Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson spoke to the media following his team’s 42-41 overtime loss to No. 25 Tennessee.
Paul Johnson’s opening statement:
Well, I was so sorely disappointed with the outcome. I think there were some positives that we can build on in the game. Our young guys on offense I thought went out and played pretty well. The quarterback, the B-back. You know, the last fumble killed us. I think we've got the game in control down there, in spite of being horrendous on special teams, kicking the ball, I think we could have scored there, run the clock down, and I'm not sure they would have had enough time to score twice, but we didn't, they did. You give them credit. The guy knocked the ball out, and I just felt like we had a better chance of getting a two-point conversion than we did of stopping them. They had scored twice on three plays in two overtimes.
The second half, once they got rolling, there wasn't much stopping them.
On Georgia Tech’s defense being tired:
From what? Let's see. Yeah, they wore down. [...] We had the ball 41 minutes, they had it 18. If they wore down in this game, they'd better get their butts home.
On knowing when TaQuon Marshall was the starter:
He played his tail off. I thought he played tremendously, and I knew he was going to be the starter for about two and a half or three weeks. He gives us a guy -- he can actually throw the ball well, too. We didn't throw it a lot. But I thought he played well. I thought KirVonte ran hard. I thought he played well, too.
On what problems the defense had:
Well, we never create a negative play, so you never get them behind, and it's like then they get some big plays. Well, they threw a couple jump balls and got them, and we missed tackles. They throw a little stop route over there and missed two tackles; give their kid credit. I mean, he made nice plays. Broke a tackle. But that's it in a nutshell. If you never get a negative play, it's hard to play.
On having the last play reviewed:
I don't know. We screwed it up. That should have been a walk-in. That play was so -- that should have been a walk-in, and we screwed that up, so we didn't deserve to win. I mean, they didn't have enough guys over there, and we tried to reach out and grab somebody as opposed to releasing inside and clinging the corner because there's one guy you could have pitched to or run it in yourself, and we didn't do it. So we didn't make the play, they did.
On the kicking game:
Try a different kicker, I guess. You know, it was disappointing. I mean, either of those field goals ices the game, too. The one at the end of the game is 36 yards. He kicked that thing head high, you know, the kickoff, so you know, we'll give the other kid a chance and see what he does.
On what the play-for-two was supposed to look like:
It was a counter action. We'd set up and we'd run a bunch of two-point plays out of that web thing, a pick screen out of the thing, so we were going to bring the motion, and they took the safety over there, it was going to be a time out, so all they've got left is a 5 technique and a hip linebacker, so we're supposed to be able to release and pull the guard along the 5. Our tackle reaches out and tries to reach the 5 and then the guard turned up into him and there was nobody -- the quarterback had to turn up and there was nobody on the linebacker, and then he pitched it late, but he had to kind of throw it out there. If we do it right, even if we don't block the guys, then he could have pitched the ball and the guy would have been a race to -- we just didn't do it right.
On the workload Marshall can handle after Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game performance:
He was capable tonight. You know, they ran the Mike linebacker the whole game. They just lined him up seven yards deep and ran, so they were playing with virtually four guys inside, and we were just following the B-back with a quarterback and run it in there. You know, it was what it was. If they play that way, the quarterback is going to carry the ball some.