September 22, 2018 Atlanta - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson shake hands after Clemson won 49-21 in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 22, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

What Paul Johnson said after the Clemson game

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s comments following the Yellow Jackets’ 49-28 loss to No. 3 Clemson:

Opening statement:

“Well, we got our tails kicked. We got outplayed, outcoached and we got beat by a really good football team. And we’re not good enough to fumble the ball seven or eight times and jump offsides and take ourselves out of field-goal range to start the game with two sacks in a row. All those things. I thought we got off to a pretty good start, strung together some first downs got down there to about the 20 and then we get a penalty. And then we back us up and then we’re trying to throw a really quick pass and we take the wrong pass set with a guy and it just opens up the gap and we get sacked. And now it’s third-and-14. And then we can’t make that play. We go out to kick a field goal, which is an exercise in futility sometimes, but we don’t even get to kick it because we jump offsides on that. So we wasted the momentum of the first drive. And then I think there was another drive, we get down there, we missed a 40-yard field goal or whatever. Couldn’t finish. We can’t have the negative plays. They’re really good upfront. They’re hard to block. They’ve got big guys and when you get the opportunity, you’ve got to execute and you’ve got to play. You can’t pitch the ball on the ground. You just can’t do those things.”
On the first drive, which stalled in the red zone:

“We’ve got to stay onside. That’s it. We’ve got to coach ’em better in pass protection, clearly, because we’re not very good at it.”

On if fumbles are the most troubling aspect of the offense’s play:

“Fundamentals. We’re not doing a very good job of coaching ’em. Just call it what it is. We’re not.”

On tackles being missed due to Clemson’s running backs:

“That and we had a hard item getting lined up defensively. We had a couple blown coverages and (it) seemed to be hard sometimes to get our outside linebackers on the right side of the field.”

On not producing offensively despite bringing eight starters back from 2017 team:

“We thought we had some starters back, but we lost Kenny (Cooper) and KirVonte (Benson). They were two of the starters, but I’m frustrated with the way that we’re playing. Absolutely. It’s embarrassing. I can promise you we’re going to get better fundamentally at quarterback. I’ll promise you that.”

On Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence:

“The Lawrence kid is a really good player. he made a couple of nice throws. He got some things going, opened it up. The one touchdown he hit down (in the end zone near) the corner of our locker room, that was close to being a pick by the corner, but he stuck it in there. And we let him get away. He had another one over on our sideline in trap coverage that he threw to the wrong guy and he stuck it in there. But he’s a good player. He’s very accurate and he’s a good athlete.”

On if problems are mental or physical:

“I think that a lot of it is mental. Some of it is physical. Upfront, they’re better than we are. Not close. That comes back to us recruiting. We knew that. Anybody who watched the game knew that. So that means we have to do things right. And when you don’t do things right and you can’t be consistent, then when you play against guys like that, you’re going to struggle because you can’t have all the negative plays. When we gave up the offensive score, what did we do? We pitched it on the ground three times. We’re fortunate it didn’t happen before it happened.”

On seniors and upperclassmen making mistakes:

“How about when you roll the snap back on the ground. When it just rolls back on the ground. What do we do? We had four center-quarterback exchanges. One on third-and-1 that we were fortunate that we picked up and we made the first down. You’ve got to care enough to get the snap and the guy’s got to care enough to snap it. That’s not hard. Junior high teams can do that.”


What Georgia Tech players said after the Clemson game

Georgia Tech-Clemson by the numbers

Paul Johnson: Play of offense ‘embarrassing’

No. 3 Clemson wins in a rout over Georgia Tech

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