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Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech 35, Virginia 25

Oct. 26, 2013

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Head Coach Paul Johnson Quotes
Opening remarks:
“It was kind of a crazy game with all of the turnovers and penalties. I have to give the kids credit for finding a way to win. We couldn’t get ourselves off the field defensively, but yet we weren’t giving up a lot of points, so we were able to hang in. The penalties really hurt us on that side of the ball. The running into the kicker was just inexcusable. In that situation, we had all the momentum. We were about to get the ball back at midfield and we do that, instead they convert and get a touchdown. Our quarterback made two huge plays. The down-field pass to DeAndre Smelter was huge and then at the end, the last drive off the play action was a nice play by him. We would like to throw the ball a little more if we could protect it better. I look at the stats and am disappointed in the way we blocked, yet we rushed for 394 yards, so I don’t know what to say about that. All in all, we dug down and we found a way to win the game, so that is a positive.”

On turnovers:
“It was just unforced turnovers, like dropping the ball. It was hard to explain. We cleaned it up a little bit in the second half, but at times it wasn’t smooth. We pitched one over our heads, so we have a lot of work to do. I thought we were getting better at some of that stuff.”

On changing quarterbacks:
“[Justin Thomas] had been practicing, we were just going to roll him. [Thomas] went in and we scored a touchdown ,so you are not going to pull him out. That was it. At the one-minute, I told [Vad Lee] to go in and I guess [Lee] was back behind me and the other one [Thomas] was right there when I grabbed [Thomas] and sent him in. It is no big deal. [Lee] played the second half and I thought he played well in the second half. [Lee] also turned the ball over in the first half, so give the other kid a chance.”

On defense
“We got some fourth down stops. At times, it was feast or famine. We did a decent job with the score when you see how many plays they ran. The second half was crazy. I think we had the ball four times in the second half, including there at the end. It was just one of those games. The offense was its own worst enemy turning the ball over. Its not like they were really stepping up, we just pitched it on the ground.”

On penalties
“I think we had one motion penalty early on offense. The rest were all on defense or special teams, which is the opposite of what it has been. Those pass interference penalties are key, especially on third and long. I don’t know if I have ever won a game where we were minus-five in turnovers and had 10 penalties. “

On guarding David Watford
“I think we went in with a defensive plan that we were going to try to limit the run and get [Watford] off the field on third down. I don’t know what their third down conversions are, but they are higher than they had been. [Watford] had some good throws, but he had guys wide open too. It was kind of a combination. We got them in third and long some, but they converted more than you would like.”

Third-down conversions
“At times, the offense did a good job, when they held on to the ball. They played us defensively exactly as we had expected them to. Verbatim.”

Redshirt Sophomore QB Vad Lee
On the four turnovers in the first half:
“It was self-inflicted stuff. It wasn’t anything special they were doing. It was all on us, so we’ll get it fixed.”

On what he saw in Virginia’s defensive scheme:
“At first, they were moving around a bit and trying to do different stuff. For the most part, we practiced most of that. Their defensive coordinator had seen this stuff a bunch of times before. We just needed to settle down and play our game, but they were coming pretty aggressive.”

Redshirt Senior A-back Robert Godhigh:
On scoring a long touchdown after fumbling earlier in the game:
“It was a big relief. We were trying to get a big play to switch momentum and get the offense in the right direction, and that’s what we got.”

On rushing for nearly 400 yards as a team:
“We knew we could do it. They played exactly how we practiced. Once we got everyone doing what we needed to do, there wasn’t anything they were going to do to stop us.”

Redshirt Senior DL Emmanuel Dieke:
On facing the Virginia offensive line:
“First of all, Virginia is a good team. They have an incredible offensive line. As a defensive line, we came into this game knowing that in order for us to win, we were going to have to get pressure. “

On the importance of the win:
“We had to look ourselves in the mirror, individually, and make up our minds on how we wanted this season to go. It was up to us to decide whether we wanted to salvage our season or continue to lose. So as a team and coaching staff, we got together and we decided that we have to take control of our season.”

Redshirt Senior B-back David Sims:
On the play of the running backs:
“We came out and knew we had to put up some big yards. We always talk about how quarterback and B-back are the most important positions in the offense. We needed to play well, and we did.”

On the first half fumbles:
“That was pretty uncharacteristic of us to fumble that many times. Virginia did a good job of pouncing on the balls we fumbled. We made the game a lot harder than it had to be, but we ended up getting a win.”

On how the team overcame turnover woes:
“That’s the game of football. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don’t. I think the thing that impressed me most about our team is that we kept fighting back. We put the defense in bad positions, but they kept answering the bell. Offensively, we did things we don’t normally do as far as fumbles. But we’ll take it as a learning experience and learn about ball security next week.”

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