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Postgame Quotes: Notre Dame 30, Georgia Tech 22

Sept. 19, 2015

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HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
Opening Statement
“Clearly we were disappointed with the way we played. You have to give Notre Dame credit. Their kids showed up, played hard. They played a good football game, did what they had to do to win the game. It thought right from the start we kind of got rattled a little bit. When it wasn’t going good at first, we didn’t respond very well. We got young guys, skill guys. We just didn’t play very good. I think you have to give Notre Dame some credit. They had something to do with that. The first half was awful. We gave up two long pass plays, our kicking game was atrocious, missed two field goals, punt the ball sideways a couple times, then we can’t do anything offensively. It was disappointing the way we played. Go back, try to correct it, move on, get ready for conference play.”

On Notre Dame’s defense… 
“We were not doing a very good job. It was like popcorn. One guy you’d get fixed, then the other guy would mess up. Against a good defense, and they’ve got some really good players, No. 9 is a tremendous player, No. 91 was a good player. Against good players, you can’t have missed assignments or whatever. Just like in the first half, we got third and two, we go the wrong way. Catch them in a slant to the field we were trying to catch them, then you got to go play fourth down instead of going the right way. Pass protection, they’re too good for that, they don’t need our help doing those kinds of things. I’ve never seen so many guys slipping and falling. Every time we pitched the ball, the guy would fall down. Just got out of control a little bit and we’ve got to do some things fundamentally a little better. But, yeah, we had a hard time blocking the linebackers again.”

On his impressions of Notre Dame QB DeShon Kizer…
“I thought that he played very well. I thought they had a good plan for him. I thought that he executed the plan. He threw the ball well, picked up some hot reads well off of some zone fires, hit some guys. When we were backing out of coverage, he was smart enough to throw the pitch routes and stops. We had a hard time getting to him pressure-wise. They sprinted him some. We missed some opportunities to sack him. But he was elusive. I thought he played well.”

On offense’s performance…
“I was disappointed. But at that point we weren’t playing well. I mean, it’s like we’d struggled. Yeah, I mean, you’re right back in the game if you score that touchdown. I told our guys at halftime, as poorly as we played, I don’t know we can play any worse, we’re six points down. What do we do, come out and fumble the ball. That’s kind of the way the game went.”

On play of QB Justin Thomas
“He’s played better, I think. There’s got to be guys around him helping him, too. But probably wasn’t one of his better games.”

On timing of D.J. White’s interception…
“It was huge. I turned the momentum, turned everything. We got the ball, hit a couple nice running plays, got it down there and scored. It was also equally huge that after we scored, they took it back down and scored. They kind of grabbed the momentum back a little bit, yeah.”

On message to team postgame…
“Sometimes when you’re winning and you’re winning big, you hear the corrections and you hear people talking, but it doesn’t register. Sometimes it has to take one of these to register. We’ve got a lot of really young guys, especially the skill guys offensively. The first two weeks we played teams that were out-matched. We jumped on them. Those guys would fly around and have some fun. Today, their eyes got real big, especially from the start. They struggled a little bit with going the wrong way, falling down, man coverage, just kind of running and stopping, all those things that young guys do sometimes. But it wasn’t just the young guys. Our old guys didn’t play very well either.”

On making adjustments after the loss…
“I think you just got to get better at what you do. When we look at the tape, I don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot we would want to do differently. We felt like we got in our formation, we had angles. We just got to play. Outside relief, block the linebacker, cut off the backside, play. We were our own worst enemy.”

On Patrick Skov’s two receiving touchdowns…
“Well, they were playing man-to-man, delayed blitzing the linebacker, so they had nobody for him. We tried it early in the third quarter and couldn’t get it off. But he did some good things. Also he’s going to see the tape and see a lot of things he could have gotten more out of inside, too.”

On where team goes from here entering conference play…
“Like I said, we start the conference next week. We got to go on the road again. We’ll see how much we grow from this week to next week. Again, we got to go play a team that’s a good defensive football team, that’s sound, don’t beat themselves. We have to play better. If we play like we played today, it won’t be pretty.”

On Tech’s third-down performance…
“I think it’s a function of early on getting behind the chains a little bit. But then it’s just like I said, I mean, you got third and two, you got the play called against the defense you want, they do exactly what you think they’re going to do, they go the wrong way. We made it on fourth down. There was another third down where we had a drop in the first half. What happens, it starts to snowball. You end up in some third and longs. Not very many people are going to make many third and eights, third and nines.”

SENIOR B-BACK Patrick Skov
On his mindset due to offensive inefficiencies… 
“We didn’t execute. We had a lot of great opportunities to put some great stuff on film, but we did the opposite, we put some bad stuff on film. All we can do now is move on and learn from our mistakes, and hopefully we can put a better foot forward next time, next week.”

On Notre Dame’s defensive performance…
“They were disciplined. They are a very quality opponent. But at the end of the day, the way our offense looks at it, it’s about what we do. I agree, they did some quality stuff but at the end of the day we didn’t execute, we didn’t do our job and I personally didn’t do enough.”

On the Notre Dame offensive line…
“They are just one of the good offensive lines you’re going to go against. Good group of guys. I think they had three seniors and four returning starters, so we knew that coming in it was going to be a dog fight up front. We felt like we did pretty well against them. They busted a few runs, but that’s football.”

On the atmosphere in Notre Dame Stadium… 
“It’s a great environment. It’s not too bad, I don’t mind playing on the road on defense. It’s nice and quiet, so you can communicate. It’s tough on our offense, but at the end of the day, you have to execute on both sides of the ball.”

On the play of the Georgia Tech defense…
“I mean, there’s no excuse. We played good and then there were (bad) plays here and there. We can’t do that. We’ve got to play a complete game and execute every play.”

On Georgia Tech’s defense compared to its offense…
“I can’t really point a finger on anything. We all need to play better as a team and as a unit. The defense definitely had their mistakes out there, and we just need to get better for next week.”


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