Nov. 13, 2004
Georgia Tech Head Coach Chan Gailey
Post Game Quotes, November 13, 2004
Final Score: UConn 10, Georgia Tech 30
Comment on the play of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Ball:
“That was very impressive by both of them. We started off with a bang, with the big play right off the bat. We thought we had a chance and we knew we would be stacking against the run and it was hard to run in the first half. They made some big plays, all of them; not just him (Ball) but they made some big plays. We dropped a couple of passes first half so Reggie’s first half stats may have been unbelievable.”
Comment on was this Reggie’s best game overall:
“I think so. I think it was his best game overall. He played really good against NC State here last year, but this one as far as throwing the ball the away when he didn’t have it, things like that, I thought he managed the game as well as he has managed any ball game since he has been here.”
Comment on adjustments that Reggie has made through the season:
“Shoot, if I knew exactly what that was I would have done it earlier. I think it was a combination of him believing that what he saw on defense knew what we could get. I think he matured, we will find out, we don’t know that now but I think he understands better. We will see.”
Comment on Calvin Johnson
“He obviously makes very big plays, he had three catches probably over 30 or 40 yards. He made some amazing catches on top of that. He’s got a unique talent, the thing about it is that he works at it and is a quality guy. That is what makes it fun for him to be on the team.”
Comment on the play of the entire team (offense, defense and special teams):
“It was as probably as a complete victory as we have had maybe since I have been here. All three phases played very well, we still had some trouble with kick off coverage but it was kicked so deep most of the time it really wasn’t an issue.”
Comment on Jackets defense:
“They played outstanding, they kept them bottled up and gave us opportunities with a couple of turnovers and of course the punt blocks were big in the ballgame but the defense played outstanding again. Could have easily been three points.”
“I think our team trust our defense they know they go out there and hold them (opponents) to a field goal. They moved the ball a little bit until we found what they were trying to do and how they were trying to attack us and still cannot give enough credit to John Tanuta and staff for the job that they do to getting people in position to make plays. Stop and run was the biggest part of it too.”
Comment on blocked punts:
“Coach David Wilson did an extremely nice job of figuring out what they were trying to do with the guy split out and attack him where they were weak. I thought our guys, on the first block it was really like we drew it up during the week. The second block they had lift and we had a guy just over laid that created the cress that gave us the second one and that was big. For them to be able to adjust and feel the game. That’s what you have got to have to have a great football game.”
Comment on Ball’s pass attempts:
“No I didn’t. I did not think he would go out there and throw the ball 38 times. I did not think that. But they were stacking them all up there for the run, so that is what you have to be able to do.”
General comment on the win:
“It’s important to have a win. I don’t care what kind of game it is, it’s important to have a win. This game was a non-conference game sandwiched between two big conference games and you always come into it knowing you need to concentrate focus and win the game. Our guys took a good positive step in that direction.”
PLAYER QUOTES – GEORGIA TECH vs. CONNECTICUT – NOV. 13, 2004
On Coach Gailey calling this his best game
“I can agree with him. I think I made a lot of good decisions today, a lot of good throws and no turnovers, that’s always a key. If we catch that touchdown with Levon [Thomas], than it’s a great day, but it’s just a good day.”
On gaining confidence
“When the quarterback gets rolling and his confidence is up, opposing defenses better watch out. When Calvin [Johnson] made that catch right off the bat, I knew things were going to keep rolling.”
On Calvin Johnson
“The best I’ve ever seen. I don’t believe in watching somebody on television, only what I see in person and he’s the best so far. But he still has some proving to do.”
On the wide outs making plays
“I told you from the get go that we had big-play receivers. In the beginning of the season I told you that I was going to give them a chance to go get it and that’s what they did today.”
Travis Bell On breaking the record “Honestly, I’m not supposed to think about it, but I was definitely thinking about it on that first kick. After the first one, it was kind of down hill. I was just glad to get it out of the way.
“That first field goal was as nervous as I’ve been for a kick. Once I got it though, I settled down.”
On how the season has gone for him
“If you would have told me that I would’ve made 12 straight after missing my first one, I wouldn’t of believed you. I’m shocked right now.”
On scoring the touchdown after the blocked punt
“I didn’t think I was going to get a touchdown and a block. I was happy after the touchdown.”
On scouting weaknesses during the week
“We pretty much had their schemes figured out and attacked their weaknesses by sending somebody up the middle.”
On Calvin Johnson
“Calvin is different because he is so tall. Not many wide receivers are that tall. Me personally, I really don’t cover wide receivers one-on-one, but what I’ve seen he’s pretty tough to cover.”
On holding UConn’s offense down
“We try to do what we do every week, put pressure on the quarterback. That’s our MO, put pressure on the quarterback and make him throw the ball quickly.”
On his catches
“That’s how we practice, we go hard every practice. So when it happens in practice, you know you can do it in a game.”
On the offense
“We came out and made a big play to start the game and ended up scoring a touchdown. That gave us momentum to start the game and we just continued on from there.”
On Reggie Ball’s performance
“Reggie had a great game today. He was on. He made great throws throughout the game, even with the wind.”
CONNECTICUT HEAD COACH RANDY EDSALL
“Georgia Tech’s a very good football team. They have tremendous speed on defense from what I saw on tape, and it might have been even more impressive in person. Give them credit. They’ve done a lot of good things on defense to a lot of good teams this year.
“I was disappointed that we couldn’t get anything going in our running game. We ended up getting too much pressure on our quarterback. We just have to buckle the chinstrap a little bit tighter and sit in there and fight a little bit more than we did in the first half. I was disappointed in the first half. I didn’t think we competed as hard as we needed to against a caliber of team like this. All of us needed to do a better job. There are things we could have done a little bit better as a coaching staff to help our kids a little bit more, and there are things our kids could have done a little better to help themselves.
“We’ve got to get better playing the ball in the air. I decided to start Tyvon Branch based on some things I saw in practice. He had a tough day out there originally, in terms of not getting out of his pedal soon enough. They hurt us defensively with the passing game with some big plays and nice catches.
“On special teams, we had a couple of breakdowns there in terms of guys that just didn’t execute on the blocked punts. You can’t have the kind of mistakes we had today in the kicking game, not be able to generate a running game, and have as much pressure on our quarterback as we had today and expect to go out there and get a win.
[On having the ball down 7-3 at the end of the first half] “We got the ball on the plus-35. Our defense did a good job, and then we couldn’t do anything. Matt did a nice job of kicking the 51-yarder. The 47-yarder was a tough one into the wind. Those are ones we expect him to make. If we could have kept it in balance there … The blocked punt really hurt us. We’re not a good enough team where we can give points away, whether it’s turnovers or blocked punts.
[What did Tech do defensively that other opponents have not done] “It was their speed and athleticism. Right now, if you look at the two programs in terms of where we are and where they are, it’s no contest in terms of speed and athletic ability. Do I think we’ve made progress since the last time we played them? Yeah. Is that a measuring stick? No, because we’re in this to win. They are just very fast and very quick. They understand what they’re doing. They get off blocks extremely well.
[Were you thinking about going for it on fourth down in the first half] “I was considering both. We were down 17 at the time. We didn’t get any yards on the third-down play, and it was fourth and eight. I just felt that Matt would be able to kick the ball and hopefully get us three points there. Was it a right or wrong decision, who knows? Who knows if you’re going to make the fourth and eight with the pressure that they have coming. I thought at least if we could get something, that would help us.
[On the first offensive possession of the second half] “We started to get some things going. We challenged them at halftime and told them what we needed to do. I was happy with the way we came out, but not to come away with anything, that’s tough. But we’ve got to be able to finish against good teams.
“But this is an outstanding defense. If you play the kind of defense they play, your offense doesn’t have to do much for you. I could sit here and say, if we take away the big plays, I don’t know if we can beat them because we couldn’t move the ball.”