Quotables: Paul Johnson

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson fielded questions today from the media on NC State during the weekly ACC teleconference.

Opening Statement:
Good morning. We were happy last week to get a win against what I would consider a good North Carolina football team. We didn't do everything perfect all the time, but we did enough to win the game.

Now looking forward to going on the road against our first ACC road game against a team that beat us pretty good a year ago, so we got a chance to lineup and play them again and see if we can't do a little better. I think we can play a little better than we did a year ago here.

Last week you talked about the offensive line in generalities. This week I'd like to ask you a little bit about, specifically about Omoregie Uzzi who has been the ACC's offensive lineman two straight weeks. Is he the guy that sort of sets the tone since he's the oldest guy in there and sort of is the leader of that unit?
Yeah, he's probably the leader of the offensive line. He's a junior, but he's the oldest guy we have up there. He's played a lot. He's started for the last couple of years, and he's played a lot of snaps. So I think those guys probably feed off him a little bit.

What are his best attributes? What's he do well in there?
I think he's a big, physical kid. He's a 300 pounder. He's pretty strong. He's got great experience. He did a nice job in the last game. We keep a stat for those guys. He had 20 defenders to the ground, so that is a pretty good stat for one game.

What were you most impressed or most encouraged by the game last Saturday?
I think the attitude of the team. We didn't play that great offensively. We played in spurts. Then defensively, we had some real lapses to start the second half. But the kids are resilient, and they fought back. When North Carolina fought back and tied the score up at 28-all, we went right back down and answered and got them stopped and got them off the field. So it was good to see the kids had some determination and grit there when they needed it.

What do you want to see better out of your team this week?
Oh, any time you turn the ball over, you're disappointed. We did that twice last week. Once on the 5-yard line going in, which was a big problem a year ago. You can't have that. We've just got to get better. We've got to continue to get better every week because we're not where we need to be right now.

N.C. State last year beat you with Russell Wilson the quarterback, and replaced him with Mike Glennon who has very good numbers. What kind of different problems does he present preparing for defensively than Wilson?
Well, I think they're both good players in their own right. Certainly Glennon has a strong arm. He's probably not quite as mobile as Wilson, but he's probably got a little stronger arm overall. So they're going to do their stuff. They don't vary much. They've got a system that they run, and I'm sure they plug him in and continue to run it.

Russell Wilson certainly put on a show down here a year ago. I remember that.

Just to finish up, the 35 points last week, the big outburst against Kansas the week before, did you see this coming? Did you kind of know in August that I think we're going to be explosive on offense this year? It's going to be a good year, or were you at all saying we're better in this area or that area than I thought we would be?
I think you're a third of the way through. We'll wait and see. I thought we might be better than everybody was saying, but you don't ever know until you play. I think we've got a good team that genuinely care about each other and they work hard. When you have that, you've got a chance to be successful.

We're still really young. I think we've got 11 scholarship seniors on the team, and we played two on offense or really one, I guess, on offense, and three or four on defense. So that's a pretty young team.


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