Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson instructs running back Qua Searcy (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Jacksonville State, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 in Atlanta. Georgia Tech defeated Jacksonville State 37-10. AJC photo by Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin/AJC
Photo: Hyosub Shin/AJC

What Paul Johnson said after the Jacksonville State game

Comments from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson following the Yellow Jackets’ 37-10 win over Jacksonville State Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Opening comments

“First of all, I’m relieved that it’s over. I think that I’ve said my piece on that, but that’s really, really tough on guys to come back and play. I thought that the defense did a great job starting on the next-to-last series there in the first half when Lawrence (Austin) got the pick. If I’m not mistaken, it was two or three straight possessions where we got turnovers and short fields and we were able to hit a couple plays on third down there in spite of ourselves. Offensively, it was not pretty. We were able to make some plays, but the execution was not very good. We got our butts whipped up front. Those guys may have been reading their press clippings a little bit. It’ll be a down-to-earth day for them on Monday when they watch the tape.”

About the play of the defense:

“We talked about being more aggressive, and we did a good job with that. I thought they had a good plan and we ran a lot more stunts, a lot more blitzes and got a lot more negative plays, which makes it easier to play. And we made plays. When they threw the ball, we had a chance to get the turnover, we did. The first series, we should have gotten the turnover. The ball just laid there. I think our guys thought it was an incompletion, which you’ve got to get on it no matter what it is. There’ll be some learning. We can play much better.”

 On playing with short rest:

“It looked like we were playing in sand. A couple of guys just didn’t look like they were playing very fast. But it is what it is. Like I said, we won the game and thank goodness the defense showed up and played big.”

On kicker Shawn Davis: 

“He’s made almost every kick in practice, and he did in fall camp. We went back and compete again all week with the kicking thing. He won the job because he makes the kicks. I was happy for him to get the first one, and then he made another field goal where they ran into him. It’s disappointing that we’d miss an extra point, but I thought he did a better job on kickoffs, and we did much better on covering kicks. Our return game is still a work in progress, both punt return and kickoff return.”

On Jacksonville State: 

“They’re pretty good. Nobody wants to believe that, but they’re really good. I said before we started, I’m not sure they weren’t the best defense that we were going to play coming out of the gate, and after watching them, I’m pretty sure they are. They can run, they’ve got two lockdown corners that are pretty good and they make plays. There’s a reason they were third or fourth in the country in total defense, and they play to their defense. There’s 56 plays, 52 plays (run by both teams). IF you’ll notice, they’re in no huddle, but they ran that (clock) down under three seconds every time. So it’s like, then, that compounds it. They’re really good on third downs because they’ve got really good cover guys, so they played good. We had a hard time blocking their linebackers.”

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