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Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Overall thoughts:“I’m so proud of our guys. This was a great win. This is actually three great wins in a row. We’re playing our best football of the year right now. Our defense was awesome tonight. Georgia Tech got us on a couple of big plays, but overall, I thought our defense did a great job. We won the physical matchups tonight. Our special teams were great. The offense was in sync and every time they needed to respond and make a play, guys like Tajh (Boyd), Martavis (Bryant), Sammy (Watkins) and Mike (Williams) stepped up and made the plays. This was a great win. We’re 9-1 right now and we have Senior Day coming up. I like how we played tonight.”

On play of Clemson’s offense:“At the end of the day, it’s about points. This is the most points we’ve scored against Georgia Tech since 2003. This is a rivalry that has lasted a long time and it’s always a tough game. It was great to see our guys rise up and produce. It’s also great to win the turnover margin. I’m so proud of our guys. It was good to get back on national TV in Death Valley, since we played like dogs the last time (vs. Florida State). We did a great job of creating momentum at the beginning of the game and the crowd was awesome. Thursday night is a weird game day because you don’t have people tailgating all day, but I’m really appreciative of our fans. I’m pleased we got it done.”

On the team’s run game:“Rod McDowell averaged 5.5 yards per carry and he really ran well. Tajh had a few good runs and it was good to see Cole (Stoudt) and Chad (Kelly) get in there and run the ball. We needed to get the run game going against Georgia Tech and to do that, we had to run with attitude. Rod set the tempo.”

On the play of Clemson’s defensive line:“Our defensive line owned the night. This was a dominating performance in the trenches. We had a lot of tackles for loss. To stop a team like Georgia Tech, you have to win at the point of attack, which is in the backfield. Our guys did their job. They got us on the pitch a couple of times, but our secondary was there to give us run support. We had a great plan and we were very prepared. We played a sound game. Georgia Tech is always going to get points, but we did a great job limiting them. This was a complete team performance.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson

Opening thoughts:“Well, the bottom line is we got our tails beat today. They beat us in all the phases of the game and we got off to a terrible start offensively in the first quarter. We started the game off kicking the ball out of bounds, and they go down and get three points just like that. The first quarter went downhill from there. You have to give Clemson credit because every time we would score they would go down and score immediately after. They have got a good football team and we would have had to play much better than we did tonight to win the ball game, but we didn’t do it. We now have to go back and try and clean it up and get ready for the last two games.”

On giving up the big play:“You have to be able to play the deep ball. What did they throw, one deep ball that wasn’t a catch? We were in position to make a play and we just did not make the play.”

On progress of the defense:“We obviously didn’t play very well tonight. You guys want to make our defense the Green Bay Packers one week and the next week you want to say they stink. It is a process to get better and it’s like you redefine our defense every week. We didn’t make very many plays tonight. If we make two or three plays on the deep balls then we have a chance, but you have to give their kids credit. They made plays, their quarterback threw the ball, and their kids caught it.”

On the play of Robert Godhigh:“He had a great game and played very well. He made a lot of big plays and fought and played hard. He was one of the reasons we were in the game for as long as we were.”

On the play of Vad Lee:“In all, I thought he did some good things. He made some plays for us. It was never really clean on the edge, but he made a nice play on the pitch to Robby (Robert Godhigh) for a long touchdown over near our sideline. He threw some nice balls and he converted a couple third downs scrambling. So overall he made some good plays.”

Quarterback Tajh Boyd

On his injury:“It’s one of those things where it sounded a lot worse than it actually is. Going down to the ground it was cracking and all, but I feel fine. I had some x-rays and everything is all good.”

You were throwing the ball when you came back to the sideline:“Yeah, I just wanted to show coach that I was healthy. If it was a dire situation I could have come back out, but it wasn’t necessary tonight.”

Will you take it easy this week?“No. This is going to be my last time playing in the Valley. I’m going to take in every moment so it is something that I’ll never forget. I’m going to make my last game in Death Valley memorable.”

Wide Receiver Martavis Bryant

Why do you seem to like playing on Thursday nights?“I had a good week of preparation and everything came together for me.”

How did it feel being “the guy” tonight?“It felt good for my work to finally pay off. As I keep playing the game I keep getting better. Now it’s just going back to work on Monday and keep improving.”

What was your thought when Tajh Boyd went off the field?“I knew he was alright once he got up. At first I was a little worried, but he’s doing fine.”

On the overall play of the offense:“It has been clicking all week at practice and we just kept gaining momentum. It felt good to come out tonight and keep it going.”

On what he tells Boyd on the deep routes:“I always tell him that if he just throws it up, I’ll get it. He’s not going to overthrow me and not many people can.”

Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins

On overall play:“I think we played well as a unit. We didn’t run the ball that well in the first half but we came out and made a statement in the second half. Tajh did a great job and Cole (Stoudt) came in and played well, too. We stayed in a rhythm and played good football.”

When the defense plays well, how much confidence does that give the offense?“It just lets us know that we’re going to be able to have a lot of plays on offense and a lot of opportunities to go out and score some points. Early on we capitalized on all of the three and outs that the defense generated. We were able to drive the ball really well and that’s a positive thing.”

On play of Martavis Bryant:“He has been practicing hard and listening to the coaches. I have been in his ear every week telling him that he’s an NFL caliber receiver and that he’s a freak athlete. It’s good to see him come into a groove with Tajh. He understands that he’s a big part of the offense now. He did a great job stepping up to the plate tonight.”

Linebacker Quandon Christian

On the defense’s consistency:“I definitely think we were consistent during the game. We were pretty much disciplined the whole game besides a couple of plays.”

How they leveraged the outside:“The guys in the back end, corner, strong safety and free safety did their jobs really well. “

How the bye week helped:“The bye week definitely helped us. It gave us a chance to get three days ahead of game week and that really helped us a lot.”

On the first four drives for Georgia Tech:“The first couple of drives were awesome. Everyone was doing their jobs and kept getting up and going at them the first couple of plays. We wanted to come out and stop them early and we were able to do that tonight.”

Defensive End Vic Beasley

On setting the edge with Corey Crawford:“We came out with a chip on our shoulder and we knew had to play well. I think we came out tonight and executed what we had been practicing.”

The key for the defense:“We played with relentless effort. It was so important for us to get to the ball and make tackles, especially for loss by making big plays out there.”

On Georgia Tech throwing the ball:“We knew that if we got up on them and gave them pressure that they would be forced to throw the ball and that is was we did, we forced them to a throwing situation and capitalized.”

What does it feel like to be in pass rush situations:“It means a lot to our defense. We have a lot of good pass rushers on our team, I’m one of them, so whenever I know that its second and long or third and long I go after the quarterback and try to execute the plan.”

On adjusting to a team with a heavy running emphasis:“It was a big adjustment throughout the whole week. A lot of times we want to rush the passer but this game we had to be really disciplined.”