CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 03: Tobias Oliver #8 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets scores the go-ahead touchdown against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the fourth quarter of their game at Kenan Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Georgia Tech won 38-28. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

What Georgia Tech players said after the win over North Carolina

Comments from Georgia Tech players Qua Searcy, Nathan Cottrell, Anree Saint-Amour, Tre Swilling, Tobias Oliver and Wesley Wellls following the Yellow Jackets’ 38-28 win over North Carolina Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.

A-BACK QUA SEARCY

On A-backs getting more touches against North Carolina:

“We’re always ready for it. It’s not really anything different that we go through. We just try to prepare in practice all week because you never know what can happen in the game. This game, it happened to go our way a little bit more. So we just tried to step up to the plate whenever our numbers were called on the A-back.”

On team’s four fumbles:

“I think it’s frustrating. I think it’d be frustrating for anyone, really. As a team, we’ve just got to stick together. What happens in the past is already done, so you can’t really do anything about it. You’ve just got to focus on the next play.”

On the fourth-and-1 conversion on the final drive:

“In the huddle, we were just telling everyone no matter what the play is, just keep two hands on the ball, hold the ball tight. The way the corner was in tight when I was on that side, I just got a block and Clint (Lynch) did the rest.”

On if he was surprised to be so open on his 86-yard touchdown reception:

“I wasn’t, because during the game they were flowing the whole game fast. Guys in the box, coaches in the box made a great play call and we just executed. Up front did well with pass blocking.”

On similarities with the 2016 team:

“I think the guys are definitely stepping up. I see no quit in anyone on the team. I feel like the rest of the season’s going to be great for us.

A-BACK NATHAN COTTRELL

On what made the A-back reverse work:

“Just with how fast the defense was flowing. Because when we’d go in motion, they would flow that way fast and that opens up that backside. We kind of had a feeling that could work if they ran the defenses that we thought they were going to, so it set that up pretty nicely.”

On mindset during North Carolina’s rally:

“Something we’ve kind of harped on this season as a team is to just keep control of what you can control. Obviously, the fumbles were hurting us but the defense kept stepping up to the plate and kept making big stops. They got those turnovers we needed, especially Anree’s there at the end to kind of seal the deal. And then I think on the sideline, we just kept saying, we’ve got to keep battling through adversity, no matter if it’s us shooting ourselves in the foot or if it’s whatever’s happening in the ballgame. That’s how football goes sometimes. Usually in the end, it’s whoever wants to keep playing through it, keep pushing through it, keep battling through that adversity.”

DEFENSIVE END ANREE SAINT-AMOUR 

On his interception:

“I felt like I saw the running back flare out and I just kind of dropped back with it and just made a play. Thank God for it, though.”

On Tre Swilling’s interception: 

“Shoot, that was amazing, really. I saw the ball get up there and I said, ‘Oh, Tre’s got to make a play. And Tre, he’s a hard worker. This offseason, he’s been working hared and he’s always pushing me, he’s always telling me ‘You’ve got to make plays, you’ve got to make sacks and you’ve got to do everything like that’ and he’s going to take care of us in the secondary, and that’s what he did today.”

On momentum slipping in third quarter: 

“It felt like everybody felt it. Everybody felt the momentum slipping away but one thing coach (Nate) Woody always emphasizes every week is there’s always going to be a change in momentum, but as a defense and as a team, it’s always our job to try to get that back. The change came in the third quarter and we got it back in the fourth.”

CORNERBACK TRE SWILLING

On North Carolina’s up-tempo pace:

“It just gave us troubles getting lined up. We got to play a hurry-up offense against USF as well. We kind of had the same difficulties, but got to be able to settle down and try to get in a good defense and just make plays.”

On Tariq Carpenter’s interception:

“Actually, the kind of funny thing is, in practice, we had the same exact route concept they came (with) and he didn’t get his hands on it. And we had the same call against the same formation and just like practice, the next time it came back, he was able to make the play. So I think it was awesome. It definitely shows the parallels between practice and the game.”

On his play:

“Against Virginia Tech, I probably played my worst game of my life to my standards. Next week coming in, I just want to try to have a good focus and good preparation, kind of hone in on the details, not really just start all over but be able to focus and just kind of build on what happened last week, take it as it is and keep on going.

QUARTERBACK TOBIAS OLIVER

On the touchdown pass:

“I knew it was going to be a big play. The play that was play action off of that, we ran it like 1,000 times. They were flowing that way. I knew it was going to be a big play.”

On rallying the team after the fumbles:

“I just kept telling the guys, ‘Look, nobody said we wouldn’t face adversity. It’s not our first time fumbling and it won’t be our last.’ I just kept telling the guys, ‘We’ve got a lot of football left to play. Defense is playing great, getting us back to the ball, so just put it behind us.’”

On staying in the game after subbing in for TaQuon Marshall:

“We started getting momentum. I came in, we scored twice, so I felt like maybe if we went a drive and something terrible happened, or maybe two drives and we didn’t score, then he’ll be like, Uh, maybe we should go back with Quon. But our offense kept the momentum, so I don’t see why he would change anything.”

On defense’s three takeaways:

“Defense, they bailed us out several times. We had like five fumbles. They had three turnovers, so that was crucial in the fourth quarter.”

On his assessment of his play:

“It was O.K. Definitely, I can get better. We can’t beat anyone else that we have on the schedule playing like we did today. We can definitely get better.”

On his growing role on the team:

“I feel like it’s pretty evident I can get in and play, but at the same time, we’re at a point in the season where I don’t want to get too much of ‘I should be the starter.’ As of right now, I just want to win, honestly.”

KICKER WESLEY WELLS

On his 22-yard field goal:

“It was a great feeling. Every time it was fourth-and-something, I was ready, and I was glad to get that one.”

More coverage from Chapel Hill:

Steve Hummer’s take on the game, with exclusive input from Tech greats Pat and Ken Swilling

Backup Tobias Oliver gets in the game and goes the distance

Game story: How the Jackets pulled it out against UNC

30 photos from the game

Paul Johnson’s unvarnished assessment of the game

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