What Paul Johnson said after the Clemson game

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 28: (L-R) TaQuon Marshall #16 talks to his head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Credit: Streeter Lecka

Credit: Streeter Lecka

Quotes from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson following the Yellow Jackets’ 24-10 loss to No. 7 Clemson Saturday night in Clemson, S.C.

Opening statement

“Clearly, it didn’t go the way we would have liked. I think that Clemson has a really good football team and we didn’t play very well. And it comes back to me, starts with me. I thought we were ready to play, but clearly we weren’t. We couldn’t win any one-on-one plays, any one-on-one blocks, or if we did, not many. Really struggled offensively. Defensively, we missed a ton of tackles and gave up some big plays to dig ourselves a hole. Actually, played decent in the second half on defense, but we were so far behind, it really didn’t matter.”

On problems with the offense:

“We were probably less than 20 percent on option reads. We missed a lot of reads and when we did get ’em right, it was like popcorn (Johnson’s term for missed blocks that allow defenders to rush the backfield). And some of the stuff was just ridiculous. We turned guys loose. Those two throwback plays were supposed to be jailbreak screens coming back across the middle. I can’t explain why we do some of the stuff we do here, but we do.”

On the trouble with the option reads:

“It’s called good players. And they came in there really fast and they were upcharging him. They lined up the same way as Wake Forest with different players and the same way that everybody plays. There is no magical elixir about how you line up and play. It’s called beating blocks and we got rattled a little bit, especially in the first half. We got rattled on offense. I thought Matthew (Jordan) came in and kind of settled everything down and knocked out a couple first downs and, actually, TaQuon played much better after that. If I had to do it over again, I’d have sat him out a series in the first half.”

On the passing game:

“The few times we did try to throw, we had a hard time, it looked like, throwing, but they didn’t. I don’t think you can blame it on he weather. We’d have rather played in the clear with a quick field and all that, but I’m sure they would, too.”

On Clemson’s defense:

“I think they’re good. I mean, and like I told our team, they’re good enough that they don’t need our help. When you’re turning guys loose and not blocking guys and doing those things – it’s just like the fourth-down play we came up short on. We had two missed assignments on that play. That is stuff that we have seen 8 million times. I can’t explain it. But I think sometimes when you’re playing big, fast guys, the pucker factor comes in and you just, for whatever reason, you do (miss assignments).”

On not running the midline option with TaQuon Marshall:

“We just didn’t run it as much with TaQuon. We kept trying to get something going. When you’re not making first downs, you don’t have a lot of plays. And so you get one negative play, you go backwards and there was never really anything offensively that you could hang your hat on. When we’re really good on offense and at our best, we kind of get into a rhythm and we’ve got go-to plays. We didn’t have any go-to plays.”

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