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POST-GAME QUOTES

Sept. 10, 2016

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

 

Opening Statement

“I think there were some things we did better than a week ago and there were some things that did not. Other than the couple of fumbles I was a little more pleased offensively. It was a little more recognizable. We had a hard time getting them off the field. I don’t know how many total possessions but I think we had it about three times in the second half and not a whole lot more in the first. The two fumbles were inexcusable. Other than the two fumbles, offensively it wasn’t bad. Defensively third down and fourth down wasn’t very good although when they got down there they didn’t get any points so that’s a positive. “

 

On Justin Thomas not playing in the second half:

“He was dinged a little bit but he could have played. We didn’t need him to win the game. I’ve got faith in Matthew Jordan, he’s been around for a couple years and the way the game was going for him running the ball, he’s a downhill runner, I knew he would go in there and run the ball hard.”

 

On Qua Searcy’s performance:

“Qua has had two back-to-back really nice games. I’m really pleased with him. I think he’s become a real playmaker for us. His run right before halftime was a nice run. I don’t know who the A-back was but he got a pretty good block on the pitch, we had some numbers, it should have been better than what it was but we were able to take the thing and go the length of the field and that was big with them getting the ball to start the second half.”

 

On the decision making of the quarterbacks:

“I thought Matthew [Jordan] did a really good job. At times he might have gotten downhill a little too much there because I was getting on him to get downhill so he was trying to do what I had asked him to do but I thought he did well. TaQuon [Marshall] didn’t really have a lot of decisions other than to take the snap and run. He’s got good quickness and speed, when he got outside he made a nice run. I thought in the first half, Justin was into the game but we missed some plays throwing wise that normally he would hit. We made a couple corner routes, we had a play actions with a wide receiver they turned lose but I think he was dinged a little in the first half too.”

 

On defensive struggling to get the stop:

“It was a struggle to get them off. I thought they did a nice job with their scheme and staying on the ball. When you look at it, they didn’t score a lot but they were able to keep their defense off the field. The time of possession was even and they punted once. It shouldn’t be that way, not against us. It’s kind of a dichotomy, a reversal of last week, we had a hard time getting them off the field last week, they did score. We’ve been bend but don’t break for two weeks, we need some three and outs.”

 

On the playing of the special teams:

“Harrison Butker is a real weapon, when you don’t have to cover kicks it make the kick-off cover team really good. He’s got a long range. I think our return game was okay. We had the one poor punt so we’ll keep working and give someone else a chance.”

 

On his overall feeling of the game:

“I would hope that we would have played better but we won 35-10. We’ve got a lot of room to improve, we’ve got a lot of things to get better at and it’s a process. Hopefully we’ll keep working and we’ll get better.”

 

MERCER HEAD COACH BOBBY LAMB

 

Opening Statement

“I’m awfully proud of our football team and the effort and the grit they showed out there today on a very hot day in Atlanta, Ga. I can’t say enough about our conditioning. Our strength coach and our trainer kept us [in good shape]. We had a couple cramp issues, but for the most part, we were in really good shape.

 

“It’s a game of waves when you play a Paul Johnson-coached team. What I mean is they’re going to get the ball and run it down your throat. We knew that it would be a perimeter offensive game. Their speed out-flanked us several times and they got some big plays. I was really disappointed when it was 14-7 with three minutes left in the second half, we punted down to their 10, and they were able to go 90 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-10, so that was disappointing. Had we been able to keep it 14-7 at the half, I would have felt better about it. But we came out and had a 16-play drive in the second half, kept the ball away from them, and only got three points, which was a turning point.

 

“But they’ve got a really good football team, and they do a great job. They’re quarterback is dynamic, which we knew all week long. I’m just proud of the effort our kids gave.”

 

On scoring on the team’s first possession of each half

“We were extremely happy with the first drive of the game. We worked on it all week, we had a script of eight plays, and for the most part we held to the script. John made a fabulous throw across his body (for the touchdown). He knew what the coverage was, and he knew we had a drag coming through the back side. We had a post over the top. He made a super throw to get us in the end zone. I wish we had gotten in a few more times. But the first drive was awesome both halves.”

 

On your defense

“We got outflanked several times, especially before the half. They ran the same play, the triple-option, and got it pitched on the edge. We just weren’t there like we should have been. Like I said, I was happy with our effort, but a couple of times in the first half, we didn’t line up right to a couple of their oversets. But they’re difficult to defend. We didn’t give up a home run. We gave up some long runs, but not a home run play like we did last week.”

 

On the play of QB John Russ

“I thought we improved in the penalty department and the turnover department. He missed a couple of throws there in the second quarter. The disappointing thing is, we had a great drive to start the game, then we went 4-and-out and 3-and-out. You can’t do that against a Georgia Tech team that’s going to control the ball and keep it away from you, and that’s what they did.”

 

GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS

 

Qua Searcy, A-BACK, RS-SO

 

On what he saw from the blocking in front today

“Our A-Backs and receivers did a great job on the perimeter. It was just wide open on the sideline and I was able to get around them and get that edge.”

 

On his 32-yard run in the first half

“I just want to give thanks to the offensive line, without them the play would not have developed. It was something where we had to keep our minds in the game, because I know at the beginning we weren’t getting a lot of push. So that big play really helped us get some momentum.”

 

On how he feels coming off his injury

 “I feel like I am one hundred percent.”

 

On returning from injury to contribute this season

“It’s a great feeling, no one likes to sit out. We have great trainers that helped me get back to one hundred percent and I thank them. My teammates uplifted me and never let me get down. So I really appreciate that.

 

On adjusting for Vanderbilt preparing for him next week

“I feel like that will just open up more room for other players to make plays. I try not to dwell on the past, so if we just focus on what we do and if the ball is coming to me, I just make plays. Like I said, it just opens it up for other players.”

 

Matthew Jordan, QUARTERBACK, RS-SO

 

On playing most of the second half

 “It was fun. I probably should have settled down, I was kind of amped up. Once I settled down and once the team played everything was fine, we did pretty well. I mean, I think we did better than we did last week.”

 

On his comfort level this season versus last

“Just from playing last year it kind of slowed things down. It was good experience and I think that helps out a lot this year.”

 

On his confidence level this season versus last

“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable, I feel a lot more confident and less stressed than I was last year.”

 

Chase Alford, LINEBACKER, SENIOR

 

On the fake punt and if the team knew by the way Mercer lined up that it would work:

“Yeah, we knew we needed another possession.  Coach said “run it”, so we made some really good blocks to know we got another first down.”

 

On the length of time the team has worked on the fake punt:

“We do punt almost every day.  All the way since fall camp we’ve been doing it, so we’ve got some reps in.”

 

On Mercer’s quick passing and the struggles of getting where defenders needed to be:

“We just have to get more people to the ball.  We had some missed tackles, but we should be overlapping each other.  With effort, you can get them down quicker.  If someone misses a tackle, it’s not a big play because someone is right behind them ready to make the next play.  We just have to run to the ball better, and get more hats to the ball.”

 

PJ DAVIS, LINEBACKER, SENIOR

 

On what he was seeing from his position in terms of the quick screens and how they can be stopped moving forward:

“I was seeing that it was going quick, and we needed to get more guys to the ball.  Just get everybody moving to the ball and pursuing while overlapping each other.”

 

On how the team did with the challenges of tackling and angles from last week:

“I feel like we improved this week, but we still have a lot to work on. We still had a couple missed tackles, so we just have to keep working hard, going to practice, working on tackling and going from there.”

 

On if the quick screens was something seen in film:

That is something we saw on film.  We knew a team like Mercer would come in and try to throw quick screens and short passes because they felt like they could not contain our pass rush.

 

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