Sept. 17, 2016
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
“I was proud of the way our kids played. I thought we played pretty good other than the penalties. Offensively until the end, at the end it got kind of sloppy, I was frustrated with some of our down the line guys not knowing assignments and how to line up and that kind of thing, but it was good to get a lot of people out there. We played pretty much everybody that we could play. Good win, we had some big plays, we didn’t stop ourselves. We were pretty efficient offensively, and we wanted to gear up to stop the run and, I was just looking at it, we held them under 100 yards rushing, so that’s pretty good. Happy with the win, now we’ve got a quick turnaround, get ready for a really talented team coming in here on Thursday night.”
On Justin Thomas’s performance:
“I thought he played well. I had challenged him a little earlier, I told him we needed some more out of him rushing, and he had a couple of nice runs. I think he would have had a couple others if he had stayed outside he could have really (broken) when he sees on the film he’s going to be disappointed, but I thought we got contributions out of pretty much all the guys. Dedrick [Mills] got some tough yards, they were kind of committed to stopping the B-back inside, which is fine, it opens up the pitches, and we had some huge plays on the perimeter when we got the thing executed right.”
On Clinton Lynch’s performance:
“He was in the right spot at the right time a couple of times and made some plays. The one play action he caught, I told Justin [Thomas] that the guy was going to be open I thought whenever we ran, and he just wasn’t in there. Matthew threw a good ball and Clinton took it to the house. First play I thought was huge too, nice play by Marcus Marshall.”
On having a short week:
“A short week is always hard; I think it’s probably easier coming off a win. We got some guys out in the fourth quarter, which helps, but anytime that you’re playing a short week; it’s hard for the kids. I don’t know if it’s fair to them if you want to know the truth.”
On building momentum for playing Clemson on Thursday:
“It’s hard to win, I think anytime you win you have to be happy, but we’ve got to come back tomorrow, and it starts all over again. You don’t carry anything over. Clemson is by far the most talented team we’ve played to this point so they’re going to come in here with a bunch of cats. We’ve got to see if we can line up and play with them. We didn’t a year ago, two years ago we did, I don’t think we’ll be afraid but we’ve got to play.”
VANDERBILT HEAD COACH DEREK MASON
“I’ve got to give credit to Georgia Tech. I thought they played well in all phases. Their quarterback, Justin Thomas, did a great job of just running Georgia Tech’s offense. At one time, Georgia Tech was 6 out of 10 on third downs (8-of-15 for the game), and that’s not where we want to be. We didn’t do a good enough job of getting them off the field. We struggled actually to sustain drives after our first drive.
“We wanted to score, and needed to score, coming out of the half. We went for it on fourth down and didn’t get it. From a momentum standpoint, there was still a lot of time left in the game, but that was a shift in momentum in this ballgame. We couldn’t get them off the field, and they go down and score.
“There were just too many missed tackles, defensively. We got schemed early (referring to Tech’s first offensive play). We’ve just got to get back to work. This team is capable of playing much better. That was not our best football, and I believe this team will learn from this one. We didn’t play great ball today; Georgia Tech did a great job of doing what they do. We weren’t good enough stopping what they do, and I thought we were beaten in all three phases. We’ve got to come back and make sure we’re ready to go when we play Western Kentucky.”
On “getting schemed early,” was it being off-balance from Tech’s opening offensive play?
“Yeah. That particular play had only come to the boundary, with motion; great job by them. We still had a guy in position who was responsible for that. But we had only seen it coming to the boundary, not to the field. So when you see something, and you’re ready for something, and it goes against … they self-scouted themselves. That’s what you do. When you self-scout yourself, you look at your tendencies. That was a great play-call, but we should have gotten that on the ground. We had missed tackles, and that was really the beginning of what you saw all day.
“I thought we were prepared. They executed like we thought they would. We need to execute better. It was a tough day at the office.”
On not challenging spot the after the third-down play of the second-half opening drive
“I thought we did (make the first down), too. I thought about challenging it, but I didn’t get a replay. In not getting a replay, I didn’t want to use a timeout, knowing that we were behind and we may need those timeouts later in this ballgame. I thought we had gotten it, I thought it was far enough. But not being on the line myself, I thought he had it, but didn’t want to challenge it.
“You look at the video board, and then you go to your guys and ask, `Did you get it? Did you see it?’ They didn’t see it. They thought it was a bad spot. But they thought, they didn’t know.”
What happened to your offense after the first drive?
“Just the inability to sustain drives. I thought at times we had rhythm, and we were moving the ball. But we didn’t end any of those drives with points. One series after another, you start to lose a little confidence. That’s what has to happen with this group; look at every opportunity as a chance to score. As the game went on, we just didn’t do enough.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Clinton Lynch, A-BACK, RS-SO
On the timing of the pitches and being in sync:
“We practice the timing every day in practice so it should really be there by now. We’ve just got to keep working on it and keep improving on it.”
On the level of confidence from last year to this year:
“I feel this year everybody is very hungry. Last year things just didn’t really go our way. Now that we see that, we are humbled by it and realize now what we need to do in order to be successful.”
Justin Thomas, QUARTERBACK, RS-SR
On his performance:
“I was just going out there and doing the best I can for the team. I was just trying to be a little more aggressive. I was talking to the guys last night saying I need 100 [yard], I hadn’t had 100 in about 14 games, and I see right here that I was seven yards short, so I’m still upset about that. But I think as a whole we did better, everybody got to their assignments, and we’ve just got to keep progressing each week.”
On the offensive potential:
“I think we took a lot of strides forward. It’s not the best, we still have some miscues, but I think from game one to this points right here. I think night and day it’s a lot better. People are communicating more, coming off the ball better, and I think as a whole we are starting to click. We’ve just got to keep getting better each week and not have any setbacks.”
Patrick Gamble, DT, RS-SR
On fourth down defensive stop:
“We had our big guys in. We just wanted to get some pressure and penetrate the backfield. Actually, freshman Brandon Adams went in there and stood a guy up to get some penetration. We were able to get the stop on fourth down.”
On creating plays on first and second downs to create third and longs:
“We did not do too much differently. We played like we always do. The big thing was that we all executed well. Everybody did their job today, and I believe that is what shows up on the stat sheet. We made the plays we were supposed to make.”
Brant Mitchell, MLB, SO
On adjustments the defense made after the first drive of the game:
“On the first drive, we did not come out executing our assignments as we had planned. Obviously the scored, but we just had to keep our composure and do what we were supposed to do.”
On difficulties of coming into a short week in regards to getting bodies healthy and ready to play:
“It is going to be a quick turnaround. We are going to come in and practice tomorrow. The key thing is rest right now. We need to recover our bodies and be ready to go.”