Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson
Overall thoughts:“I was disappointed with the effort today. We looked like a poorly coached team, and that starts with me. Clemson is a good football team. I’ll give them credit. They have some really good players. At least the kids came back and fought. It would have been easy to quit. But we’ve got a lot of freshmen and we have a ways to go. We really don’t have anybody we can rely on. It’s really frustrating.”
On his offense:“We had so many negative yardage plays. For us, we have to establish the run, and we couldn’t do it. Some of that is not just the offensive line, some of it is the defensive backs. We just have to go back and work on it and try to get better. And we’ve played some pretty good football teams, and with a young team, that’s not a good combination. We’ve gone from being one of the best third-down teams to one of the worst. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my coaching career, being as inept as we are on offense.”
On his team’s defense:“He (Deshaun Watson) is a good player, and their receivers made some plays. Their receivers made some great plays on third down, similar to what our receivers did on third down against them a year ago.”
On quarterback Justin Thomas:“He needs to play better. That interception to start the game was a poor decision. He’s a good player, but he’s far from doing everything right.”
On playing on the road this season:“It seems whenever we go on the road, we just self destruct from the very start. This was just like the Duke game. We got behind 19-3 and we self-destructed.”
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
Overall thoughts:“Today was another great day in Death Valley. Hopefully, we’ll get some sun soon, but we’re becoming a pretty good rain team. Hats off to our team. We came out ready to play. I felt like we had a better week of practice than we did last week, and I expected our guys to play their best game.
“We had some huge plays. We set the tempo right out of the gate, again. All of our receivers had big plays, and guys like Wayne Gallman and Zac Brooks ran hard for a lot of yards. This is now four out of five games that we’ve had 200+ yards rushing. We got everyone involved, and that’s when we’re at our best.
“Our defense played great. Seventy-one yards rushing against Georgia Tech is incredible. This is the first time since 2009 that they’ve been held to under 100 yards rushing. Jayron Kearse and Dorian O’Daniel were in the backfield all night.
“The special teams were great, too. We really just got good contributions from our whole team. What I’m most pleased with is that we put them away. The last couple of games, we’ve had double-digit fourth-quarter leads and let people back in the game. Tonight, we took control early and we never lost it.
“We’re going to continue to do what we do. We’re going to celebrate tonight and then get ready for Boston College.”
On performance after Notre Dame:“Today’s performance really speaks to the mentality of our team. Our guys truly have a ‘one-game season’ mentality. It’s all about what’s in front of you and not what’s behind you. It doesn’t matter who we play; we focus on how we play and how we prepare. We don’t vary how we prepare. I had a great sense all week that we were going to play our best game tonight. This is a focused football team. Our goal this week is to find a way to win the next one.”
Clemson Safety Jayron Kearse
On the defensive effort:“We fought hard. We gave it everything we had, and it paid off for us in the end. That’s big for our defense. Holding them down like that to 71 yards is big for us. We feel good about ourselves, but we have to come in tomorrow and work hard to prepare for BC.”
On his big hits:“It felt good. Those are tone-setting plays, and it feels good to amp up the crowd and spark my teammates. Getting those juices flowing, being out there with everybody, having fun and celebrating…can’t beat it.”
Clemson Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel
Analyzing his play on the field:“I feel confident in my abilities. I felt as though I prepared well in reading the option and holding to my keys. I felt like I really got to show off my athletic ability, and that’s a testament to how I go into each week. I’m looking to fly around out there and make an impact.”
On holding Georgia Tech’s rushing attack to only 71 yards:“Not until we got into the locker room and coach (Dabo) Swinney told us. That’s very special, to be part of history in that way. My name will be associated with that fact forever, or until that record is broken, and that’s pretty cool.”
Clemson Tight End Jordan Leggett
On getting off to a hot start:“We just have to deliver that first punch, and the offense came out swinging.”
If throwing the ball was more emphasized this week:“They always say we want to start fast and finish strong, and that is what we did…started fast and finished strong.”
On having four touchdowns over the last three games:“I’m just minding my own business, and somehow the ball is finding me, so it is definitely a great feeling. I’m excited, and hopefully they keep using me more.”
Clemson Running Back Zac Brooks
How scoring the touchdown felt:“It felt great, felt like I had a chance to put the game away. I just took advantage of the opportunity.”
Do you feel like you are getting stronger with more carries coming off the injury?:“With preparation comes strength, and we prepare very well in practice and we just do what we know best.”
What confidence does running behind a guy like Wayne Gallman give you:“I’m just glad I get the opportunities that I get. It is hard to get time when Wayne is running like he is. He is a great back. When you get an opportunity, you have to take advantage of them because we have a lot of great backs and anyone of us could go out any day and do the same thing. I’m just glad I took advantage of the opportunity.”
March 14, 2019