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Postgame Quotes

Nov. 18, 2017

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Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson

On the team’s performance:
“I don’t know what to say. They went through us like we weren’t even out there. In the second half we didn’t do much to help ourselves offensively. I think we ran six plays in the third quarter. We couldn’t get the ball and by the time we got it we were down 17. We just couldn’t keep up with them.”

On falling behind in the third quarter:
“The end of the first half killed us again. We scored with two minutes left and they came down and tied the game up and they got the ball first to start the second half. Then they come out and score again. We go three-and-out and that was pretty much it. At least we held them to a field goal the next time. Then we tried to hit a play action pass because they were firing out of the secondary and we couldn’t make the play and we had to punt and we’re down 17.”

On the offense’s performance:
“We got out of what we can do. When you get down so much in the second half, the run game kind of goes out the window, you have to try to throw the ball some. We weren’t anywhere close to good enough on offense to match what Duke was doing. We did in the first half, other than the one turnover. We didn’t punt in the first half either. Both teams scored every time they had the ball, except for the guy that batted the screen. They got one up with a possession in the second half because they got the ball to start the second half. They scored the first three times they had it.”

On second half defensive adjustments:
“We needed to try to stop them, to stop them from running the ball. When a team can do both, it’s tough. We never really slowed them down running the ball, they kind of did whatever they wanted really.”

On Duke’s Brittain Brown:
“He got a lot of big runs and [Daniel Jones] hurt us with some runs too.”

On the fake punt:
“First of all, it’s like everything, we practiced that all week. We were supposed to throw the ball at 15 yards and we sail it down the field 40 yards. You can’t throw it like a punt and get a penalty, but if you throw it like a back shoulder throw, you would get a holding penalty. But we didn’t do it right.”

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe

On the victory:
“It felt really good. I’m very proud of our players. Our coaches, the preparation, the planning this week [by them] has been tremendous. But it’s been that way week after week. Nobody has wavered. We’ve had a lot of great work that hasn’t culminated in the results we want on a Saturday. The second half of this game I think it all came together. The kicking game, we kicked into the wind and still had great kickoffs. And they didn’t hardly make anything. I thought after that one penalty I thought ‘Gosh this is going to be terrible.’ We aim for every part, every phase, kicking, defense and offense and in the third quarter may have been as good looking of a quarter of football we could play.”

On the defense in the third quarter making a difference:
“I kept telling our offensive people that it changes their offense. Every time you go up and score their offense changes more. I’ve been playing against option offenses a long time and we’ve spent a lot of hard work studying and preparing. It’s not always going to be perfect, but when you can outrush an option team you have a real strong chance of beating them and that’s what we did today.”

On the keys to and strategy to outrushing Georgia Tech:
“I thought Zac Roper managed the game. He’s got to give things to the quarterback, not just on the field, but in meetings and help him manage the game. So we had a lot of choice plays. He has trained the quarterbacks to put us in the best play possible so there were a lot of read plays. Inside, outside read plays. And it was one of those nights they worked thank goodness. We felt like we’ve been close and now the big key obviously as a football coach the first thing that popped into my mind is we have to stay hungry and see how much better we can get. We have a huge football game, but I need to slow down a little bit and relax. I realize that, but I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond to a win.”

On the senior class, especially Shaun Wilson, finishing their careers at home with a game like this:
“He started us right with that first run. I think he averaged 10 or 11 yards a carry in the first half and then he had some tough runs where he got yards and made first downs. He executed that special little halfback pass about as well as you can do it. He found Daniel [Helm] over there in the corner. He’s a good natural athlete. We thought he might return a kickoff of a touchdown, which would really put some icing on the cake. He came pretty close on the one.”

On having a sense that a performance of this kind was looming:
“I did, because of our seniors, because of our leadership amongst the staff and the squad. We had an unusual Friday night. We had a very unusual midday meal, pregame meal. We’re human. We’re tired of this and instead of running from it we ran to it. I think they knew they had prepared well enough to go win this game.”

On the defense:
“It was fun. I saw Edgar Cerenord make a huge hit. I saw Marquis [Waters] literally in front of my eyes getting better every snap. I saw Dylan Singleton step up. I saw Jordan Hayes come in, Michael Carter [II]. [Victor Dimukeje], Drew Jordan, our people up front are going to get better and better and better. The most fun I had was – it’s Victor’s birthday today – watching him run that ball. Oh my goodness, that poor guy. If he hadn’t gotten help, he wouldn’t have gotten [Victor] on the ground. He could have picked him up in his arms and carried him. I’m happy for our seniors first and happy for the whole squad. I’m very appreciative I want to say of a very loud and boisterous crowd. Our crowd did a great, great job tonight. You could sense them in the game and that helped immensely.”


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