Don’t expect Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson to do anything special to try to get his players motivated for Saturday’s game at North Carolina. The players admit that they have played flat the past two weeks in a win against S.C. State and a loss at Kansas.
“From the looks of the game, I can certainly motivate better,” Johnson said. “But you know what my experience has been in 31 years? That’s movie, TV crap. You’d better be able to motivate yourself. I’m not going to motivate you 12 Saturdays a year. Anybody that thinks you’re going to go into the locker room and somebody’s going to punch the locker, or cave in the blackboard or head butt somebody and everybody’s going to go ‘AAAAAAAAHHHH!’ It’s make believe. It doesn’t happen.”
Saturday’s game is important for a variety of reasons, starting with it’s the Yellow Jackets’ first conference game since winning the ACC championship last season. Also, the team hasn’t lost back-to-back games since Johnson took over for the 2008 season. Johnson has said good teams rarely lose consecutive games.
“It’s a challenge for us,” he said. “We’ve got to play better. If we don’t play better than we did in the first two games we aren’t going to win on Saturday, I can tell you that. This is the best team we’ve played.”
Johnson said he hasn’t seen any of the players step up to try to help focus the team, nor does he want to. He said the entire operation, from the coaches on down, needs to improve.
“Show me, don’t tell me,” Johnsonn said. “We’ll see what they can do on Saturday. You do it by playing and doing your job, and doing what’s right. Anybody can stand up on the plane and say ‘Guys, we’re coming this week,’ until you get hit in the mouth the first time. Let’s see what happens on Saturday.
“We’ll find out starting today how serious we are.”
The players said as much after the game on Saturday, saying it’s time to start doing and stop talking.