What Paul Johnson said after the South Florida game

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Charlie Strong of the South Florida Bulls and head coach Paul Johnson of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets shake hands following a game at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Credit: Mike Ehrmann

Credit: Mike Ehrmann

Coach Paul Johnson’s comments following Georgia Tech’s 49-38 loss to South Florida Saturday in Tampa, Fla.

On the two kickoffs returned for touchdowns:

“When the contain guys and the force guys are on the same level, it’s never a good thing. And then they went out and did it again.”

On the rarity of the plays:

“That’s the first time I’ve seen it in 40 years – back-to-back (returns for touchdowns).”

On if there was a problem in preparation:

“I don’t know. Do you think we coach them to get on the same level?”

On targeting calls:

“I don’t know about the targeting call, but they got that nice holding call in there on the last drive, didn’t they?”

On if USF had figured out what Tobias Oliver was doing when TaQuon Marshall went back in the game on a 3rd-and-9:

“We had third-and-9. I’m not sure they figured it out. We didn’t do it right. We screwed it up ourselves. And then we converted the third down. We had a chance to go win the game. All we got to do is take it in and we’re going back up 10 again. Got to hold onto the ball.”

On A-back Qua Searcy’s fumble:

“You’ve got to care enough to hold onto the ball.”

On the drive when Tech was down 42-38:

“They slapped us with a holding penalty, didn’t they, right after we hit a first down on a pass. They got us second-and-20.”

On David Curry’s targeting penalty:

“I think we got ’em second-and-9 and then they slap us with a targeting penalty, gave ’em first-and-goal on the 2 (actually 4). Inopportune penalties.”

On USF’s go-ahead drive started after Qua Searcy’s fumble:

“It was about like the others, wasn’t it?”

On USF not needing third down on that drive:

“No, could never get close to stopping them.”

On keeping TaQuon Marshall in the game following the series in which he subbed back in for Tobias Oliver:

“There wasn’t anything TaQuon did except convert a third-and-9. I mean, he’s not the guy who fumbled the ball over there going in. He got the first down.”

On Oliver having been in a rhythm in previous drives:

“Yeah, well, it’s your opinion. When you get to be the coach next year, put ’em in.”

On Marshall’s play overall:

“I thought he played really good in the first quarter, not so good in the second. Then he went out the first play in the third and when he came in, he had the drive going. We had the drive.”

On losing David Curry and Tariq Carpenter to targeting calls:

“Well, not only did we lose Tariq, (safety Kaleb Oliver) got in at 2:30 in the morning because (he was attending the funeral of his best friend) and the flights got canceled. When they kicked Tariq out, it was a double whammy.”

Thoughts on the defense:

“I don’t know. We’ll watch the tape.”

On losing another game after holding a two-score lead:

“You create your own luck. You’ve got to make plays. I think the first drive of the second half, when we came out and scored, they had the ball. We should have had an interception. They threw it right through one of our guys’ hands in the flats. When you have a chance, you have to make plays. Same thing on offense. When you have a chance, you have to make plays. And you have to hold onto the ball.”

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