What Geoff Collins said after the win over Duke

Comments from Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins to media following the Yellow Jackets’ 56-33 win over Duke Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium:

Opening comments:

“That was fun. Twenty-eight days of not playing and (then) getting to play in that environment. The crowd was awesome. Great positive energy to our guys. Guys flew around, had some mistakes here and there, but I just thought they battled, they stayed together. They competed (on) offense, defense, special teams as one. Complimentary football – if something bad happened on one side of the ball, the other side of the ball just tried to make up for it. That’s a really good, positive sign for the organization.”

On the play of the offensive line:

“I just think the job that Brent Key has done (is commendable) – developing, recruiting, building that offensive line into a really, really good unit, their demeanor, their attitude, the way they play together. Charlie Clark got out there and battled. He’s a guy that hadn’t gotten a lot of burn throughout his career. I thought he did some really nice things out there (Saturday).”

On offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude coaching from the sideline instead of the coaches box:

“It was good. It’s something we’ve discussed throughout the year, and then that four-week period in between, so we thought it was a good deal. Obviously, it paid off for us (Saturday). It was really good. And Dave was even able to see some things, even from the field, and (have) a feel and a flow of the game. I thought he called a heck of a game.”

On defensive line:

“I bet when we look back at the tape (Sunday), I bet there’s probably seven to eight defensive ends that were just rolling through the game, staying fresh, giving relentless pressure.  Just proud of that group. And being able to stop the run without having to blitz all the time was really nice tonight, so just hat’s off to the defensive line coaches and (defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker).”

On mistakes in return game:

“Every single Thursday, for the last year and a half we’ve been here, every single Thursday, (assistant coaches) Tashard Choice (and) Kerry Dixon take all of our returners, and we practice all of the specialized returns.

“What to do when the ball’s within a yard out of bounds. What to do when the ball is close to going into the end zone. What to do when it’s being punted inside the 10-yard line. All of those things. We do it every single Thursday.

“Sometimes, young men get in the heat of battle, some of them are true freshmen, and are put in situations and some bad things might happen. I am so proud of them. So proud of Nate (McCollum), so proud of Dontae (Smith). Dontae made the right decision (in fielding the kickoff on the sideline). He was just this far off (Collins held his thumb and index finger close together) his foot being down and fielding the ball, and I thought it was a big time play for him. I just wish he had gotten (his foot) down a little bit sooner.”