Nov. 24, 2007
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey
“I thought the bottom line of the game was we had too many missed opportunities. We had lots of opportunities out there to make big plays, but we never cashed in on those opportunities. We can’t play a good football team and not cash in on those chances. We had several in the first half and a couple in the second half and it seemed like we didn’t make a run on them. I can’t fault our guys effort. I think they gave great effort in the ballgame, we just didn’t play well enough to win. That was a good football team that played well, and we didn’t.”
Comment on so many breaks that didn’t go Tech’s way and how hard it was
“I don’t know if we’ve seen as many of those that we did where we couldn’t seem to cash in on one or two of them. I don’t know that I’ve been around that many. That’s part of it though – you deal with it and go on.
“When you don’t get a couple of them, does it hurt your team? Sure it does. You think you’ve got a big play and then all of a sudden you don’t, sure. Everybody is excited, but all of a sudden you’re down. It takes its toll.”
What did you tell the team and especially the senior class after the game?
“We were trying to go out and win the ball game for those guys. It was their last game, their last home game and senior day. I told them I was sorry we couldn’t win it for them.”
Comment on Brooks and the Ray Guy Award
“I may be biased, but I think he is the best (punter). I don’t know the other guys that are up for the award, but he’s great in every facet of punting – off his own endzone, red-zone punting, trying to down it inside the 20, he’s the total package.”
How much does he benefit the football team?
“I don’t think you can put a percentage of how much it can help your team. It turns the field over, it allows your team to make another team have to go along way against your defense – it’s a great weapon.”
Comment on Tashard
“He’s obviously a great back, there is no question about that. He deserves all of the accolades he gets and the ones that I think he won’t get. He’s a great leader and a great person and a great example of the Georgia Tech football player”
Comment on T. Brown getting the long runs for Georgia
“I think that they moved him in and out and Brown was in there when the creases were there. I don’t think we relaxed because Moreno wasn’t in there and I don’t think that we changed our approach when Brown was in there. It just so happened the blocking was there on those opportunities for Brown.”
Comment on Taylor Bennett re-entering the football game
“The medical people came up after two or three series and said that he was ready to go. He didn’t talk himself into it, it was the medical people that told me.
“I thought he did some good things early. When he got banged up he fought through it in the second half. He did some good things in the first half. We dropped at least one, I don’t know if there was another in the first half. But again, it could have been big plays.”
TECH RUNNING BACK Tashard Choice
On the affect of not capitalizing on opportunities:
“Whenever you are playing a good team, and Georgia is always a good team, they always have talent on both sides of the ball. And, when you don’t capitalize in certain situations, you will lose the game every time.”
Are you ok with the way things ended at home today for you?
“No, obviously we were hoping for a win today.”
You are an emotional player, and your team feeds off of your emotion. Why do you think sometimes they don’t always respond to your emotions?
“Well, everyone is motivated differently. For me, I just love the game of football and I love every single opportunity I have to go out and play. It’s not like that for everyone, though, and sometimes that is hard. But, I just have to go out and keep playing hard.”
What are your thoughts on Chan Gailey as your coach?
“That’s not up to me. I can only come out and play football, no matter who the coach is. Coach Gailey gave me a chance to come play here, and for that I will always be thankful. He’s taught me a lot about the game of football, but also about life, and I owe a lot to him. But, somebody else makes that decision. I just play football.”
What did you say to the fans at the end of the game?
“I just thanked them for being with me throughout my career. We’ve got some great fans, and they’ve been great. I see them on campus, they are excited to see me, and so I just thought I should take the time to say thanks, especially to the ones who stayed until the very end tonight.”
TECH SAFETY Morgan Burnett
What happened on the fumble you recovered? “I saw that the guy missed the pass and that it was a live ball, scooped it up and ran with it. I started to lose my footing, and should have done a better job of just holding onto the ball. That’s my fault for not holding on to the ball. Both of us were diving for the ball, and Georgia got it back.”
On the pass interference call: “I felt that it was a good play on my part. The referee didn’t give me an explanation as to what I did. But, I didn’t think that I made any contact, just played the ball well. After the call, though, I just had to get it back together and play the next down and move on.”
On his first experience in this rivalry: “It was better than I thought it would be from an atmosphere standpoint. My brother played at Georgia, so I had been in the stands for a lot of games, but it was different being on the field. Great atmosphere, just wished it would have turned out differently.”
GEORGIA HEAD COACH MARK RICHT
“It was a very tough game. Georgia Tech played a beautiful game. We played a beautiful game. It was a situation where we made a few more big plays. And we got some breaks, too, on those balls that were fumbled and bobbled around. If we don’t land on a couple of those things, we’ve got some serious problems. We were very fortunate to come out of this thing with a victory.”
The first half was a stalemate. What factors enabled you to get an advantage in the second half?
“We had a couple of big plays throwing the ball. We broke up one drive, and we started to find a crease here and there running the ball. We had a couple of big runs. You know, the defense played pretty solid most of the game. I don’t know for sure, but it seemed like Taylor Bennett might have been banged up a little bit. Georgia Tech was trying to scramble around with their quarterback situation. It might have been by design, I don’t know, but they were pretty effective when they started using other guys at quarterback and rushing the football.”
Thomas Brown had a terrific night for his final regular-season game.
“I’m really happy for him. He’s been working so hard. He’s had such a fine career, then Knowshon (Moreno) comes out of nowhere and took a lot of the thunder from his senior year. Never once has he been resentful of it. It’s nice to see that he was able to have a big game in the final regular season game of his career. I really hope Kregg Lumpkin gets healthy enough to play in the bowl game. It would be really nice to see Thomas, Kregg and Knowshon all get to play in this last ball game.”
Moreno still had a good night and made the big play after the lateral (knocking the ball loose from Morgan Burnett).
“Was that him who knocked the ball out? That doesn’t surprise me. He’s Mr. Energy and Mr. Effort. I knew someone had made a big play. That lateral could’ve been disastrous, and he swung the momentum back our way. He also had one or two pretty decent runs that got called back. Knowshon had a game where he had to fight for every inch. Thomas had a game where he had a few more creases, and he could find them and go.”
Massaquoi had some big plays in the passing game tonight.
“We’ll he’s doing a wonderful job, and Matthew has hooked up with him quite often. Bailey did a nice job, too, just three catches, but he had 85 yards and one long one. Durham had a big grab, too, so that was nice. But Mohamed and Sean have been getting the lion’s share of the receiving work, and tonight was no different.”
Senior tailback Thomas Brown
On defeating Georgia Tech for a seventh year in a row…
“It’s kind of hard to take in right now. I’m 4-0 against them. Growing up in the state of Georgia I knew about the heated rivalry, and I knew how much they despise us and vice versa. It’s kind of a big statement for us to come out and play the way we played today and finish out the series 7-0 and another senior class coming through here and being 4-0 against Georgia Tech.”
Senior wide receiver Sean Bailey
On if he felt like Georgia was on the ropes in the second half…
“Georgia Tech plays us good every single year. It doesn’t matter what we’re ranked or what they’re ranked coming into it, so we knew it was going to be a dogfight and we knew there was going to be a few plays that had to be made in order for us to win. I think we took advantage of them”
Senior strong safety Kelin Johnson
On not getting the opportunity to play LSU in the SEC Championship game next weekend…
“I wanted to go. I love playing a challenge, especially LSU. It didn’t matter what they were ranked. I’d love to get a ring on my finger. Ultimately, it didn’t happen that way, but you just have to count your blessings. The Lord has been good to us all season, and we just have to keep fighting.”
On where he wants to play in a bowl game…
“It really doesn’t matter. I’m just happy for us to get another game. That’s unbelievable. For you to get a bowl game, that says a lot about your program and a lot about your coaching staff. Obviously, our coaching staff worked hard and our players worked. We are going to fight wherever we go.”
Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford
On his 31-yard touchdown run…
“I felt so slow on that. I was running, and I guess I had a decent fake and everybody took off with everybody else, so there was nobody there. It felt like it took me a month to get into the end zone.”
On playing against Georgia Tech with Kentucky and Tennessee playing at the same time…
“This is a huge game for us every year, and it was a chance to get our 10th win and we got it. That’s big for us. It didn’t matter what Kentucky and Tennessee did if we didn’t win this game.”