Tuesday Q&A with Al Golden

Read on to see what head coach Al Golden is saying about Georgia Tech, Stephen Morris, the short yardage running back situation, and much more.

On keys to defending GT:
I think minimizing the explosive plays, take aways, and poise in the redzone. That's how they beat you.

On RB depth:
Walter Tucker has been activated. He will play this week. We need another big back moving forward.

On Duke's fumbles inside the 5:
We can't fumble the ball inside the 5 yard line. It wasn't an aggressive mistake. It was just a careless mistake. We don't teach to reach the ball. Dallas reached on his but it was 4th down. When we're through learning, we're through. Randy just has to continue to learn and grow. He's been great. He will learn from it. He always does. He's a learner, a hard worker. For anyone on our team to do that, there has to be consequences.

On Dallas Crawford being a short yardage back:
If we say who are short yardage running backs are, Dallas usually doesn't come to mind. He has the vision and can finish. His first run was tremendous down there. He has power, a 195 pounder. He has really good vision, and can find a small opening and torpedo it in there.

On short yardage backs in general:
We've been good in the redzone but that was unfortunate. We'd like to have a reliable redzone back who can score. Dallas has six touchdowns. He's emerging. Randy and Gus will have something to say about that. Let them compete and hopefully we'll get better in the redzone.

On Tracy Howard:
He's more coachable and I don't mean that negatively. I mean that from when you're young, sometimes you need to hear it a bunch. Now he understands we want him to play better. When he loses a little focus, it shows up in his game. We're constantly talking to trust Coach Williams and Coach D. When Tracy is on task, he gets better. Hopefully he'll continue to stay on task.

On needing depth to defend GT:
We're in better condition. We're deeper. Guys like Chick and Shayon's play counts are way down from last season. We came back from Manhattan with half a team on defense. That's different now. Gilbert, Renfrow, McCord, they're all executing their roles. We are having success. We're opening up ACC play. This is our sternest test to date. With all due respect to Florida, this is a great challenge for our defense. We gave up 248 yards rushing to this team a year ago. They were 4-of-5 in the redzone. This will be a tremendous challenge for our defense. Our guys know that.

On having too many penalties:
It's tough for us because that's part of our foundation. Hopefully we'll get it squared away. It's not just two people. It's all over. It starts with me. We have to make sure we get it fixed.

On Stephen Morris:
I'm not a doctor but it's a deep bruise that takes some time. It's painful. He's making progress since 3 on Saturday, that's for sure.

On Ryan Williams:
We're very confident in Ryan. You can sense that from the staff and players. There is a confident that if we need Ryan again, we'll just go. He's commanding the offense really well and distributing the football. We're really pleased with his development.

On Shane McDermott:
He looked good. He was good today, and looks good to do. OT will be right down to the wire, a Thursday decision. With a hamstring, it's a day to day thing. We just have to keep him on task, around the team. He can have a positive impact on a lot of other guys in that room like Gus and Walter.

On David Gilbert:
David is a lot more healthy now than in August. I don't think we've seen the best from David. I'm excited about him. Shayon is more of a 1st and 2nd down guy right now for us.

On Ereck Flowers:
Ereck the last two weeks has been working on his aim points and hand placements. He is a lot more coachable now, and is getting better every day. Like Randy, he has immense talent but has played just 16 games. He's just getting started. We're really pleased with his development.

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