Oct. 11, 2008
Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson
“I really don’t know what to say. It wasn’t very pretty. Clearly, I did a very poor job of getting that football team ready to play because they did not show up. We were fortunate. You have to give Gardner Webb credit. The played hard. They had some fun out there, flew around and played hard. For the most part, we went through the motions. I think we were good enough on defense we were able to keep them out of there and make some plays and other than the one penalty we got to sustain the drive, did enough to win the game. There’s really not much to say about it other than that. It was very poor.
On Getting the Sense Things weren’t going the way Georgia Tech wanted:
“I got a sense of that early on. I thought the one thing we might be able to do with Calvin was throw the ball a little bit. But we were having a hard time protecting. And he was getting hit. So not only could we not run the ball, we had a hard time throwing it too. We converted a lot of routes to try and get home runs. The option game was pretty much non-existent. And I don’t know if we got a read right when we tried to read the thing. So I just kind of got a way from that. We started trying to block the read key a little bit and we ran up in there and fell on the ground. It really wasn’t anybody doing anything. There really wasn’t an area where you could say `Okay, these guys are playing pretty good. We’ll work on this. But we can do this.’ It was just kind of a scramble. We ran the option in the third quarter twice and I told the guy to hand the ball off and he pulled it. So he got tackled for a two-yard loss. So, I did a very poor job. Put that one on me.
On the Leaping Penalty Georgia Tech Received
“I’ll have to see it on film, the penalty part of it. What they said was that he was a yard forward and he fell on somebody. My take on that rule is as long as you don’t jump on your side and they cut you–I know you’re not allowed to fall on the snapper or whatever but until you see the tape you don’t know, but the next play, they (Gardner Webb) was running a lot of zone option and they handed it off and we had a hard time filling the gaps on the run.”
On Calvin’s (Booker) Game:
“The good is that he made a couple of scrambles. The scramble at the end to get the first down was good. Although I’m not sure Jonathan Dwyer wasn’t open running down the sidelines and we hit a big play to Jon in the passing game. There were a lot of times Calvin didn’t have a chance. It was a comedy of errors, really. It looked like a poorly prepared, poorly coached football team out there.
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Steve Patton
Obviously Tech did not have its top two quarterbacks, but what was your game plan to stop them today?
“We’re better at stopping the run than the pass if the first few games are indicative. Nobody has rushed for 100 yards against us this year, and I don’t think they rushed for over 100 yards either. I know they’ve bee rushing for 290 os so, so I told our guys that if we stop that, we have a chance. If they beat us throwing, then they just beat us. If they can run it, they’re going to beat us anyway.
“Our defensive guys played with a lot of heart. They probably took it a little bit light. They did send another quarterback in there in the third quarter, but things didn’t go well, and he had a little bit of trouble, too. I don’t know how many reps those guys got this week. But it’s disappointing to us to lose by three points for the second week in a row. I really thought we outplayed them in the second half.
“Our starting quarterback was out, too, with a broken thumb from the start of the second quarter through the third and fourth. Patrick Hall, one of our leading rushers, was out the whole game. Both of us were trying to find who to play. (Doolittle) broke his passing thumb on one of the plays he got hit.”
Was the final field goal attempt close to a career high?
“No he can hit them up to 50 yards. That wasn’t long for him. Ninety-one (Derrick Morgan) blocked it. It would have been good if not for that. He threw it off. A lot of people didn’t (see the tip). He was letting people know. Our holder was hoping the referee didn’t see it and would call running into the kicker. He came from our right side, I think, but he definitely got a hand on it. According to our holder, that one would have been good, had he not gotten a hand on it.”
“I could have taken another shot at the end zone, but they were playing deep. We could throw a quick out, but then you take a chance on some stuff happening. We had nine seconds left, but when you have 93 in there, who’s 7-foot-8, trying those things just didn’t make sense. I felt like if we hit the field goal, we put pressure on them to do something in overtime. They hadn’t really moved it in the second half. That was my thinking, don’t take a chance away from your team to have a chance to get it in overtime. We took one shot at the end zone and didn’t get it.
How would you grade your performance?
“I’d give it a D. Across the board. The only reason it’s not an F is because we won, thanks to the defense. I give credit to Gardner-Webb. They played the way they wanted to play. We came out prepared to play, but we didn’t do that. That’s on me, as the senior quarterback – I didn’t do it. It’s really embarrassing.
“It’s more frustrating because we have high expectations. When you have high expectations you can’t have setbacks. We didn’t get better, which is what we need to do every time. That didn’t happen today. We get a D because we won. That’s it.”
Did Gardner-Webb play as you expected them to?
“They played harder; they were fired up. They wanted it. I’m sorry my attitude is kind of dull, but we just didn’t play the way we wanted to play. Our defense kept us in the game. But A to Z on offense, we just got beat.”
Any chance the team was overlooking this game and looking ahead to Clemson?
“The excitement level, I just didn’t feel it when we were out on the field. Going 3-and-out, we just weren’t playing with pride. We want respect, but we didn’t earn it today. That led to an embarrassing performance.”
On the touchdown pass to Jonathan Dwyer:
“I was just glad we scored. It was supposed to be a screen pass to the right. But there was so much traffic, I just tried to buy a little time. Jonathan followed my eyes and I was able to give him the football in space. Everyone knows that he’s one of the best running backs in the country and once he has space, he can make things happen.”
Talk about Derrick Morgan’s performance:
“He’s a monster. We all knew that when he came in. He was the top high school player in his state, so we knew he would be good. He’s been banging it up since he got here.”
Did you ever think during the game that you would lose?
“No, that thought doesn’t cross your mind. I don’t think anyone here had that mindset today. You think you have a chance until the clock says 0:00.”
Thoughts of possibly losing to Gardner-Webb?
“You respect every opponent. They are athletes too. They’ve been playing football since high school, middle school, for 10-11 years like we have. They are just like us – they kept fighting. We just had to stay with our game.”