Dawgs Over Tech Again: They Said It

ATLANTA - Quotes from Georgia's 13-7 win over Georgia Tech.

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH PAUL JOHNSON

Opening Statement

“I think that game is a microcosm of our season. We have a hard time valuing the ball. Anytime you lose the turnover battle like we have the last couple games, you’re not going to

win very many games. We can’t seem to fi nish plays on offense. We get in the clear and we’re one block away. Three times I counted we drove down to the 30-yard line and guys

miss assignments. [We] forget to go in motion, tell motion, catch the pitch, and block the read key on the option. I wish I could explain it. I guess it’s being young.

“We still had a chance. We got them down there on the six-yard line and whenever we need a stop we can’t get one. We’re playing man-to-man and we turned the guy loose. [It’s]

disappointing. It’s all stuff I think we can fi x, [that] I can fi x. I’m hell-bent to get it fi xed. I’m not going to go through this again.”

On the offense’s struggles in Georgia territory

“There were about nine possessions in the game. The problem was we couldn’t fi nish. We’d get the ball across the 50 or get it down to the 30 and then we would screw it up.

We had a 2nd-and-1 and we tried to break a tendency with a play-action pass which you’ve got to do once in a while. We threw the ball away like we should have [because] they

covered it. Then we can’t make 3rd-and-1 and we miss a read on 4th-and-1 and there you go. It’s like I said, third downs were atrocious as they have been all year. Pass protection

was bad like it has been all year. [Justin Thomas] didn’t have a chance to set his feet. I think we had some guys open. They’re very good on defense. They run around and they’ve

got a good defensive football team. They’ve held everybody defensively pretty good. But we had our chances, especially early in the game. We hit them with a little counter play and

they didn’t have an answer for it, but we couldn’t fi nish. I know one time on our sideline we had two blockers on one guy with the ball carrier and their kid made a play. Instead of a

touchdown, neither guy [blocks] him.”

On improvements for next year

“A lot of it is youth. A lot of it is guys who will probably not be playing next year when we get everybody back. We’ve got to coach better. It’s all of the above. We’ve got to pay more

attention to detail.”

On Clinton Lynch’s development

“Clinton’s played well all year. Lynn Griffi n has done some things in the last two games. I think both of them have a bright future. They both haven’t played before this year. Clinton’s a

freshman. I think that that position is going to get a real overhaul when we get our guys back. We’re going to have Qua Searcy back and J.J. Green and a bunch of guys who were

hurt. Nathan Cottrell, who we felt was the best freshman in the class, got hurt in camp. There’s going to be some good depth at that position. We’ll also get three B-backs back which

will also help us a bunch with competition and ability.”

On Justin Thomas’ interception

“He said he was throwing to Clinton [Lynch] and it sailed on him.”

On P.J. Davis’ ejection

“He slugged a guy. I was watching dead on him. I think the guy was probably holding him and it was probably going back and forth. But he’s the guy who got caught and it was a

valid call.”

On positive takeaways from this season

“We played a lot of young guys. A lot of guys got experience. I think sometimes guys take winning for granted. They should have gotten a good dose of that. I know I did. It’s unacceptable.

We’ve got to get better.”

GEORGIA HEAD COACH MARK RICHT

Opening Statement

“It was a great victory. I’m proud of our players, fi rst and foremost. It was a great team effort. Our coaches did a wonderful job. Our fan base showed up in big

numbers.

“I want to credit to Coach Johnson and his team. They battled. Both teams battled well. It was kind of a typical game that we play. I guess it’s nine out of 12, a

touchdown or less. I know the last 12 games have been close. That’s kind of how it goes, but you’ve got to keep persevering until the end, which we did.”

On the play to begin the fi nal possession from your own 7

“It was basically the same play in which we were hitting out fullback out in the fl at. That’s the one you hope pops there when you’re geared to stop the run. The

fullback takes an angle like he’s going to block the power, and he slips out in the fl at. I think we hit him a couple of times. One time we hit Malcolm [Mitchell] on a

crossing route ... same play but it went to the third progession which is Malcolm. This particular ball that went downfi eld was our second progression to our tight

end. Apparently they jumped the fullback in the fl at and he got open. It was a huge play, no doubt. But it’s a relatively safe play; you don’t want to get to crazy. It was a great call and good execution.”

Any thoughts on not getting the shutout after the unsportsmanlike penalty was called

“That (Georgia player’s motion which drew the penalty) does signify incomplete pass, but it also signifi es our punt safe - it was fourth and seven - on our sideline

just to make sure they don’t go on the fi eld if in fact they punt. I don’t know that they would have punted, but you’ve got to get it communicated so you don’t have

12 on the fi eld or some kind of other mishap. We were out of timeouts. I guess ‘no comment’ is the best comment right now.”

It seemed like you dominated in so many ways, are you a little aggravated it was so close

“I’m not aggravated at all, I’m happy. Any victory is a great victory, especially when it’s your in-state rival. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to watch it. I’ll probably be a college football fan tonight and watch a lot of other coaches sweat it out. I can’t get frustrated with what happened. I can only be happy that we won and be proud of our guys, not just today, but over the last month. It’s been pretty neat.”

What do you make of the regular season

“We came up short of our goal to get to Atlanta and try to go beyond. We all know that. That’s the standard here, to win the SEC. But when you also look at a team

that was in the position we were in, everybody came together. It certainly could have gone one way or the other. It was that moment of truth where you ask, ‘what are you going to do?’ Lay down and die or lock arms and get after it. They did.”

GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES

SENIOR CORNERBACK D.J. WHITE

On the adjustments Tech’s defense made with Tyler Marcordes lining up over the tight end

“A lot of times we wanted to match him [Marcordes] up with the tight end. You know, give ourselves a chance to cover the wide receivers because they came out a lot in a slot

formation for this game. I know for us, if we could get that matchup with the two corners on the wide-outs, that’s what we are looking to do.”

On what the last four years at Tech have meant to him

“It’s been special. It’s been real special. I grew up a Georgia Tech fan. I followed the team back since the Calvin Johnson days, as far as I can remember. So it was really special

for me to come stay in state, go to my favorite school growing up and get a chance to not just play, but make plays on a big stage. Things didn’t go the way we wanted to, like you

said, but the memories we created these last four years -- they’ll last a lifetime.”

On Georgia’s ability to protect the ball and prevent big-play turnovers

“They did a good job of protecting the ball. You know they didn’t put their quarterback in too many situations to make a mistake, as far as passing the ball. Running back-wise,

they’ve got some guys that can carry the ball pretty well. So, those guys did a good job of protecting the ball. I mean, we were going for the ball all game because we knew we

needed a turnover, but we just couldn’t get one.”

“Not to be terribly simplistic, but how do you go from 11-3 to 3-9?”

Yeah, that’s a simple question with a loaded answer. You know, it’s a combination of a lot of things. It’s never just one or two things. We had a lot of young guys in a lot of key positions

this year just getting experience. Defensively, we were always trying to push to get better, but maybe we didn’t get to where we wanted to either. As a matter of fact, I know we

didn’t. So a lot of different things, you know. The ball sometimes just doesn’t bounce your way. But one thing I can say is that everybody kept playing hard.”

SENIOR SAFETY JAMAL GOLDEN

On if a lack of confi dence and injuries contributed to close losses this season.

“We always thought we were going to win, no matter who went down. Last year we had injuries too. I know we had injuries this year. You just have to step up and it’s next man up.

I mean, effort was never a problem. Everybody that came in played hard. Nobody went out there thinking we aren’t going to win or anything. It’s just, sometimes the ball bounces

your way, sometimes it doesn’t.”

On what it feels like to have a losing season as a senior

“It just kind of sucks that it’s a bad taste in your mouth that you can’t really do anything about now. But, it’s going to help me in life. I mean, life is not over just because the season

is over. We have to move on. For me and the 21 other seniors that are graduating, we have to move on. Football is a game of life. It’s going to teach you about life and it’s going

to help me further down the road.”

On Clinton Lynch

“He’s a hard runner. He is deceivingly hard to tackle, and you see that he is an explosive guy. He’s a guy that Coach Johnson wants to get the ball to. So, he’s going to have a

pretty bright future and probably be one of those premier guys that you’ll see in our offense for years to come.”

GEORGIA PLAYER QUOTES

TB SONY MICHEL

On his TD run…

“It was a great call and there was great blocking. The hole was there and there wasn’t much I had to do. It was a great play call.”

On winning four straight games…

“This team keeps fi ghting. That’s who we are. We are going to keep fi ghting and fi nish the drill. That’s one of our slogans and we are going to stick to it. Going into the bowl game we

are going to try to fi nish strong.”

On the season…

“We had some ups and downs and fought through a lot of adversity. We are a team that knows what adversity feels like and looks like, so we have to expect it every time we step on

the fi eld.”

OLB JORDAN JENKINS

On the season…

“It had some twists and turns. This was the fi rst season that I missed a game due to an injury. It was a great ride with my friends and my teammates and I wouldn’t trade it for the

world.”

On Georgia’s defense this season…

“It shows the amount of work we put in in the offseason. We saw how the previous season went where the offense had to bail us out of some games, and wanted to be a defense

that didn’t have to rely on the offense to help us win. We wanted to carry our own load and alleviate some pressure from the offense, and I think we did that at times throughout the

season.”

ILB JAKE GANUS

On the defense…

“I thought we played lights out all game, and I’m proud of the way we fought. That’s a tough offense to stop, and it’s not an easy offense to defend. They keep pounding and keep

running, so you have to be disciplined. We did a great job of adjusting and making plays.”

On the improvement of the Georgia defense…

“I think we are a lot better. Our biggest thing has been to get better every week and we’ve done that. We are playing some good ball. That Tech offense is tough to stop. We got three

turnovers and a couple of fourth down stops, and that was huge.”

On Georgia’s adjustments at halftime…

“They do a lot of tough things, and they were running a counter play, but we made some second half adjustments. We were able to set the edge and get some stops. Overall I think

we did a good job of containing them.”


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