Oct. 1, 2016
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
“It was a tough game, disappointing in that we gifted them two scores there in the second quarter off turnovers and it ended up being a momentum changer and a big part of the game. I thought we had a chance to get back in the game and we stalled out, had a couple key drops there in the end zone that hurt. We’re not good enough, there are very few teams out there that are good enough, to turn the ball over twice for touchdowns and come back and win a game. We made way too many mistakes again. We’ve got to do a better job preparing them [the team]. In the first half we had two probably gimme touchdowns on play action if we protect the thing right and there’s no excuse for what we did. There’s no excuse.”
On Lynn Griffin’s performance:
“Lynn did some good things when we got out there. Lynn is a very athletic guy. We had a hard time blocking on the perimeter, we’ve got an unbalanced set and really kind of had numbers the way we wanted back to the nub side. All you’ve got to get is one block and A-back on corner and I don’t know if we ever got the guy down.”
On the offensive performance:
“It’s better, there’s some progress. We still didn’t block the perimeter very good. We had a chance to throw the ball there at the end but the routes weren’t very good. It was just man-to-man, you’ve got to get open, you can’t just take off and run down the field. You’ve got to run a route sometime. The b-back action was the focus, it was better. [Dedrick Mills] ran the ball hard and I was determined that I was going to get him the ball some.”
On covering Miami on defense and pressuring Brad Kaaya, Miami QB:
“I thought Antonio Simmons did a good job giving some pressure at times. I think in the first half we were a little tentative and played soft and you’ve got to challenge the guys. That first drive, that pass [Kaaya] hit over on our bench, that should have been an interception. I mean it was right in front of me. Our guy missed that and how their guy caught it I have no idea. It went right through our guy’s hand and that kid made a hell of a catch. When he threw it, I thought that was a pick.”
MIAMI HEAD COACH MARK RICHT
“I’m thankful for how our players played and how our coaches got them prepared. The energy of our fan base was outstanding. You’ve got to tip your hat to Georgia Tech and how they played. Obviously they had the two turnovers, which were gifts to us. Without those, we’re probably still playing. There’s a possibility that we’re in overtime. It was a good job by Paul and his staff as well, and the fight that those young men had over there. That’s the beauty of college football. Guys left it all on the field for their schools, and that gives us all a lot of excitement.”
Perspective on facing the Tech offense again
“I’m not going to compare, but we won. That’s it. It’s about winning. This is not a stat game. Some of them are more interesting than others that way. This one here doesn’t matter to me. This is a different kind of game. It’s a game about being on top at the end, no matter how you have to score or how you have to get a stop. How many yards you get just doesn’t matter. Did you win or did you lose? We got the victory, first one in conference play. I’m very thankful for what the guys did today.”
Did coaching in this stadium today feel special?
“It was special being with this group of young men that we’ve worked so hard with. When you get to a new school, early on I’m watching tape of what they did last year, and I don’t know the guys. I don’t know names and faces, their stories. Then, when you get to know their names, get to know their faces, see them work, see them strive to do what we’re asking them to do, you look at it differently. Now if I watch a highlight or a replay from this year, I know all these guys and love all these guys. I’m proud of how hard they play and how hard our coaches have been coaching them … everybody is pulling in the same direction right now. It’s a tough league. College football is tough to get it done every week, and we got it done this week.”
Did you flash back to the last time you were here at all?
“My first impression when I walked in here was how good the grass looked – I don’t know who’s in charge of the grass, but it was good – and what a beautiful day it was. That was the first thing I thought about. Not really (thinking about finishing his career at Georgia in this stadium). I thought more about having been here a lot – not just one game, but being here a bunch of times. When you add the times I was at Florida State, I’ve been here twenty-some years in a row playing these guys. I’m kind of used to it.”
On the play of the Miami freshmen – Pinckney, Quarterman, Joe Jackson
“It’s fun for them. They’re probably having more success than they should right now, and they’re probably not really good at handling it. They don’t know what’s about to happen. They’re going to get punched really good one time here, and we’ll see how they handle it.”
How big were the two fumble returns for your confidence?
“It wasn’t confidence as much as [what it meant] in the final score. Without those, who knows what would be happening right now. You saw what they were doing on offense, how they controlled the ball and took every second off the clock between plays. It’s so true that you better maximize your opportunities when you can, or you better get a turnover, or you better find a way to score on special teams. It just turned out it was on defense.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Clinton Lynch, A-Back, r-So.
On what he saw on the perimeter:
“We were just one block away from another big play. We have to execute those blocks and score faster.”
On the incomplete pass to the corner of the end zone on 4th and 3 play:
“It was a man-to-man route. I just have to adjust to the ball better and come up with the catch.”
Dedrick Mills, B-Back, Fr.
On if momentum is causing confidence in performances:
“Yes I do. I feel like the offensive line came out and did a good job blocking and allowed me to run hard.”
On Coach Johnson’s message at halftime:
“His message was that we were still in the game and we could still come back with a whole other half to play. We had to go out there and execute, keep playing, and keep our heads up because that play is over and done.”
Lamont Simmons, CB, r-So.
On overall evaluation of the defense going up against another high-powered offense:
“I think the defense played pretty good. We gave up a few explosive plays, but we had a few three and outs as well. I am pretty satisfied with the defense, but of course I think we could have played better.”
On defending delay plays:
“It is all about keeping your eyes on the right player. If I am responsible for the receiver, I have to make sure my eyes are on the receiver. Then, if I can help on the tackle, I can come up and make the tackle.”
Justin Thomas, QB, Sr.
On his two fumbles that were returned for touchdowns in the second quarter:
“The first one was supposed to be a pass. I got hit from behind, the ball came out. The second one was supposed to be a pitch. (A-back J.J. Green and I) were close together. He wasn’t looking, so I pulled (the ball) in. I was going down at the same time and the ball came out … Those two turnovers hurt us and that was pretty much the turning point in the game.”