What Tech coach Paul Johnson said after the loss to Pittsburgh

Opening statement

“Just frustrated and disappointed. We came out to start the game on offense and we looked like we’d never played before. I don’t know what else to say. Frustrated. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and a better job playing.”

On the improved play in the second half:

“We had a chance to get back in the game. I don’t know if we ever had a chance to take the lead. The way the second half went, unfortunately, there were two drives in the third quarter. We had one and they had one. And for us to be able to move the ball the way we’re doing it that way, we were going to have to get them off the field. And to their credit, when we went down and scored, they came back and scored. They drove it down. Now, we held them to a field goal there, but they ate up the rest of the third quarter. And then we had a chance and we had a guy running wide open (Jalen Camp, who dropped a long pass from quarterback TaQuon Marshall), and when you’re behind and you’re trying to come back, you’ve got to make those plays. You saw it. I can’t …. It is what it is.”

On going for it on fourth down in the second quarter from the Pitt 23 rather than attempt a field goal:

“Did you see us when we kicked the field goal (a missed 52-yarder) and the extra point (off an upright)? I thought (the fourth-down play) was a gimme, and it was. You’ve got to be able to throw a damn eight-yard stop route. You’ve got to be able to do that when there’s nine guys in the box and it’s one-on-one outside and you’ve got to throw it where we can (catch it). You’ve got to be able to do that. You’ve just got to. It’s college football.”

On the third-quarter pass dropped by Camp:

“(Marshall) probably could have thrown it better, but we need to make that catch. At least if you can catch it, it’s a big play. I think he was probably trying to run with it before he caught it.”

On Marshall’s interception:

“It’s the same damn thing. It’s an eight-yard stop route with nine guys in the box and the guy’s out there – he’s wide open. I mean, it’s take three steps and throw it to the guy eight yards down the field. I could have hammered that thing in there against nine, then you’d want to know why I didn’t throw it.”

On the failed fake punt from the Tech 26-yard line in the first quarter:

That was a bad call. I’ll eat that one. That was on me. Our (assistant coach) who had the punt team thought it was there. He thought it was going to be easy, and I’m not sure it wouldn’t have been easy if the guy who caught the damn thing (defensive end Antwan Owens) would have run outside where he was supposed to. But that was a bad call. That’s on me.”

On playing without offensive linemen Andrew Marshall and Will Bryan:

“We played the second half like we could have played the first. There was no difference. There was no adjustment. They lined up the same way, we played the same way. We just played a little better. The quarterback played a little better. Right now, for us, it has to be almost perfect. It just has to be almost perfect. And when we’ve got first-and-10 and we take the ball on the option and we flash fake and we don’t pitch and we get tackled and it’s second-and-10, then it becomes a problem. As long as we’re doing it perfectly, we can kind of get down the field. We didn’t have any home-run plays today, although we had a chance. We had a chance to hit Brad (Stewart) in the post off play action and we had some chances. You’ve got to hit one or two of those plays.”

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