Paul Johnson’s press conference:

A transcription of head coach Paul Johnson’s weekly press conference, courtesy of Tech’s sports information department.

Opening Statement:

“I was proud of our team Saturday night. It wasn’t always pretty, but I imagine it was a fun one to watch. Our guys fought hard, never gave up and came out in the second half and made some stops when we needed it. We found a way to win a tough football game on the road. Florida State played with a lot of emotion. You have to give our guys some credit for coming out of there with a win.

“This week is a huge game for our team and our program. One of our goals every year is to compete for an ACC championship and we’ve gotten ourselves to the point that this is game is meaningful along those lines. If we win, we have a chance, if we lose we probably have no chance. We’ll find out if we’re good enough on Saturday. Virginia Tech has a very good football team that is strong in all three facets of the game, so it will be a challenge. All you can ask for is an opportunity and we have one. We’ll see if we can get it done on Saturday.”

On importance of game toward ACC Championship Race:

“As far as the conference championship goes, it’s not going to wreck the season one way or another. But, if we want to win our side of the conference, it’s an important game. Anyone that follows the ACC knows that if they [Virginia Tech] comes in here and beat us, they would have to lose two games, probably three, because they would have the tie-breaker over us. It makes it almost impossible for us to win the division. Now, if we beat them, it doesn’t mean we’re going to win the division, we still have a lot of conference games left, so do they. A win gives us a better chance, much more than losing would.”

On how Virginia Tech has improved over the course of the season:

“I think they have come together, they’ve played well. Historically, you know that they’re going to be strong defensively and in special teams. But, offensively they’ve played well, scoring a lot of points and racking up a bunch of yards. They have a very athletic quarterback, their tailback is a great player, they have a veteran offensive line and an experienced tight end and they’re very well coached. They are just a good team and usually good teams get better as the season goes on.”

On Virginia Tech’s defense:

“They’ve played pretty good defense, other than the Alabama game where they got worn down toward the end. They gave up some yards and points to Duke, but if you go back and watch that game, they were never in danger of losing. Duke wasn’t exactly lighting them up when the game was in doubt. Until somebody beats them, you have to give them the respect that they’re due. Since I’ve been here, they’ve been the best team in the league.”

On Josh Nesbitt’s game at Florida State:

“Josh is a competitor, who knows what he is doing. He is a tough kid, who plays hard and has a strong desire to win. Having said that, on Saturday night, our offensive line probably played their best game of the year. We didn’t have any penalties on offense that can bog down a drive, so they helped Josh. Demaryius Thomas made a great catch and block for him. I take nothing away from Josh, he played like a warrior out there. What’s happened is everyone has geared up to stop Jonathan Dwyer. So, Josh has had the ball more and as he continues to have success and hurt people, it will open it more for Jonathan.”

On concerns with Nesbitt carrying the ball over 20 times in each of the last three games:

“We actually don’t call many plays for him [Nesbitt] to run the ball. Some of those carries are a little bit misleading, in that we’ve had a lot of third and fourth and shorts where he’ll sneak the ball three or four times a game. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve realized that you can’t worry about that. I haven’t really thought about it that much.”

On troubles on defense:

“There’s no doubt about it, we have to get better. In my mind, when you play the way we played on Saturday, everyone is accountable. The coaches, the players and I’m accountable because I’m the ultimate guy. I see guys not playing fast and not flying to the ball. I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to, I think there is something holding them back to some degree. We’ve got too many things for them to think about, so we have to just simplify what we are doing and just let them play. But, you’re going to be in games like that. I told the guys at halftime on defense, it’s usually never as bad or as good as you think it is. You have to do the little things right.”

On how injuries have impacted the defense:

“They’ve impacted us just like anything else. Guys are usually starters for a reason; they are better than they guys who are backing them up. So, when you lose starters, it hurts. We’re probably at a little bit of disadvantage from a numbers stand point because we had to give out 80 scholarships compared to 85, which is something we had to do to balance out the class. Trust me, I would love to have five more scholarship guys, but in the broad view of the program, something had to be done to get some balance. But, that’s no excuse, we have to play better. I wouldn’t be more upset if our guys we’re getting run over, but we were using the right technique. If you’re doing all the right things and still getting steamrolled, there’s nothing you can do. But, that’s not the case. There are a lot of things that come into it. Some things we can fix others we probably can’t.”

On if the defense is missing Cooper Taylor:

“Coop is a good player and certainly he would help us. He would give us some more depth at that position as we’ve had to move some guys around. The bottom line is we need to get guys back where they go. You’re asking Rashaad Reid to play safety when he is a corner and he’s not going to play as well there as he will at corner. When you lose pieces, it doesn’t hurt, but we have to put people in the positions they’re comfortable in. If Cooper plays Saturday, it will be in a limited role.”

On depth of other position players on offense:

“All of our A-backs have played well. Embry Peeples has played well, Marcus Wright had a good game, Lucas Cox is playing 11 or 12 snaps for us and doing some good things. That’s one position where we do have some depth. To me, however, it all comes down to execution; I don’t worry about the personnel, we have some people that can play.”

On the strength of the ACC’s Coastal Division over the Atlantic on the year:

“It’s just one of those deals, it ebbs and flows. It just kind of happened that way this year, but there is still a lot of football to be played, who knows. It can change in a week, all the Atlantic teams can beat the Coastal teams this week, you don’t ever know. You’re dealing with 18-to-21 year olds, you don’t know what you’re going to get from one week to the next. Consistency is what everybody chases.”


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45 comments Add your comment


October 13th, 2009
4:09 pm

GO JACKETS!!! The real Tech will prevail.


October 13th, 2009
4:13 pm

Thank God and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey is gone forever!!! Hallleeeeeedamlooooyah!!!!


October 13th, 2009
4:32 pm

I would like to see Coop play some against Va Tech to see where he is but you know as soon as he is in they are going to throw at him. I hope he is ready if he plays…I would love to see he defense that showed up for the second half of the FSU game…holding them to 9 points in he second half even when we turned the ball over was the key.

Want to see Lucas Cox get some touches as well as more for Wright. Peeples had a good catch…would like to see that continue as well as Smith on KO Returns break one…he was a block or two away against FSU from taking it to the house.

Go Jackets!!!!


October 13th, 2009
4:42 pm

It would be nice to get everyone back on defense for this game, but we have to be ready to go out and play with the kids who are healthy. If that means Cross and Tongo splitting time at end along with Derrick Morgan, then so be it. We can certainly play better defensively and I believe that we will. How will the Hokies play against our offense? That is the key to this game. If we can move the ball and put up points like we have been doing, the Hokies are going down.

Go to for more Georgia Tech Football articles, and a piece on safety Kam Chancellor from Virginia Tech who said he knows how to stop the option.


October 13th, 2009
4:51 pm

Yeah AtWork, Smith has been a gem on kickoffs. What a find in the recruiting wars. We fans owe somebody a beer.

Coach mentioned the OL & their game against FSU. It must be better this week. But they know that. The defense really needs to step it up big time.

Boy, this is a really big game Saturday. I can’t wait.


October 13th, 2009
4:59 pm

I think that Foster and Virginia Tech will focus on stopping Joshua. As Johnson stated, that will open it up for Dwyer.
Virginia Tech looks unbeatable now. As Johnson stated, they are solid in all three phases of the game. How can our “high school” offense move the ball, gain even a yard for that matter? How can our defense possibly slow down the powerful Williams and the electric Taylor? Who do we have to stand up to the three hundred thirteen pound Render? Do we have anyone who can possibly block that blood-spittin’, headhuntin’ Jake Johnson? VT is a flippin’ juggernaut.

Bring on the Hokies!
Bring on #4 in the nation!

GT For You and Me

October 13th, 2009
5:02 pm

As i said before! Corners on the line………. We will shut down T. Taylor……………


October 13th, 2009
5:04 pm

Nice position for Tech to be in. Win this one and I’ll be really impressed. VT is the real deal. If Ga Tech wins then Ga Tech will be the real deal. Who would a thunk it. Hopefully that’ll give the Dawgs some additional motivation. They sure need it.


October 13th, 2009
5:04 pm

Folks, I’ve subscribed to Doug’s Georgia Tech facebook page for updates, if you’re on FB you might consider it. Soon as it hits the the facebook lets me know.


October 13th, 2009
5:33 pm Nice Article

perhaps if VT had spent more time in spring and summer drills concentrating on Alabama instead of preparing for a game not to be played until mid October, maybe they would be ranked number one…hope CPJ makes copies of those comments and tapes them to the lockers on all the offensive players..I detest this school worse than anyone..pompous and arrogant hillbillies


October 13th, 2009
5:34 pm

As a Dawg fan my hats off to the accomplishments that Johnson has brought to the trade school. But a loss this weekend is really no better than the Gailey years. That would be two losses with 5 games to play. Wake, Duke, and Vandy…GT almost always loses to one of that tier level of team which puts them at three or more losses. They never win at Virginny…that makes the fourth loss and then of course they lose on their own field to us Chihuahua’s saving Martinez (he shuts down Yech this year) job for another season. That adds up to the typical 7-5 loss year. Sorry Tech but unless you win Saturday you are simply normal as usual. BTW…that D looks at least as weak as this flea ridden mutt we have.


October 13th, 2009
5:42 pm

Classy UGA Fan… and I mean that.

But as for this week… we step up on D like we did in the second half against FSU, we win. Plain and simple.

Go Jackets beat the Hokies!!! I believe in you!!!


October 13th, 2009
5:45 pm

And thisyearweare…Get above .500 then come on here and talk crap.


October 13th, 2009
5:52 pm

The Jackets have to play much better of defense or get a new D.C. next year. Tech ranks near the bottom I would think in most categories on defense. If our defense were equal to our offense, we would be unbeaten right now. Think about it. As for UGAG, your team stinks this year with all your four and five star players. But I still love Mark Richt, my brother in Christ, a good coach, and a great man. For those of you who want to fire him; don’t be stupid.

old Tech fan in NC

October 13th, 2009
5:55 pm

There is an old gospel song that describes the game Sat….”There is too much to gain to lose”

East Cobb Hokie

October 13th, 2009
6:05 pm

Congrats on the win in Tally Sat guys. Will be interesting to see who fills the seats not sold with season tix.

GT Rich

October 13th, 2009
6:23 pm

It is a night game, so you know that VT fans are gonne be making the road trip. I expect to see a lot of purple and orange (or whatever those turkey colors are). I believe our defense matches up better with VT than it does against pass-heavy teams. Wake’s Skinner and Duke’s Lewis make me more nervous than the VT offense. VT’s strength is against the pass, good thing we don’t pass often….


October 13th, 2009
6:38 pm

Saving my comments till later.If any of you goons show up!


October 13th, 2009
6:52 pm

My previous post is not for all tech fans,just for the few that like spewing venemous hate.THE NERD HERD,you know who you are and I will name you if you want.


October 13th, 2009
7:16 pm

Bend over superDawg, you know how you like it.


October 13th, 2009
7:17 pm

Up & down. Not consistant play. Will never win this weekend!


October 13th, 2009
7:24 pm

I like that GT 9. I like that.


October 13th, 2009
7:31 pm

22 post?? This just in! Nobody cares about GT. You can’t even gain interest in your team when playing the #4 team in the nation.


October 13th, 2009
8:06 pm

WTF you’re next.

RT in NC

October 13th, 2009
8:17 pm

What is CPJ going to do about the kicking game? MSU gained 200 yards on RETURNS! Plus we are so unsure of our FG’s that we’ll go for it on 4th down from outside the 20.


October 13th, 2009
8:21 pm

The feeling here is, Tech is going to bring its A-game, and that will be good enough to beat the Turkeys.

Go gators

October 13th, 2009
8:50 pm

thanks for popping FSU in the mouth, oh and to HELL with Georgia!!!…timeout


October 13th, 2009
8:51 pm

why dosen”t paul jonhson have is defense coach on the side lines with him.

Tokyo jacket

October 13th, 2009
8:53 pm

To “This year…” Dude, you’re totally wrong. The difference between CPJ and Gailey is not whether or not we can beat VT. It is in beating an unranked FSU on the road at night. VT is likely the last ranked team we’ll play. If we lose to VT, I won’t be happy. But, if we win out, it means that we didn’t lose to an unranked team.

Gailey beat VT and then lost 6-9 to WF in the ACCCG. So, the difference lies not in an upset of VT, but winning the games you’re supposed to win. After the FSU game, I believe that will happen this year. THAT is the difference between top 10 teams and top 25 teams. Bama might lose to LSU and UF this year, but they won’t lose to Vandy or Kentucky. That’s why they’re in the top 10. That’s why they only fall 5 or 6 slots when they lose and we fall out of the top 25 alltogether.

By the way, classy post UGA fan.


October 13th, 2009
9:02 pm

We’re on a mission,….”Sene Metu”.



October 13th, 2009
9:04 pm

superDawg! Where have you been these past couple of weeks? I’ll be your huckleberry!


October 13th, 2009
9:07 pm

East Cobb Hokie,…don’t worry,…we’ll have more than enough fans in the stands. Can’t wait for Saturday.

Joe Schmoe

October 13th, 2009
9:34 pm

Hey anybody wanna party thats in section 132, I will have the Jim Beam ready! I can deal with a Jackets loss, as long as 100% effort is given. What makes me mad is any half azzing.


October 13th, 2009
9:40 pm

Why talk a bunch of crap before the game? Tech fans are not UGA fans. So full of their warped since of worth they can’t accept reality. I know this will be a very big game. If the D can get a few big stops and 2 or less TOs Tech has a great chance to win.

Tech Alum

October 13th, 2009
9:49 pm

When EF Hutton talks, people listen. How sweet it is to have PJ running the show. And don’t worry folks, he won’t put up with Wommack as DC for much longer if things don’t drastically improve. But not until the end of the year unfortunately.

Tech Alum

October 13th, 2009
9:53 pm

Say what you will about Tech fans and having empty seats, but Bobby Dodd stadium will be packed and rocking Saturday night. And Hokie fans better bring it from up in the top corners because every Tech fan in and around the city will be there. Lets get it on.


October 13th, 2009
9:58 pm


October 13th, 2009
10:11 pm

If GT can bow up and beat VT, we will have a stellar season this year which should lead to some national recognition (better poll position this year and in the preason poll next year)…………..and if Coach PJ makes a solid executive decision by finding a better defensive coordinator to replace Wommack…………and then if we can avoid any major injuries next season……………….we might just be setting the team up for a legitimate NC run next year!!

Sounds a little crazy, but GT is VERY young (primarily Freshmen & Sophmores) this year and the coaching staff is having solid success with them already……….just think how much better they will be with another year to get bigger, stronger and better with regard to decisions.

I realize there are several if’s listed above, but I am a GT fan (short for GT Fanatic!).

Go GT!


October 13th, 2009
11:22 pm

Super Dawg, Who cares if you call us out !! Is that su pposed to scare us? WTF are you going to do about it? You and the other Tech Haters will slowly disappear as we continue to win and you lose. This has been a very quiet week. This is not intended for the Classy Dawg fans. You know who you are. I will call you out if you want.


October 13th, 2009
11:22 pm

Hey huckleberry where you been building a ark.


October 13th, 2009
11:37 pm

Keep a sharp eye on the officials. I thought they cost us the game last year. Here is an email I sent to the ACC:

HERE WE GO AGAIN!! 8:59 left, GT 17-VT 17, GT stops VT on 3rd down, 2 GT players hit VT QB IN BOUNDS, AND REF THROWS FLAG FOR A LATE HIT! ESPN/ABC ANNOUNCER: “I DON’T LIKE THAT CALL AT ALL!” THIS IS A GAME CHANGER. IF VT GOES ON TO WIN, THEY CAN THANK THE ACC REFS FOR THAT CALL! The 2nd GT player hit the QB simultaneously with the 1st to keep the QB from turning upfield to get the 1st down. A TERRIBLE CALL! INEXCUSABLE!!

Refs called it helmet-to-helmet. ESPN/ABC announcer still didn’t agree, and said: “I thought it was a clean lick!”


October 14th, 2009
6:02 am

The officials are part of the game, good calls and bad. We definitely would have beaten VT last year had that call not gone against us. As in the FSU game ‘09, good teams overcome bad calls. There is no doubt that we had possession of that opening kickoff.
Anyone who thinks that GT will only win two more games this season hasn’t been paying attention to who that man is on the Georgia Tech sideline calling the plays.


October 14th, 2009
8:07 am

Super Dawg,
Where are you guys rated in the poll? I tried to check it out, but my finger got tired holding down the key to scroll down the list.


October 15th, 2009
10:14 pm

good luck gt. looking forward to facing the triple option. hope this is the high scoring affair i expect… with vt winning of course :D


October 16th, 2009
7:48 pm

Wait to the Hokies see what Johnson Ball is about