What Geoff Collins said after the loss to Virginia Tech

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins' comments following the Yellow Jackets' 45-0 loss to Virginia Tech Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium:

Opening comments:

“First of all, got to give hat’s off to Virginia Tech. That’s probably the best roster, that’s probably the best group of players that we’ve seen since we played Temple. Really good players across the board at every level. Offense, defense, offensive line, defensive line.

“I thought it was the first game that the level of attrition caught up to us. I was proud of the way the guys fought. There were a bunch of guys who were playing roles that they had not had to play and they came out there and battled. But when you get yourself in a hole that much that early, you can’t overcome it.

But again, credit to Virginia Tech. Credit to their players. They’ve got some really, really good players.”

How practice went this past week:

“You guys were out there. The energy was good. We’re still constantly working on fundamentals, techniques, getting better every single phase of the program. So, just, those things were good. And you go out there and they started hot and playing well. I don’t think we started the way that we can and the way we will going forward.

“But I thought it was a good week of practice. I thought the guys came in with the right mindset. We don’t make any excuses in this program. Guys moved around positions, we don’t care. We just roll ’em in.

“(Defensive end) Curtis Ryans, I think, got his first start ever and I don’t know if he’s been above the line much this season, but he came out there, and I’ll watch the tape obviously, but I thought he gave us some plays, even though he hasn’t played much this year, came out there and did some good things for us.”

On the defense having trouble with screen passes and getting out-leveraged on the perimeter:

“(Virginia Tech) did a good job with that. One of them, the one touchdown was a (missed assignment), which hasn’t been something that we’ve been prone to. We’ve been playing some good football, executing at a high level, but we had an outside backer/d-end dropping to that, and for whatever reason decided to rush, and so obviously we’ve got to go back and clean that up.

“So those are the things, the self-inflicted pieces, that you would love to have back. We’ll continue to get better and get cumulative reps at what we’re doing, especially with all of the eye candy and the motions and the shifts. But it still comes down to executing at a high level, doing your assignment, doing your job. We’ve got to make sure we’re doing a better job of communicating that regardless of who might be in certain spots.”

On the mood of the team in the locker room:

“They’re resilient. I’m going to leave the comments that I made to them in the locker room, and that’s sacred. But I just told them the truth. That’s what we do. Here’s the reason why what happened happened. And we’re going to come back tomorrow morning and watch the film with our coaches, get it corrected. And we’ve got to have short memories because we play on Thursday night at home in Bobby Dodd and we’ve got to get healthy in a lot of spots trying to get some guys back on a short week.

“(There were) some new guys that might have gotten banged up, got to get them healthy as well. But the mood and the mindset when we get this thing regrouped, they will have it. We’ve just got to make sure we’re in the right physical space to be able to play Thursday night.”

Penalties on the offense in first half:

“So just being able to affect the game, being able to make sure we have the motions and the shifts right on every level. There were two of them that obviously we wish we could have back procedurally.

“But against a team that’s got a really, really good roster, you can’t have self-inflicted wounds like that. And with a young football team, you’ve got to make sure that everybody’s on the same page, and on those two instances we were not. We will get better going forward. There were some guys that were out there making some plays, and we’ll continue to build on those moving forward.”

If the delay-of-game penalty to start the game was an indication of a lack of focus:

“I would assume so. but just those things are inexcusable and that’s on me. I’ll take that and we will get those things corrected.”

On the play of freshman quarterback Jordan Yates:

“Just trying to find a spark with the offense. I think he got in his first time really playing significant snaps, got in there and competed. (Running back) Devin Ellison played his first game (Saturday) at running back. I thought he did some good things. Christian Malloy (also played).

“Being banged up at running back, they had to increase their workload and was really proud of them the way they got in there and battled.

“But the nice thing about the new NCAA four-game rule, we’re a developmental program. There’ve been some guys like (linebacker) Demetrius Knight, like (defensive end) Chico Bennett, like (wide receiver) Ahmarean Brown and there’s a couple others, (running back) Jamious Griffin, that are true freshmen that have contributed all the way through.

“And then there’s other guys that, either by depth at the position, or it might have taken them a little bit longer to develop, well, they’re at that point and now we’re able to get them into the game and we’re excited about them. We obviously get to see them every day but it’s good to be out there on Bobby Dodd, on Grant Field playing and contributing and battling in live circumstances.

“(Defensive end) Michael Lockhart played significant snaps today because we had (defensive tackle) Chris Martin down, (defensive end) Antwan Owens down, (defensive end) Kelton Dawson down. Those kinds of things give those guys added roles, but it’s good to have that four games so you can get those guys some well-needed experience so we can be really good moving forward.”

On what Virginia Tech did to slow down running back Jordan Mason:

“We don’t talk about injuries.”

On the 283-game streak of not being shut out ending:

“I don’t worry about the results, I worry about the process that we go through. We’ve got to do a better job collectively making sure that we’ve got guys throughout the entire organization learning how to play at a high level, regardless of attrition or any of those things. They’ve got to be ready when it’s their turn to step up and play, and play at a high level and to play tough, physical football.”

On what he thought of the defense’s execution:

“Just a lot of window dressing and those kind of things, having great eye discipline. The one touchdown on the play-action corner route, just having eyes on your proper guy and covering that guy (would have prevented it).

“So those are just things with cumulative reps, got to keep getting better at and having attention to detail regardless of all the eye candy motion sand shifts and all of those things.

“No. 2 is No. 2. In the final picture that’s who you’ve got to cover. So just those kind of things, we’ve got to get better at. (Defensively), they were bringing a ton of pressure and just making sure the (pre-snap) ID’s are correct, (making sure) you’ve got the protection going the right way so that we can execute at a high level to get everything picked up.

“And I just think the multitude of it, we’ve just got to continue to get cumulative reps at those things so we can just be executing at a high level at all times regardless of who’s in there.”