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September 25, 2013

Paul Johnson

PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Good morning.テつ Clearly we've got a quick turnaround for this game.テつ Both teams do.テつ It's been an important game every year that I've been in it at Georgia Tech.テつ It seems like either Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech has represented the Coastal Division in the Conference Championship game, so we know how big a game it is.
Great deal of respect for what Frank has done there and the program he has, and we've had some great games the last few years.テつ Just hoping that we can do enough to come out on the right end of it this time.

Q.テつ I just wonder if you can talk a little bit about what you see from their defense.テつ Although they've struggled some on offense, their defense has been pretty impressive so far this year leading the league in rushing defense.テつ How big a problem is that and what's the biggest problem?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, I think they're always good on defense.テつ You have to give Bud Foster a lot of credit.テつ He does a great job.テつ They'll have a good plan.テつ They've got good athletes.テつ I think that against most people they play a lot of man free and really get after the quarterback and blitz a lot.テつ It's a little bit different for us sometimes.テつ But they always have a great plan.テつ They know what they're doing.テつ They run well, and they tackle well.
When you combine all those things together, you're usually pretty good on defense, and that's what they are.

Q.テつ Contrast to that is offensively they have struggled.テつ Is there anything that concerns you about‑‑ that you have to do to continue that struggle?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, yeah, they've got a lot that concerns me.テつ Their quarterback is a very explosive guy.テつ He can beat you at any given time.テつ Two years ago when we played down here we couldn't tackle the guy.テつ He must have averaged about seven yards on quarterback sneaks.
But they'll have some talented players.テつ I'm sure they haven't executed as well as they would have liked so far this year offensively, but it's not because there's not talent there.テつ They're very capable.

Q.テつ Talk about playing these Thursday night games.テつ How difficult are these games, getting yourselves ready to play after a short week?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, it's difficult.テつ I mean, I'm sure it's going to be difficult on both teams, just the turnaround.テつ We're coming out of a really physical game with North Carolina, and I'm sure they had a lot of plays going into triple overtime.テつ They had a physical game, as well.
It's just tough on the young men involved.テつ You know, the Thursday night games are great as far as exposure if you've got time to get ready and play.テつ It's just really tough to come off of five days' rest, and it's hard on the kids.

Q.テつ Talk about Coach Beamer, what type of coach he's been throughout his career.テつ Talk about your battles against him.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, I think we've had some great games.テつ Clearly all you have to do is look at Frank's record to see what kind of coach he's been.テつ He's had an outstanding program for a long time.テつ I think that he's got a philosophy and some basic beliefs, and he's very good at sticking to it and coaching and adhering to those principles, and that's what's made him successful.
You know, he's done a remarkable job, and I'm sure that he's had a Hall of Fame career there at Virginia Tech.

Q.テつ I just wanted to ask, you guys, North Carolina got off to a pretty good start against you Saturday, and you guys had to match them.テつ First time this year I thought maybe you'd faced some adversity.テつ I just wonder, can you talk about the resiliency your team showed in a game that was at least tough early?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, I was proud of our guys.テつ I thought that they came back and we played a little better in the second half.テつ The first half you have to give North Carolina credit, but we didn't play very well.テつ That's two weeks in a row we've kind of sputtered coming out, and we won't be able to do that as the competition level increases.
It's a concern.テつ We've got to be able to show up and play right from the start, and hopefully we can do that.
But I was proud of our guys to come back from down 20‑7 and found a way to come back and score 21 unanswered points.

Q.テつ You mentioned in your opening statement just how important this series has been to the Coastal Division race.テつ Is there anything from your perspective that you can pinpoint as to why these two programs have been able to separate and made it such a special series?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ No, I don't know.テつ I think that if you look just since I've been here, sometimes the programs get overlooked a little bit.テつ But if you take Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, they're probably in the top three or four in total conference wins over the whole span that I've been here.テつ It's just kind of worked that way.テつ So it's always a big game and a game that has a lot of meaning in the Coastal Division race.

Q.テつ Do you have an update on Crenshaw, Jamal or Chris?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, we released the injury report, and that's kind of where they are, what we released last night.テつ So we'll see.

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