"We're looking forward to the game this Saturday, playing back at home in our stadium in front of our crowd. A very well-coached and very disciplined Georgia Tech football team. We're going to have to play a game that contrasts styles a little bit. We're going to have to play very efficiently in all three phases of the game to be successful."
What can you take away from the Notre Dame loss and your efforts there? Your team seems to be sometimes right there. Against a very good Notre Dame team you were able to score and push them a little bit.
"One of the things offensively for us is we were able to get some things going early. We were able to get into a rhythm, get a little bit of our change of tempo going. We were able to keep the ball in our hands. It was just being efficient, moving the chains. Yes, there's a lot to take from it. It's something that we talk about every week. If we just take care of our business, worry about us, not who we're playing, we can play with anybody. But we really have to take care of our own business first."
How does this team go about winning games like last weekend? Where's the emphasis?
"Well, we continue to work on taking care of the ball offensively. We can't turn the football over. If we don't do that, we've got a chance to win that football game and can win that football game. We've got to continue to create takeaways on defense. We've got to stop the run. This week, I don't know if you can sit there and say you're going to stop the run versus what they do, but we have to be very disciplined with our assignments. We need to tackle very well and get a lot of hats to the ball."
As far as this upcoming matchup with Georgia Tech, they struggled a little bit last week throwing the ball. They've become dominant over the years in running the ball. How are you preparing your team for them right now?
"For me, it's the same as any Paul Johnson-coached team. They're going to be very disciplined. They're going to run the ball extremely well. When you least expect it, they're going to beat you with the pass. That's what this offense does. It was uncharacteristic for them to turn the ball over like they did last week. I'm sure that's something that they're addressing. We hope we can create some turnovers defensively because we need those extra possessions on offense. They're going to restrict you to probably about nine, maybe ten possessions on offense. So we need every extra possession we can get."
After the close Notre Dame loss, you said in the locker room the kids had their guts ripped out of them. What have you seen from your guys after such a close defeat?
"I think our guys are pretty resilient. They bounced back Sunday. We got everything corrected from the game, talked about it, put it to bed. They knew there was no time to waste. You couldn't sit around and worry about what should have happened in the Notre Dame game. You had to get your eyes and your mind focused right back on Georgia Tech, especially for our defense with what they do on offense; how difficult it is to defend. You have no time to waste and no reps to waste."
How do you get prepared for a team that runs the option during the week? Do you have a scout team to get yourself ready for Georgia Tech and the option?
"Definitely, yeah. We have a scout team that's going to try to simulate what they do on offense. We work constantly against that in the time we're allowed to practice going into this game."
You mentioned before how you need to be effective or efficient in all three phases. At this point in the season, are you partly resigned to the fact with the way your defense has played that you will need to win shootout games in order to win the rest of the way?
"No, I'm not resigned to that. I believe we're going to continue to grow and get better on defense, we're going to play better defense as the year goes on. I'm not giving in to anything, actually."
As far as getting off the field, it seems like the games Georgia Tech really struggle offensively is when other teams can force turnovers, get them off the field that way. Not so many three-and-outs.
"You're right. I've looked at them for years. Normally we average about 14 to 15 possessions in a game on offense. Against Georgia Tech, except for the 2012 year where we had that huge shootout, we're probably going to get nine possessions. I think we had 10 last year, one of them was with 24 seconds on the clock left in the second half. Nine real possessions. You can't screw up. You've got to be very, very efficient offensively. You have to move the chains and you have to put the ball in the end zone when you get the opportunity."
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