What Paul Johnson said after the Louisville game

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Credit: Timothy D. Easley

Credit: Timothy D. Easley

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s comments following the Yellow Jackets’ 66-31 win over Louisville Friday night.

Opening statement

“We were executing pretty good. Our quarterback was playing well and he was doing a nice job getting us in the right plays against the right fronts and the kids played hard and executed. That’s probably the best string I’ve seen in 40 yards of coaching. I don’t know what it was last week; I think it was eight out of nine scoring and tonight we scored every time we had it, so that’s, when you think about it, that’s about 17 or 18 times out of 19 possessions. That’s pretty good. At times, I thought we needed it.”

On TaQuon Marshall:

“What we had it is we had certain plays for certain fronts and he did a great job identifying them when he went in and getting us in the right call at the right time.”

On communication on the field:

“We were all on the same page and I think we simplified the thing a couple weeks ago. We went down there and we’re running our four or five base plays and we’re getting better at them.”

On effective push from the offensive line:

“I think so. I think for the most part. They tried to play a lot of fronts. I thought they might. Second half, they were more consistent, but in the first half, I mean, they played a split-tough look, they played a regular 3-4, they played a triple stack, they played eight-man front. They played all that and TaQuon did a great job of getting in the right play.”

ExploreHow it happened: The game story from Tech’s rout of Louisville

More on Marshall’s play:

“He’s played really well the last two weeks. And it’s funny because the very first play of the game, we had the media timeout and all that and we screwed it up. We made the wrong formation call and the wrong thing, and he got frustrated with himself, and I said, ‘Dude, we made the first down. Just relax. Just play.’ And so when he gets in that groove, he’s a really good player. He’s hard to tackle. He’s really quick. So’s Tobias (Oliver).”

Finding faults in team’s play:

“I think we can find some. I know we had two or three busts on the trap play in the third quarter. I know we can fix that offensively. Defensively, there a lot of things we can fix.”

On the defense:

“The good thing about the defense is we got some turnovers. And if you can get – how many was there total; what three, maybe, or four? So if you can get four turnovers, that’s better than four punts. And one of them, Juanyeh took all the way back. Gave the offense some short fields and played together.”

Any sense this was coming?

“Our practice has been pretty much the same all year. Truthfully, we had a bad half of offensive football against Pitt and then against Clemson we got out-manned a little bit and we didn’t play particularly well, but the rest of them, offensively, we played pretty good at South Florida. We had 600 yards and the first half against Pitt was a stinker and the second half, we scored on three of five possessions against Pitt.

So we had a good nucleus back from last year on offense and I was frustrated early that we weren’t playing better because we should have been better. I think once we got back and simplified and went back to basics, then the kids got better.

On why the run game worked so well:

“Just executing the offense, just running. I mean, if they took the B-back, we were pulling it and we were loading the guy that had the quarterback some. We were just changing up the blocking schemes by the fronts. When we had to pitch it, we pitched it. When they put everybody inside, we tossed it outside, and when the quarterback does that, it’s hard to play (against) if you’re not making mistakes. I think on one read, he pulled it and dropped it and he fell on it but other than that, they were spot on, him and Tobias both. Did a good job.”

On B-backs Jordan Mason and Jerry Howard:

“Jerry and Jordan have given us what we need in that position. They’re playing hard. I got on Jordan in the third quarter for reaching the dang ball out. He knows better than that but I think he’s frustrated because he wasn’t getting it in the end zone. He was getting it right down to the goal line. Those kids have played good.”

On offense’s playing clean:

“Offensively, if you don’t have penalties and you don’t have missed assignments, you’ve got a chance, and that’s kind of what we’ve eliminated, not having the ball on the ground.”

On Marshall making checks at the line:

“That’s the way he should play. He’s a senior quarterback that’s played. In the last two games, he’s been dialed in and really good. I think early on, sometimes maybe he was trying to do too much. Just let it come to you, let it happen. There’s going to be games where he won’t run the ball at all because people will just take him out. He’s just got to kind of let it come to him.”

On his health:

“He’s fine. He could have gone back in.”

On the play of tackle Zach Quinney and guard Conner Hansen:

“Now that they’re playing, that’s the other thing that I think has helped the offense. While he was far from perfect, but I think the other thing that helped the offense is getting Conner in there at guard. He’s a little bigger body and a little stronger. I think we’ve been better since we’ve put him in there.”

Finishing the game out:

“I thought that we talked at halftime, because we’d kind of lost the momentum there, that that opening drive was going to be big, and you come out there and hold it for eight minutes or nine minutes and get the touchdown, and then we come back and get the turnover and put that one in. That kind of was lights out.”

On naysayers:

“I’m sure the people who want to talk, they’ll find something. I mean it is what it is. It’s like I told the team, you just turn off the noise. Just play. I mean we’re playing one-game seasons. That’s what we’ve done the last couple weeks and now that’s what we’ve got to do this week against a really, really good team.”

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