Oct. 29, 2005
– HEAD COACH Chan Gailey
That’s the thing about the game. You go out and play. You win some at the end and you lose some at the end. One thing that is consistent on this football team is that they play their rear off till the end. You have to give them credit for that. To hold that crew to three field goals, that was impressive. They were running the football, they were pounding us, and our guys found a way. I give a great deal of credit to Jon Tenuta, his staff and our defensive players. They did a super job, a great game plan.
On Kenny Scott
He was awesome. If he will continue to improve, he has the chance to be one of the best corner backs in the nation. He’s got to continue to concentrate. He’s starting to understand things: splits, routes, formations. He’s starting to break on the ball. He has confidence that he can cover the deep ball, but yet confidence that he can break on a short one as well. That’s what a good corner does, a good corner has a great deal of confidence. He just has to focus every play. This was probably his best job of that this season.
On Eric Henderson’s two sacks forcing two fumbles
That is tremendously big. We didn’t have Anoai. We lost one, but we gained one. There goes that guy in there making big plays for the defense, big plays for the team. That’s what this group is. This group is a football team.
On it being a tight game
I didn’t think that it would be 10-9. We all knew. But didn’t we all know that it was going to be tight. IT has been nine out of the last ten, and now we can say 10 out of the last 11. I thought that it would be tight for 60 minutes, and that’s the last thing I told the players before we walked out on the field.
The one thing that has happened to us is we can keep a fresher back on the field this year. That has been tremendous for us. He [Tashard Choice] made two gigantic runs for us, the long run down the sideline and the catch on third down to get the first down at the three. It was really really big.
On responding after Clemson took a 6-3 lead
I told the team after the game that was tremendously big, for our team. After they had taken the lead, for us to turn around and go right down the field and score. You can’t measure how big that was for the momentum of the game.
On Tech’s slow start
Clemson did some things at the beginning of the game that we hadn’t worked on. We had to get back into it and find out what we could do. It started in the second quarter, a little bit.
On Clemson’s play against Calvin Johnson
They took away Calvin a decent amount today. They did a good job of taking him away. That just tells us that we always have to have that package where we continue to move him around. But D-Bo (Damarius Bilbo) stepped up and made some big plays for us.
On how big a win it was
That’s a big win, anytime you have one of your arch rivals in a game like this. As a fan, sometimes it wasn’t pretty, but you can’t argue that two teams were out there slugging it out. That’s college football, and that’s fun.
I’ll have to watch the film, but I think we tackled on the perimeter better than we have all year long. We may have missed some stuff inside on the creases, but outside on the perimeter, other than one play, Stuckey was not able to get out.
Obviously he was voted team captain, which speaks volumes. Secondly, he walks on the field and makes big play after big play, at not-100 percent. You can see what we’ve missed without him in there.
CLEMSON HEAD COACH TOMMY BOWDEN
“There’s no doubt we didn’t play very smart offensively with all the mistakes. We had a touchdown called back, and we had a lot of turnovers. We had three fumbles. You’re not going to beat a good team, in fact you’re not going to beat anybody playing like that. We didn’t win the game, but as is characteristic of this team, they will not quit. But as I told the team, you can play hard all you want, but if you don’t play smart and you turn the ball over, you’re going to have problems.”
On the fourth down play late in the fourth quarter
“We had a guy bounce open, but we needed to be a little more patient. We tried to direct the ball to Aaron Kelly past the yard marker, which he was, but we needed to be a little more patient with the throw, and it would have been open. But those are plays, to get to where you want to go, you’ve got to make down the stretch, and we didn’t make them.”
On his team’s defensive effort
“Those are positives, for sure, but if you play like that defensively, if you play half-way decent offensively, you’ll win some games, which we didn’t do. We just didn’t give [the defense] any help. That’s why they call it team. There’s offense, defense and special teams. We left a field goal out on the field, which would have given us a win, and we made plenty of mistakes offensively. I’m proud of our performance, and if we continue to play that way on defense, we’ll win our share of games.
“It might have been our best defensive game as far as their ability to take themselves off the field. We stopped them on third down, then we reacted to some negative situations we put them in offensively, coming away with no points, then with only three points. I thought it was their best performance, against some high marquee players in Calvin Johnson, Reggie Ball and P.J. Daniels.”
“I thought the defensive staff did an excellent job on No. 21. We tried not to let him beat us. I thought we had a good plan. They hurt us a little bit in the running game because we had to pull an eighth defender away from the box. I thought the plan was excellent to hold them to 10 points and just one touchdown. It was our inability on offense to capitalize.”
On the team’s prospects for the rest of the season
“They don’t stop the season after eight games. There’s three left. A couple of years ago we sat there at 5-4 after a loss to Wake Forest and playing Florida State, and we finished up pretty strong.”