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October 31, 2018

Paul Johnson

Greensboro, North Carolina

PAUL JOHNSON: Good morning. Like always, I think, in the league, any time you go on the road, it's going to be a challenging game. Watching the tape on North Carolina, certainly they have some really good players, and they've kind of been snake bitten a little bit. They've had some bad luck. But they're certainly a much better football team than what their record would indicate. Whenever we play them, we know it's always a tough game, and we're looking forward to going and playing and know it's going to be a challenge for our team.

Q. When you first decided to run the triple option, what did you like about it?
PAUL JOHNSON: We won a lot of games and scored a lot of points. We started at Georgia Southern, and we won -- and really when you say the triple, that's one play, but when we started lining up in double slot, we had some good players and we won two National Championships in a row and scored a bunch of points, and we just kind of built into it and kept doing it. I think that it spreads the field. It makes -- lets you get some skill guys in some one-on-one places, and you can play the personnel. If you want to run it, you can run it. If you decided you wanted to throw out of it, you could throw out of it fairly easily.

Q. And what do you think -- what about North Carolina would give you the most worry this week?
PAUL JOHNSON: Well, I think that they've been in a bunch of games. They probably should have won the Virginia Tech game and could have very easily won the Syracuse game. Like I said, they've got some good athletes. Even though we won the game a year ago, they played really well defensively against us, and I know that going up there, it's a hard place to play. They've got really good skill on offense. Their running backs are good. I think they've got good receivers. Tight end is a good player. So they're very capable. When they ever put it all together, somebody is going to take the brunt of it. I just hope it's not Saturday.

Q. Coach, your former quarterback Josh Nesbitt is being inducted into the ACC Legends class on November 30th. Kind of what's your thoughts about this accomplishment for Josh and what he's meant to Georgia Tech?
PAUL JOHNSON: Well, Josh might be in my 40 years of coaching, if he's not the toughest kid that I ever coached, he'd be in a short line. Tremendous competitor, loved to play the game. I think my first two years here, we won 20 games with him as the quarterback. He's very deserving, and not only was he tough, hard-nosed, he was a really great leader, and I think he'll go down probably in Georgia Tech history as one of the all-time great quarterbacks that played here.

Q. When you arrived, obviously you did not recruit Josh, but at what moment did you know that he was going to be like a special athlete for you?
PAUL JOHNSON: Well, I mean, you could tell when you started to play that he was very tough and he was physical, and Josh was a little bigger and stronger. He was a good dual threat guy. He could run the ball effectively, and when he had to throw it, he could throw it well enough. But the biggest thing to me about Josh was his competitiveness and just overall grasp and understanding of the game. He knew how to play the game.

Q. Talk about Oliver last week, his first start down in hostile territory in Virginia Tech. What did you like about his first start?
PAUL JOHNSON: Well, I thought he played well. He played physical. He took care of the ball, which was something that was important in that game, and it's important in every game. You know, he kind of did what we expected he could do. I think that he played well. The guys up front played well for him. Our other skill guys did a nice job blocking, and he was able to go out there and execute the game plan and play really well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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