After a humbling loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday, Georgia Tech players had responded well to the defeat, coach Geoff Collins said Tuesday.

“I think the guys have had the perfect response after the loss on Saturday night,” Collins said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “Had a lot of good meetings, a lot of good talks. Had two good practices. Continue to message and learn from the things that we need to get better at as an entire organization.”

The Yellow Jackets lost 22-21 at Bobby Dodd Stadium to a team that was 0-6 last season. For a team aspiring to a winning record in Collins’ third season leading the Yellow Jackets, it was a major setback. Defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker said that he and the staff are having to balance being positive after Saturday’s failure but also trying to correct mistakes.

“In times of failure, you can break as a man,” he said. “You can break kids that are forming habits as young adults, but you also can’t tolerate things that are inexcusable in critical situations.”

Collins reiterated the confidence he has in himself, staff and team to fulfill the vision that he has had for Tech to join the elite of college football.

“It’s just when it’s going to happen, and sometimes those lessons, those experiences, all those things, have to happen for you to get there,” Collins said.

Collins also was asked what he would say to Jackets fans unhappy about the loss to the Huskies and lacking confidence in the team’s future under his direction.

“I’ve addressed how much confidence I have in this team, how much confidence I have in these coaches,” he said. “I’m excited for Saturday, lessons learned from the game that we can apply. It’s just taking the next step every single week in the program to get better.”