Slow out of the gate

CLEMSON - Kind of like their 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe, Georgia Tech's triple-option offense sputtered out of the gate on Thursday night.

Three first quarter Yellow Jackets drives all ended the same way, with three plays and a punt. They didn't pick up a first-down until the second quarter. But even that drive ended with a punt.

"I felt we were in control for most of the first half," said Brent Venables. "I felt we were executing, had good discipline, structurally, were really pretty good."

The start couldn't have been any better.

"Really pleased," Venables said. "For, maybe one drive there, that whole first half, really pleased with our overall execution, discipline, physicality. I thought our guys played real well."

Georgia Tech had 20 carries for 72 yards in the first half.

"The first couple of drives were awesome," said Quandon Christian. "Everyone was doing their jobs and kept getting up and going at them the first couple of plays. We wanted to come out and stop them early and we were able to do that tonight."

Dabo Swinney approved.

"It was the start that we wanted, and we had the momentum that we need," he said. "But, listen, Paul Johnson is too good a coach. He's been doing this long enough. He's going to find something and they did."

Georgia Tech finished with 248 yards on 45 rushes. They also passed for 192 yards.

"They did a good job. They got behind us on the wheel route. They cracked us and blocked on the pitch man, the one time we didn't get to him, got us down the seam, we don't carry the seam," Swinney said. "But it's hard. When it's run, run, run, run, run, run, the next thing you know -- we didn't react a couple of times, didn't put our eyes on the right things.

"But it all started with the guys up front."

Summing up the defense

"Really pleased with all of our guys. I thought our d-line played really good, squeezed, shoved, closed, just played disciplined." - Venables

"We played with relentless effort. It was so important for us to get to the ball and make tackles, especially for loss by making big plays out there." - Vic Beasley

"I definitely think we were consistent during the game. We were pretty much disciplined the whole game besides a couple of plays." - Christian

"Our defensive line owned the night. This was a dominating performance in the trenches. We had a lot of tackles for loss. To stop a team like Georgia Tech, you have to win at the point of attack, which is in the backfield. Our guys did their job. They got us on the pitch a couple of times, but our secondary was there to give us run support. We had a great plan and we were very prepared. We played a sound game. Georgia Tech is always going to get points, but we did a great job limiting them." - Swinney

Big night for Bryant

"It felt good for my work to finally pay off. As I keep playing the game I keep getting better. Now it's just going back to work on Monday and keep improving." - Martavis Bryant

"He has been practicing hard and listening to the coaches. I have been in his ear every week telling him that he's an NFL caliber receiver and that he's a freak athlete. It's good to see him come into a groove with Tajh. He understands that he's a big part of the offense now. He did a great job stepping up to the plate tonight." - Sammy Watkins

Summing up the offense

"I think we played well as a unit. We didn't run the ball that well in the first half but we came out and made a statement in the second half. Tajh did a great job and Cole (Stoudt) came in and played well, too. We stayed in a rhythm and played good football." - Watkins

"It has been clicking all week at practice and we just kept gaining momentum. It felt good to come out tonight and keep it going." - Bryant Top Stories