Postgame Quotes: Georgia Tech 38, Tulane 21

Sept. 6, 2014

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

Opening Statement:
"It was another great start. Frustrating, disappointing to start like that. The first game maybe nerves, okay. There's no excuse for that the second game. We've got to grow up. In the fumbles, the first one was off the play-action, not taking care of the ball. It's something that we've worked on all week because we had that issue last week. And then, the second one was a quick pitch that we dropped. It was pitched right in his face. If we held on to the ball, we moved the ball okay and scored. You know, if we didn't turn it over..."

On the Defense:
"They bend a little bit, but they didn't give up any points in the second half. That was good."

On the play at the end of the third:
"He is falling down on his back foot, you got to value the ball more than that. You can't do that, especially when they're having a hard time stopping the run. When you do that, you won't ever get a pass caught."

On running the ball:
"They packed the inside trying to stop the fullback. We had them leveraged. Most of them, if they went outside of the blocks at the start of the game, we might've still been running."

On being the first opponent for Tulane in their new stadium:
"There's a lot of distractions. I think there were a lot of distractions. We've got a young team. There's about 25 guys where this is their first trip. You never know how they're going to react. The guys who were playing need to react better. They need to be better examples. I thought Quayshawn Nealy was one of those players. He played his butt off. The guys who have played, got to be more in leadership roles."

On improvement from last week
"I think we've probably improved in areas. We'll have to watch the tape. I told the team after the game that this is not the standard that I want to play at. This is not acceptable, we can play better than this. The good news is we're 2-0. And, it's just as easy to fix, maybe easier. I think they know. When they see the tape they know."

On the heat and conditioning
"I thought the conditioning was okay. Some kids fall through the cracks. It was hot as hell out there. I bet you that it was 110 or 115 on the turf. That first half was brutal."

GEORGIA TECH SOPHOMORE QB Justin Thomas

On the first play fumble
"Just a bad ball. Learn from it, and keep moving."

On interception at end of third quarter
"It was just a bad decision."

On the Tulane Defense
"They were playing a pretty base defense. They were just giving us what we wanted, and we took advantage of it."

On running on perimeter
"We had great blocking, that's all it is."

On what he will take out of game
"For me, I don't want to take anything out of it. I have to do better. Just stay focused throughout the whole game, and put today behind me. Keep moving forward."

On the heat affecting offense
"We get it every day in Atlanta."

JUNIOR QB Tim Byerly

On field positions determining QB
"Coach Johnson said, `Hey be ready if I call your name.' The situation arose, and he called my name."

On meaningful snaps
"Any snap is a good snap at this point in time. Coach gave me a wide selection of plays to run. There's definitely some stuff I need to clean up. But overall I was pretty fortunate for the snaps."

On the offense
"I thought we left a lot of points out there. The O-line definitely controlled the line of scrimmage, I thought they did a great job. Shaq (Mason) in particular; I thought he had a great game. The A-backs were flying around and they helped us on the perimeter blocking. Then when we tossed it to them, they made sure we got positive yardage and even picked up first downs here and then."

FRESHMAN DB Lawrence Austin

On interception
"We were just playing a basic cover-2 and they ran a three-level route. Quarterback tried to hit a shot and he didn't see us."

On what allowed for three interceptions
"Great pressure by the D-line. They helped us out a lot."

On having two games under his belt
"All the older guys are helping each other out and all the freshman players."

On first road trip
"It was a good experience. Tulane seemed like an all-star crowd to me. It felt like a pretty hostile crowd. It was a great experience."

SENIOR RB Charles Perkins

On what the game was like
"It was a battle out here. With the temperature as hot as it was, we were able to fight through and get some good blocks on the edge and spring guys: Tony [Zenon], Deon [Hill]. We were able to make some plays on the perimeter."

On blocking on the perimeter
"I don't think they played the option in a while. We were able to make plays on the edge and solidify the perimeter and that opened up everything else."

On not playing at coach's standard
"Definitely, there's always something to get better at. We spotted them a few points when we first started off with the turnovers, but we were able to fight back coming into a hostile environment: this is their first home game here. We were able to battle through some adversity and I think it will help us in the long run."

On Tony [Zenon] scoring twice
"It felt good. Tony's from New Orleans so to be in front of the home crowd that was big. I was happy to be out there blocking. It felt good."

TULANE HEAD COACH CURTIS JOHNSON

Opening Statement...
"I just want to thank everybody for coming to this magnificent stadium. I thought our crowd was grand here tonight. We have some young players here; we made some mental mistakes and did some little things wrong tonight that we have to clean up. My hat goes off to Georgia Tech; I thought they were outstanding. They had answers to all the stuff we tried to do. Their quarterback was outstanding, and their running backs were very good. They are a really good football team."

On preparing for Georgia Tech's offense and playing in this heat...
"I don't think we wore down, I thought we just made some mistakes that got us backed up. We were fresh going out, and even at the end of the game; I thought our guys were good. Georgia Tech is such a different opponent, when you talk about a wishbone offense as something you have never seen before. I thought Georgia Tech had all the answers for us tonight, they knew exactly what they were doing, and they executed it really well."

On positive things from today...
"We made some big plays against a big-time opponent; our quarterback went out there and made some great throws for us. Our running game wasn't too good, but our offensive line did a great job keeping their defense out of our backfield. Our defense played pretty well today; our linebackers played well tonight; we did a good job of creating opportunities for turnovers; we just have to get even better."

On guarding the option...
"We had some kids on defense that have never played against the option, and when you've never played against the option, it's difficult. It's also a great learning experience for them. I think everyone held each other accountable for the most part. We'll continue to get better and play harder every week."