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Post-game quotes from Georgia Tech's 27-0 victory over Duke.

Oct. 4, 2008

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson

Opening Statement
“I was proud of our guys. I thought we played hard. We didn’t always play great but I think you have to give Duke some credit. Defensively we played, without question, our best game of the year. It was kind of a crazy game. There weren’t a lot of possessions the first half and we were our own worst enemy. We were moving the ball some but we couldn’t finish drives. It was disappointing to only be up three at halftime and in the second half; at least we kind of hit some big plays with Bay-Bay (Denarius Thomas) and found a way to get enough points on the board to hold up because the defense was playing so well. I have to give Coach Cutcliffe and Duke some credit. I’ve played them the last five years and they’re a better football team than they have been. I think they (Duke) played hard until the end and kept chugging away. They’ve got a lot of guys on defense that play a lot of football. Those two linebackers are good players and they’re seniors and have been playing for four years and they did a nice job. I was proud of Jaybo (Shaw) as a true freshman to go out there and he made a couple of mistakes but he took some shots and he kept playing and threw the ball and made a couple of plays in the passing game and gave our guys a chance to come down with it. So, we’ll take it anyway we can get it. Like they say, 27 is more than nothing. I told our guys in the locker room, if you have zero on one side, you don’t lose many. So we can find a way to win if we can do that. We’re excited to be 4-1. We’ve got to come back and clean some things up hopefully play better next week and finish the first half off 5-1, that’s what we need to do.”

On Adjustments at Halftime
“We made a couple of adjustments. It wasn’t a lot, just some little things. To be quite honest with you, it wasn’t any big deal. We were struggling inside some. We didn’t get very many people on the ground. We played really high. I don’t know if that was coming off a bye week but I can promise you we’ll address that starting Monday. We’re gonna get our pads down on offense and we just never got in any real rhythm. I looked in the first half and I think that we had the ball four times and we had an 11-play drive, a 13-play drive, a 13-play drive and we couldn’t finish them off and we got down there and couldn’t get any points. At halftime, I think we had 215-220 yards and three points and that was disconcerting, you know. So the good thing in the second half is that we didn’t turn the ball over. They weren’t doing a whole lot offensively, so we got a few more kicks at the can and hit some plays. Bay-Bay Thomas made some great catches for us.”

On Jaybo Shaw Handling the Ball
“Well, I’m sure you couldn’t have driven a straight pin up his tail with a sledgehammer. I’m sure he was a little nervous. Last week, he didn’t have much time to think about it and he had a long time to think about this one. I thought he played good. I’m proud of him. There’s not a lot of teams that are gonna take a guy that showed up in August and go out there and have 480 some yards and 27 points now. He did some good things. I mean, someone was throwing the ball to Bay-Bay. He didn’t throw it and catch it himself.”

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe

“We can’t measure ourselves as a team just in wins and losses alone at this stage. There’s a lot of growth involved in everything that we do, it was our first road trip together. Obviously, we failed the test on the field to a great degree. We played a team that played really well, played far superior to us today and it obviously started with not being able to move the ball against them. When you get shut out, you’re not going to win. So that was pretty evident.”

“The open week comes at a good time. We’ve got some people playing well, we’ve got some people playing not as well as we would like. Again, I can’t measure it on that. Our greatest asset is to play harder than anybody believes you can play and I’m anxious to see if we continued on that path, particularly when we got a little behind.”

“I’m proud of a lot of the individual play that I saw. Kids fighting, and continuing to fight and compete. Very difficult to take getting beat 27-0, but we did, so you have to take it. It’s the fifth game of the year, we’re not at an ideal situation at this state, but things can always be a lot worse. I’m anxious to see how we respond to the adversity. We’ve got an open date that is going to give us a chance to get some people healed, and it’s going to give us to really look at what we’re not doing well. We’re going to focus on Duke on this open date, in a big way. We’ve got big tests continuously the rest of the way. We know we’re going to have to get better, to put ourselves in a position to compete in the ACC. Anybody that’s watched us knows that we can play better than we did today. That’s my responsibility to see that that occurs.”

It’s 3-0 at halftime and you guys seem like you always pull magic out in the second half.
“Well, we felt good at the half. We made a couple of little adjustments offensively. Offensively, my thing at halftime was to let us compete. When things aren’t going well, you try this, and you try that and I just wanted ot line up and run our offense. We didn’t get a stop, and then we go out there and run 2 plays for 5 yards and then blow a hot read and end up with a sack. We’ll learn from it and we’re going to see what we are capable doing. We’ve got to get better fast. We’ve got to build some depth. We lost Wes Oglesby in the first half and then Leon Wright, so we’ve got to continue to build our depth. It hurt us a little bit defensively, so defensively it was a little hard to maintain what we had done in the first half. We had a good plan to manage what we thought they would do on 3rd down and we had a good plan to help us run the ball. If we could have just put two or three plays together and gotten started, I think it could have been different. But, the bottom line is you’ve got to go look at why it’s not. That falls squarely on my shoulders. We’re going to take a hard look at and see what we can do. We’ve got some people that can make some plays and we’re either not getting them in position to make plays often enough, or they’re not making plays often enough. That’s kind of what offensive football is. It really does go back to matchups and people that can make plays. You saw it in reverse today – the exact opposite. Great credit to their big time play makers, 21 (Dwyer) and 8 (Thomas). They made what percentage of the big plays? 100% maybe? They put their guys in a position to do it.”

Defensively, what do they do that makes it so hard to screen those two or three players?
“We just couldn’t block them. We didn’t have an answer for those ends. They moved them around a bunch, gave us some fronts that we hadn’t seen. They had an open date, to their credit. I’ve played against Dave Wommack before, and he’s always going to have something different. We just didn’t respond very well to it today.”

Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas

On His 230-Yard Performance
“During the week (in practice), we did a lot of plays for the B-Back and A-Back, so I didn’t think I would get the ball this much.”

On His 88-yard touchdown reception
“It was to the boundary and I knew they (Duke) were going to play in Cover 2. The safety stayed on the hash the whole game, so I told my coach to give me a chance and it came. It felt like it took me a long time to get in the endzone.”

If he’s ever had 200-yards plus receiving in a game
“No never. Duke was a good team and they had practiced against the option for while. I guess I got tired of their coaches saying we didn’t have a good receiver. So I had to show them we did have one.”

On the big play potential in the option offense for a wide receiver
“Before the start of the season, I watched film on Navy and a couple of their receivers had big plays for a lot of yards.”

On playing in front of former Georgia Tech standout receiver Dez White
“Before the game, I saw Dez White go out with the captains for the coin toss, and I’m not sure if he or Kevin Campbell has the single-game (receiving) record, I said I want to break the school record today. I was only 14 or 15 yards from it.”

Quarterback Jaybo Shaw

On his first career start
“It’s totally different. Most guys think it’s harder when Josh (Nesbitt) goes out and I come in that soon. Really you don’t have that much time to think about it and sleep on it. It was a little bit harder to be honest. I struggled in the first half as I think everybody could see with some reads or some checks. So I had to settle down in the second half and get things going.”

On the team’s play after a bye week
“We hadn’t played in two weeks, so maybe we were a little rusty. We had to come out and settle down. We knew what to do. They did exactly what we thought they were going to do. They didn’t change anything. We did a lot better job in the second half.”

On throwing to Demayius Thomas
“Look at him. When he’s out there, he’s huge. He’s a real easy target. He dominates a lot of the corners. He’s 6-5 (actually 6-3) and most corners are 5-11. It makes it really easy when you can throw it up there to him. He bailed me out a lot today. I was thankful I had him out there. He made some awesome catches.”

On the defensive unit’s play against Duke
“It’s real easy to be a quarterback in this offense when you got a defense like we do. They bailed us out in the first half. We had these long drives and drove it down the field and we’d end up turning it over. Duke would get the ball and they’d go three and out and we’d get the ball right back. It’s real easy when you’ve got the front four we have on the defensive line and rest of the defense.

On half time adjustments by Coach Johnson
“Settle down. We knew what to do. We practiced against that defense for two weeks. We really didn’t make that many adjustments.”

Outside Linebacker Sedric Griffin

On the defense’s preparation for Duke
“We had the bye week and we focused on getting better. We worked on third down (situations) and they were 2-of-12 today, so we just want to get better.”

On his sack of Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis
“I tried to move around and give them different looks. The guard and tackle kicked out and guard blocked down and it opened up like the Red Sea and I was free.”

Cornerback Mario Butler

On the shutout
“We really hard worked on that and we wanted it. We worked hard during the bye week and the defense was on a mission today. There were some question marks out there about us. We weren’t as good as the past defenses that have been here. Not good against the run. Not good against the pass. So we wanted to make a point today.”

On the defense’s intensity
“First, we kept our composure. We played hard and focused. We had some slips, but we played our assignments. Coaches say good things happen when you fly to the ball.”

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