What Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson had to say after win over Pittsburgh

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Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson speaks with the media on Sept. 23 at Bobby Dodd Stadium after his Yellow Jackets defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers 35-17.

Here is what Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said in his press conference after his Yellow Jackets defeated the Pittsburgh Panthers 35-17 on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Opening statement…

Well it was great to start out with a conference win, especially a division win. I thought our defense played really, really well today, especially in sudden change situations. We had four times where we turned the ball over and I think all four times they went three-and-out right after that so that was huge. Offensively, we looked like we hadn’t played in two weeks. It was sloppy. I think all four turnovers came from the same position which is disappointing, really disappointing. And we have to clean that up because against a good team, we won’t be able to survive. 

You said defense needed to get negative plays and turnovers…

Ya, we got a lot of negative plays. We got good penetration and we brought the corner the corner a great deal from the boundary today and it created and we got some pressure. It really helped in the run game after we got a lot of negative plays in the run game. I thought we tackled well in space. 

It seemed like the corners and safeties tackled really well in space…

I thought our defensive staff had a good plan and I thought it was well executed. Played well.

Is some of this a function of your defense being more aggressive…

I thought they were a bit more aggressive the last two games. We brought a little more stunts a little more pressure. Our guys are kinda better at that. That is what they like to do and they are just kinda better at that. We are not huge and we are not real long, but we are pretty quick and fast and you know really other than the first drive where we turned the back loose down the middle of the field, we didn’t give up many big plays. So, when you don’t give up big plays and you make a lot of negative plays it makes it hard for the offense to get going. On the flip side, we just kept giving the ball away and to jump offsides as many times as we did… we got one snap count. It’s really complicated. And to jump offsides is just inexcusable.

You had almost 500 yards of offense so where is the separation between that and turning the ball over…

Well if we don’t turn the ball over, we might have 700 yards. So, it’s like the expectations have always been really high on that side and they are always going to be high. I look at this (stat sheet) and I think we rushed for 436 yards and I think it should have been at least 150 more so… it wasn’t one of TaQuon’s (Marshall) better days throwing, but then in the third quarter he hit that one pass to Ricky (Jeune) when we had to kinda get ourselves out of a hole. And really there kinda was no use to throw as long as we ran the ball three times, we were probably going to get a first down. It just disappoints me… the sloppiness, I mean the one of the goal line infuriates me. It is the same play (KirVonte Benson) scored on the next play when we got the ball, against the very same slant, the very same thing we practiced all week. We knew exactly what they were going to do. They slanted out just like we thought. We hand him the ball and he drops it on the goal line. I mean, come on. That’s to win the game and the game is over if you put it in right there. And I challenged him after the game. I told him he can be a really good player, but not if he fumbles the ball three times is he going to be out there.

With KirVonte running the ball, was it the mesh point…

No, he just dropped it. The first one on the pitch. He was looking downfield and he took his eyes off of the ball and when the ball hit him he dropped it. The one on the goal line, he just didn’t take the ball. I don’t remember the third one. Jerry got it punched out from behind by not having it secured on him. 

Seemed like y’all got a lot of good push up front was that more of y’all powering them off or them backing off the line…

Nah, we were getting pretty good push out of the center and the guard. We were kinda convoying a double team. We had a hard time getting off on the (middle linebacker) sometimes and that is why… KirVonte ran the ball really hard and so did those guys because they would take the Mike on first time. The first time the (B-backs) would get to them is 4-to-5 yards down the field and then they would turn it into 6 or 7 most of the time because they would get their pads down and run, but we have to do a better job getting off on the Mike. But ya, we were knocking them around pretty good.

Counterpart complained a lot about cut blocks this week. What are your thoughts about what (Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi) said …

What they said about excuses… It is a conference rule. We have to have like four ambulances at our games because we hurt so many people. Come on. I have played here 10 years and I can’t remember anybody who has gotten hurt out there playing. That is just him trying to get the officials to call something that ain’t there. You know what is dangerous. Dangerous is teaching your defensive lineman to hang on to offensive lineman when they are trying to get to the second level and then they get cut off. That’s dangerous. If that was my kid, I would be upset if someone told him to do that. 

What have you seen from Anree (Saint-Amour) on the edge…

I thought we got good pressure from the outside. We lost contain some, which is concerning. We have got to do better where when we get the outside pressure, we drive and contain and get the push inside. But ya, I though Antonio (Simmons) got some good pressure at times. Anree got there. Even at the end, Tyler Vernon looked like he was getting some pressure. And he did a nice job of keeping contain and making the guy step up. But we got pretty good pressure.

With Benson is it focus or is it something you can actually do… 

We work on it all the time. You have to be focused enough to care enough not to do it. And nobody fumbles on purpose. He didn’t go out there and fumble on purpose. You have to learn to push through sometimes when you are tired. You can’t get sloppy and you have to push through and we need to help him. We probably don’t need him to carry the ball so much. I don’t know how many times he carried the ball today. 29 times, that is probably a lot for him. Once Jerry went in and fumbled, we weren’t going to put him back in and Quaide (Weimerskirch) had a couple of nice runs. We have three solid blocks.

After this game, what are your thoughts about how the break impacted your team…

Well I think having two weeks on defense helped. We were pretty rusty offensively. You would like to get in a rhythm. You’d like to get the routine and play, but it is what it is.

Is TaQuon Marshall going to throw the ball more…

Did you say anything to Pat (Narduzzi) after the game and do you think your players took the comment personally…

I don’t know. I didn’t mention it to our players. So, I don’t know if they saw it or not. They may have. I just said good luck. I mean I know what he was doing. He was trying to get (the officials) to call more chop blocks during the game

Ya, but it is kind of a personal shot…

It is what it is. I’ll take the high road on that one.

How did you like the kicking game today…

Other than the punt return for a touchdown? I thought we kicked the ball well. Even the one the kid returned for a touchdown. We kicked the ball all the way from the numbers. It was a left punt and he kicked it between the numbers and the sideline. It was a great punt. We just got wadded up and missed a couple of tackles. We missed two tackles. We got to reevaluate who is on that team. Then once we missed the two tackles, (Quadree Henderson) is a really good returner and when he got to the sideline, he was gone. I thought we covered kicks pretty good, on the kickoffs.

September 23, 2017 Atlanta – Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson reacts in the second half of an NCAA college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Georgia Tech won 35 – 17 over the Pittsburgh. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Source : http://www.ajc.com/sports/what-georgia-tech-coach-paul-johnson-had-say-after-win-over-pittsburgh/6n67m8Plw94DiZr4wAonYK/

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