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November 22, 2016

Paul Johnson

Greensboro, North Carolina

COACH JOHNSON: I was pleased with our seniors being able to go out with a win at our last home game a week ago. Just looking forward to having a chance to play the in-state rival this week. It's always a big game for our fans and alumni and our kids will be excited to go up to Athens and play a very talented Georgia football team.

Q. What have you been most pleased with offensively and defensively in your performances these last two weeks that you need to kind of keep maintaining in this game?
COACH JOHNSON: Defensively we started to get some pressure. We got some turnovers in the last couple weeks, which is always huge. We played better in the second half against Virginia than we did the first and it was kind of a flip against Virginia Tech on defense.

Offensively, we did not play very well against Virginia. We hit some big plays, but we were a little lethargic and never really got anything going. I think you have to give them some credit but we didn't play very well offensively.

Q. What have you been preaching to the team this week where you want to see offensive improvement come from?
COACH JOHNSON: Just got to execute. We're scoring some points because we're hitting some big plays, but we've got to be more consistent and that kind of thing. So it's just a matter of execution.

Q. How would you evaluate the type of season that Jhaustin Thomas has had this year?
COACH JOHNSON: Well, I think he's played pretty good, up until -- Saturday wasn't one of his better games. I think that he played better towards the end. But I think maybe sitting out, he was a little bit rusty.

But all in all, he's had a pretty good senior year. I think he's had a little more help around him this year than a year ago, which has helped.

Q. He started 35 games for you I think, and has an opportunity to I think be the first quarterback since Joe Hamilton beat Georgia twice. What can you say just about the career that he's had there and the types of things he's been able to do for you as your quarterback the last three years?
COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, well, he's had an outstanding career here. He's been a big part of our success, you know, two years ago, and the MVP of the Orange Bowl game and leading the team to 11 wins and a great season.

This year, he's played well. I think that he's had a really good career here, and he's been a big part of what success that we've had.

Q. Georgia has several players on the defensive front that have not gone up against your offense before. How does that factor into this game in terms of trying to slow you down and what type of match up is it for you guys scheme-wise with what Georgia does?
COACH JOHNSON: Georgia has a ton of really good players. They rotate about eight deep on the defensive line and all those guys were very highly-recruited guys that are athletic and can run.

You know, I don't know what not playing against the offense does. I think people make too big a deal out of that. I always get a kick out of, it's assignment football. I don't know of any team that you play that's not assignment football.

We'll see. They are talented. What we do do is a little different, so you know, I know we're stressing out on how to try to block them.

Q. I wanted to ask you about J.J. Green, how he's fit into your program, and I guess do you understand how coaches generally don't want a player to be able to go to a rival school that's on their schedule every year?
COACH JOHNSON: Yeah, well, J.J. has been a -- we recruited J.J. out of high school so, we knew him. I think he's fit in well here.

As a general rule, I think that you're right about that; we've adopted a policy here where we allow our guys to pretty much if they want to transfer, we let them go where they want.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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