
“I don’t think so, but nobody cares. We’ve just got to make plays and get it done. We had our chances. That’s what’s disappointing.”

GEORGIA TECH SENIOR SAFETY JAMAL GOLDEN

On UNC’s offense in the last 5 minutes of the first half
“We have just got to execute better. It was not anything they did, it was just us missing tackles and lining up wrong. They [North Carolina] were moving fast so we have just got to get lined up and execute. We were in place to make plays. We have just got to make tackles.”

On the effect of losing Adam Gotsis had on the defense
“Gotsis is a big part of our defense, so it was a big hit. But, Francis Kallon came in and did a good job, he held his own. And it is all about the next man up. One man goes down, the next man comes in, and he is expected to do just as well as the guy in front of him.”

On three consecutive losses
“We have just got to take it one game at a time. We cannot let these past three losses, you know, triple into six or seven losses. We have got to just take it into next week, get ready for Clemson and try to get back in the W-column.”

On North Carolina’s trick touchdown play
“We had not seen it on film, but we knew they were a gimmick team. They run reverses and everything, they just threw a pass off of it. It is just something we have got to see, and we have got to make a play.”

GEORGIA TECH SENIOR GUARD TREY BRAUN

On if the hurry-up offense helped the offensive line
“I believe it did. I do not know if I can speak specifically to the offensive line play, but I think it helped the offense as a whole. That is something that we have been putting in for a long time, and we have never really had the chance to use it. Obviously, they [North Carolina] made some adjustments. And, I think we were really rolling at first, and it is hard to say what happened, but I definitely think the hurry up made a little bit of a difference.”

On the failure to score from fourth-and-1 at the goal line
“I really do not know. I will have to go back and watch the film. They filled all of the gaps, and we did not get the push we needed. That is definitely something that really stings. A lot of things sting in this game. But, that is definitely something that, personally, we as an offensive line are going to look at and correct and try to avoid happening again.”

On how the team will use this loss
“As to how we use it, I mean, at this point, we use it as a loss. And that is something that we have to move forward from. A loss, no matter how you come by it, is still a loss. Definitely, it is frustrating when a lot of small things add up. That is definitely a pattern we saw there. But, when you look back at any loss, you can really point to a lot of small things anyway. I think that it is frustrating, but a loss is frustrating. And it is something that you have to move forward from, and it is something you cannot let break you down.”

Thoughts on three consecutive losses
“The first thing is that we have to make an adjustment of goals, and that is always disappointing. But, it is definitely not something that we can let put this team in the ground. There is a lot of season left, and I know all of my peers on the football team, all of my brothers there, I know we do not have any give up in us. It is just the most frustrating thing, but you cannot become numb to it. You have to feel the pain a little bit so that it drives you forward. And, this senior class, we had high aspirations, and it is something that we have to adjust going forward. That is always painful, but you have to feel that pain and you have to let it move you forward.”

GEORGIA TECH SOPHOMORE DE KESHUN FREEMAN

On Marquise Williams go-ahead touchdown run
“We had a play where everyone was supposed to rush, and then if you see the running back coming your way, you go with him. And, I went with their running back. And, Williams, he takes a chance anytime he sees a gap. So, he saw a gap, and he went ahead, took it, and scored.”

On the offensive adjustments North Carolina made in the second half
“They had built up a lot of momentum. And they kept going play after play after play after play. I think that something, as a defense, that we have to work on being prepared and being ready. So, when the next play comes, we just get on the line, we get down and we get ready. I think, sometimes, they caught us a little off guard or the play they ran was just something we were not prepared for or we did not see coming.

I think that this is definitely a game that we should really go back and dissect and see what we did well, what we did wrong, and just make it better. We have just got to keep moving forward, because you are still kind of in the beginning of the season. We are five games in, but we have a lot more to achieve. If we keep working hard, and we keep doing what we know to do best, we can win and do better.”

NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH LARRY FEDORA

Opening Statement
“This was a tremendous team win today. It took everything we had, all their will and all their effort. But as a team they got it done, and I’m really proud of the way they played.”

Thoughts on being down 21-0 and breaking the long losing streak in Atlanta
“Our team never panicked when we were down 21-0. The offensive staff did a great job of just staing with the game plan. They continued to run the ball effectively, and that was the reason they were able to get the two touchdowns late in the first half, which were critical. As for the streak, there was no streak with these guys. They had never lost in Atlanta. The 2015 team has only been here one time, so that’s the way we looked at it. And they got the job done. I’m really proud of everything they did today.”

On the performance of Marquise Williams
“He was a beast today. What did he have? 148 yards, two touchdowns, caught a touchdown. He took a lot of criticism last week. Everybody questioned him on the outside. He did what he can do. He came out and played, and he was determined to play well. He did a great job.”

On holding Georgia Tech to 10 points on its last seven possessions
“There was no panic. When Gene talked to the players, they said they were not going to change anything. ‘You guys get off the blocks and do the job you’re suppoed to do.’ That’s what they did. The only way you’re going to beat blocks is to be more physical and have a mentality that you’re not going to be blocked. Get off the blocks and run to the football and make plays. That’s what they did.”

On the double-reverse pass
“I think that play is 100 percent for us. We’ve used it multiple times the past three years. We hit them with the fumble which was the turning point in the game. Then while you;ve got them on their heels, we came back at them with that play. When ‘Shad’s thrown it before, I think he’s 4-for-4. Maybe we ought to call it more often.”

On the defensive ends not playing with their hands on the ground
“They needed to be able to read and get their hands on the offensive tackles. When they’re n their veer scheme, they need to be able to press them down. They need to be able to see their loop scheme, all those different things. That was the adjustment that was made.”

Was it a matter of getting used to playing that way in game speed?
“I don’t care how good their scout team does it during the week, it’s not even close to that game speed. It took some time for our guys to adjust ot the game speed. We were that far away (hands held close together) on so many tackles. And that’s game speed. The scout team? They were all over it. But that’s the game speed. Georgia Tech knows how to run that offense. Paul does a great job with it. The best thing was they didn’t panic and kept battling.”

On relying on Williams on the last possession when ahead 31-28
“He’s a fifth-year senior. It means a lot to him and all those seniors. They know they’re running out of time. They came to Carolina to win a championship. ‘Quise will his way through that a lot. He took some licks. A couple of times, I was going to call a pass, and he said no, we’re going to be all right. He ran the ball, and he ran it well.”

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