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Post-Game Quotes

Oct. 24, 2015


Opening Statement
“Wow. What a game huh? [It’s] kind of the opposite of the game we played last week. It was a game of limited possessions. [I’m] really proud of our defense. We made enough mistakes offensively to get ourselves in trouble. Defensively we played the run so much better – 70 yards I’d say. We played good red zone defense. We kept them in front of us and you knew they were due for a turnover and then we got a big one in the end zone. We overcame some of our own mistakes. I’m proud of the kids; they fought and fought and fought. We’ve got so many guys hurt and beat up, and then another guy would go in and play. [Florida State’s] a good football team. They’re very talented. They were playing hard as well. It’s great to get off the skid, now we’ve got to see if we can take that momentum and go with it. Our freshmen have played eight games now so they’re not freshmen anymore. So we’ve got to quit making freshman mistakes and do a lot better job executing, but it’s easier to correct when you win. I’m just proud of them.”

On the final play
“I was just hoping he was going to kick it low because it was so long a kick. It was crazy because we blocked it and I see it run across the line. I go from yelling ‘Get away from it’ to ‘run, run, run.’ What a great play by Lance [Austin] to pick it up. He got some key blocks and he made a couple guys miss. I don’t care if it was the kicker, he still made them miss. We were due. It was our turn. We’ve seen so many of these close ones like this go the other way, it’s good to finally be on the right end of one for a change.”

On difference-making plays going your way tonight
“There were a lot of key plays in that game. Stopping them on third down on our goal line a couple times. Making them kick field goals. Scoring right before half with Justin’s long run to get some momentum. We thought we kind of had something going with the unbalanced [front], but they were pretty tough. We’d screw it up or they’d make a play. They are a very talented team. We got it down there at the start of the fourth quarter in field goal range and then we took a sack. We did some screwy things, but we did enough good things to win. Like you said, it was a great play by Justin [Thomas] and Brad [Stewart]. It was a nice catch for a freshman to step up at that moment and make a play. I’m proud of him.”

On pressure on Everett Golson from the defensive line…
“He took some shots. He really did. I told our kids at halftime that he was taking some shots. Adam Gotsis played like a champion. He gave us what he had. He was pressuring the quarterback and playing the run. He really played well.”

On the defensive improvement from last week
“We just played better against the run. We made a couple tweaks this week in the way we were playing and it worked out. We just played the run better. Guys played hard. [Dalvin Cook]’s a very talented guy. He broke some tackles and we missed some, but we had other guys there.”

On Justin Thomas’ 60 yard touchdown run
“I told our guys all week that this is a great opportunity for us and not have a top-10 team play you at home. In front of homecoming, a whiteout and all the things going. What an opportunity. The pressure’s on them. It’s not on us – we’re 2-5. They’re trying go undefeated and get in the playoff. We’ve already taken care of that. If we could stay close and keep it within one score, I felt like we’d have a chance. You have to give them credit because they took the thing down there and got it in field goal range.”


On what was going through his mind on the final play.
“I knew we had to block it. You know, if we don’t block it, that kick is pretty much money from anywhere he’s at. I mean, Lance [Austin] made a heads up play to pick the ball up. You know, It didn’t matter if we were to go into overtime. Last-second play and he just made a great effort. I’m not sure who blocked the kick, but that’s great too. He got his hands up there. It was just a great way to end the game.”

On if his 60 yard touchdown run charged him up
“No, throwing that pick kind of charged me up. That’s just something I don’t do. It was a bad play on my part. You know, I put the defense in some tough situations tonight. I pretty much gave up 10 points tonight on my own. So, they fought hard and they had my back tonight. From that point on, I just knew I had to do something to help this team win.”


On what was going through his mind before the final play
“The only thing going through my mind was block the kick. I knew we still had a chance. I knew it was either they were going to get a game on a field goal or we were going to block it. Actually when I got down in my stance, you know this is the crazy thing, I saw myself, I saw myself blocking that kick. Adam [Gotsis] and I looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s get some push on this guy.’ And just got our hands up and luckily it just hit my hand. And Lance [Austin] returned it for a touchdown. I was actually celebrating, but I didn’t even know what was going on. I saw him make taking off. You know, I was trying to run and go get the kicker. He made a move and got it to the end zone.”

On how quickly it took him to turn around from blocking to blocker
“It took me a minute because I thought it was over. I thought the play was dead. I started celebrating. I was celebrating and yelling. And then I heard the crowd first. I was like wait. I looked back and he was taking off. So, I went into blocking mode real quick. But, you know, he [Lance Austin] made a great play. This is just crazy.”

On what it feels like to be a part of a game-ending play
“It feels great. It feels great to be a part of a play like. A game like that that is going to go down in history. I’m going to be old and grey one day and I can tell my child about this. So, it’s a blessing. It’s a blessing.


On how special this moment was for him.
“Yeah, the team played well over all. And, I’m just excited we got this first conference win.”

On if he thought he had a chance to score after picking up the blocked field goal
“When I picked it up and started running up the field, I saw a lot of green. So, I was like okay, maybe I can return it. Then I saw Aguayo and he’s a pretty good tackler. So, once I kind of made him miss. Also Jamal [Golden], Chris, [Milton], everybody, when I came around it was a wall. My teammates did a great job of blocking. So when I came around and I kind of got by Aguayo, and I got in the end zone, it was kind of surreal.”

On when he knew he was actually going to score
“When I got past Auguayo.”

On how many times he will watch SportsCenter tonight
“I mean there’s no telling.”

On the first thing Lawrence Austin said to him after the play
“I think he might have been the first one to me when I passed the goal line. He said, “Grandma was looking down on us and you did it for her.’ And I did.”


Opening Statement
“First of all, give credit to Georgia Tech. They played a great ball game. They played very hard, and they were opportunistic in how they played, took advantage of things. We had opportunities, they had opportinities. We have to look at our mistakes, which is a bunch of them. We left too many points on the board in the red zone. We did not finish, We had the one critical turnover down there.

“Right before the half we were in a good position, 13-3, backed up. We got two big plays coming off the goal line after a negative play. In the second half, we came out and had the ball only one possession in the third quarter. They ate it up and did a great job, and we knew we would have limited possessions going in, we had only 55 plays. But we bounced back and had a nice drive, but we should have put it in. We had too many motion penalties. We snapped the ball twice without asking for it, we lost poise. Again, that was young guys trying to hard. As a coach, it’s my job to get them right.

“Don’t know what happened on the last play. We tried to put ourselves in position for a field goal that was in Roberto {Aguayo}’s range. I don’t know if they got penetration or if it was a low kick. I couldn’t tell at the time. We’ve got to cover it. They picked it up, we tred to cover it and couldn’t get him on the ground. In football, anything can happen. As a coach, you have to go through that, and we have to learn from that. Like a win, after 24 hours, we have to get our mistakes corrected, and we move on. We can’t let one loss become two.

“We still have a chance to be a very good football team. A lot of our goals are still out there. Our main goal is to try and be the best we can be. That hasn’t been there. We played sloppy in the first half last week and carried that a little bit here. This game here, we got into the second half and didn’t do what we needed to do.

“They had a good team and a good plan. We knew it would be a tough game. We’ve just got to play better, we’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play in those key situations.”

Did you sense anything like this was coming (all the pieces weren’t working together)
“I thought we were getting better. I still thought we were getting better. We were up 13-3 in the game in the second quarter. I always feel like we’re getting better. We had an impressive second half last week and still had points here. We’ve got to put the ball in the end zone.”

On the difference in the second half offensively
“We only had the ball one time in the third quarter. They had the ball eight minutes, then we had five plays and missed a wide open throw. We didn’t execute. We had too much pressure on the quarterback all night, he got hit three or four times really hard. We missed that throw, and then we never had the ball again that quarter. Then we took the ball down there and kicked a field goal.

“With five minutes to go was the disappointment. We lined up in an unbalanced formation called from the sideline, and we don’t get on the ball. We didn’t line up right, and we got a penalty. We got almost half of that back and had third-and-four, then we snapped the ball before we asked for it. We lost poise.

“We did a tremendous job on the two-minute drive. Two-minute before the half was big getting the momentum back. Then getting the ball back down there again on the two-minute drive to win the ball game. We had a critical motion penalty right there, too, which cost us five yards and changed what we wanted to do. We didn’t want a deep drop because we might get sacked, so we wanted to get the ball out for six or eight yards because we knew we were in his range.”

On the interception in the end zone
“I thought he had it. I can’t tell (what happened), I’ll have to look. I wanted the ball up a little higher. He had it right here, he cradled it. I don’t know if a knee knocked it out or what. I have to look at the film. Like I said, I thought he had it, and when he rolled, the ball flopped up on the air.”

On the last play, both teams seemed not to be sure if it could be returned
“We knew they could return it. We needed to cover it. That’s finishing the game. We know when there’s a blocked kick, you’ve got to cover it. We talk about that all the time. They got it and went down the sideline, and we didn’t get him on the ground.”


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