Comments from Georgia Tech players following the 49-28 loss to Clemson Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium:
A-back Nathan Cottrell
On the impact of Clemson’s linebackers:
“They were just flying outside to get the ball. It wasn’t really that they were stopping it. We weren’t helping ourselves by getting a block. We’ve got to get better releases. It’s just the plays that were called. There’s always things that are going to affect getting the plays outside, but we’ve just got to get better at execution.”
On the two first-half drives inside the Clemson 30 that resulted in no points:
“Those drives kill us. When we kept shooting ourselves in the foot, it was penalties, jumping offsides, can’t hold onto the ball. We’ve just got to come back next week and work on our fundamentals, really get everything down pat that we can get down. Whenever you get down in that red zone and you’re unable to come out with points, it’s definitely a big upset to us because we know we’re not going to get that many opportunities, especially against such a high-caliber team. We showed that we could play with them. It’s just we weren’t able to execute when we needed to and we’ve just got to buckle down, come back next week and continue to fight.”
Defensive end Desmond Branch
On Clemson’s tempo on offense:
“I don’t think the tempo really affected anything. It was more communication-wise along everybody on the defense. Getting the call, executing the call. I feel like they didn’t do anything too special. I felt like most of our wounds came from self-inflicted. Not getting a call not tackling, not being in the right area and that really hurt us.”
On fixing problems:
“We have to look at ourselves. It’s not who we play, it’s ourselves and we’re hurting ourselves in both these games. We felt like we could have won both games earlier, USF and the (Pittsburgh) game. All those self-inflicted wounds. This game, they were a really good team but we were going stride for stride with them in the first half and it’s just one thing, led to another, led to another, led to another and the score looked like how it looked, even though I felt like we were all playing very well at a very high level.”
Quarterback TaQuon Marshall
“We just need to win. At the end of the day, as long as we have more points than they do, then things will change. But right now we’re kind of in a slump. We’ve got to come back next week just ready to work.”
On his problem pitching the ball:
“I take responsibility for it. Bad pitches. Should have put the ball in the guys’ hands. Unfortunately, that put us behind the chains, which messed up the dive. You get second-and-15, ball on the ground, then a sack. Behind the chains against a very good team, No. 2 team in the country, can’t do that.”
On Paul Johnson’s statement about players not caring enough:
“I don’t think that’s the case. I know I care. I’m tired of losing. I’m ready to get another W on the board so we can get things turned around. I mean, this sucks.”
Center Jahaziel Lee
“We’ve just got to be dialed in. We’ve just got to be focused. Jumping offsides and stuff like that has to stop. We have to be on one accord and we’ve got to pay attention. As simple as that.”
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