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ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: GEORGIA TECH v FLORIDA STATE


December 6, 2014


Paul Johnson

Justin Thomas


CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

GEORGIA TECH テや 35
FLORIDA STATE - 37


PAUL JOHNSON: Well, I'm disappointed in the outcome of the game, but I'm awfully proud of the football team.テつ I thought they kept playing.テつ Florida State is a very talented team, and you know, it was the kind of game where you couldn't make a mistake.テつ I mean, you had to play really clean, and to their credit, they did that, and we missed a couple turns, and we couldn't make it up.テつ That's pretty much it in a nutshell, I guess, the way the game went.テつ I felt like we had some opportunities, but we would have had to play pretty close to error free to have won the game.

Q.テつ There were a couple busted coverages there that really hurt.テつ What happened on those?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, in the first half especially, and we turned a wheel route loose one time down the sideline to the tight end, and then the other one wasn't a busted coverage.テつ I think nay Demond Smith tripped and fell.テつ I think they hit heels and we were in man coverages and he slipped and fell on the other one.

Q.テつ Early on the lack of pressure allowed them to drag that receiver across the field and that really hurt during the game.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, we actually had a whole player that was supposed to be jumping that, but he was too deep.テつ He was dropping too deep and he wasn't really a factor.テつ But we never really got much pressure on him the whole game.

Q.テつ Justin, you guys were moving the ball so effectively in the first half and into the third quarter.テつ What did Florida State change that stopped that?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ They didn't change anything they were doing the whole game, just wasn't executing as well on the perimeter as we was early on.

Q.テつ Just curious about your thoughts about how both quarterbacks led their offenses tonight.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ I thought that both quarterbacks played well.テつ You know, I was proud of the way Justin played, and certainly Jameis played a good game.テつ He played one of the cleaner games he's had this season.テつ My hats off to them.テつ I think we had maybe a chance to pick one ball down there in the end zone that we dropped, but other than that, you know, I thought both quarterbacks played well.テつ It was the kind of game that we needed to play to win.テつ It was a game of limited possessions.テつ It got a little crazy there at the end, but I don't think‑‑ I know in the first half we had the ball four times, and then in the second half it was about the same.テつ I'm not sure anybody was really stopping anybody if you want to know the truth.テつ I mean, one stop was big.テつ Both teams punted twice in the game, so there wasn't a lot of stopping going on.

Q.テつ What was the defensive strategy change in the second half?テつ They seemed to force a few more stops and play a little better.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ We tried to get some pressure from the outside.テつ I think what we did is we got‑‑ we forced them to kick a couple of field goals instead of touchdowns, yeah.

Q.テつ Justin, obviously on that last drive with the touchdown, things seemed to open up a bit more for you.テつ Can you talk about what was different about that drive as opposed to prior drives?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ That was really the first drive we was just dropping straight back, so that was pretty much the first time I seen that it was opening up.テつ They was playing so deep, they was just giving a lot of stuff underneath.

Q.テつ You had so much success early in the game with the drives just feeling like they couldn't stop you.テつ In a game like this where there's just so little difference between completing a drive and not, what was the difference in the drives that didn't go for you guys?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ It wasn't much difference.テつ Nobody is perfect so you can't score every drive, but just they made good plays on the defensive side and stopped us a few times.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ I'm trying to look at this and you guys can help me.テつ I think we punted once in the second half and had a turnover.テつ I don't know where all the stopping was coming.テつ Must have missed that.

Q.テつ Going toe to toe with the defending national champions has to really say something about where your program is at right now, and being it was a two‑point game against a team like that, talk about that.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Well, like I said, I'm disappointed that we didn't win the game.テつ We had our chances.テつ If we played completely clean, we probably could have had a chance to win the game or at least have a chance to have the ball at the end.テつ You know, you have to give them credit.テつ The bottom line is we didn't make enough plays to win the game on either side of the ball, really.テつ You know, we've had a pretty good little three‑game stretch here and probably going to be a four‑game stretch.テつ We were talking, I don't know what happened in the Big Ten Championship game, who‑‑

Q.テつ Ohio State.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Okay, so depending on what happens tomorrow, I mean, we could end up with Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State.テつ Pretty good four‑team parlay.テつ And if it's not Ohio State, it's going to be somebody just like them.テつ Yeah, I was proud of our team.テつ We're never‑‑ there is no moral victories.テつ We're not into that.テつ We wanted to win the game and are disappointed we didn't win.

Q.テつ Did you see anything from Florida State either offensively or defensively that you didn't expect, that was a surprise?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ I don't think so. Do you think?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ No.
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Pretty much what we thought.

Q.テつ You feasted so much on turnovers here the last couple weeks.テつ Did you keep waiting for that one to pop?
PAUL JOHNSON:テつ Yeah, we were just hoping for one there in the second half.テつ It could have been big.テつ But we had our‑‑ an opportunity and we held them to a field goal that first drive of the second half.テつ We had a chance to get back ahead, and that's the one drive that we didn't finish.テつ You know, actually we had two times because we held them to a field goal the next time that we could have gone up.テつ You know, we had our chances.

Q.テつ On the 4th‑down completion to Waller, was that supposed to be a comeback or he just improvised?
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ He could have did either or.テつ It was just a miscommunication.テつ That was probably my first time throwing him that route all year.テつ We weren't on the same page.

Q.テつ How much of a difference did it make not having DeAndre tonight?テつ That was a particular play where maybe he would have come back for the ball.テつ Based on the way you guys have played all year together.
JUSTIN THOMAS:テつ Yeah, I guess we just have that knowing where he's going to be at all times, but we still came out today and had opportunities.テつ Just sometimes we didn't take advantage of them like we needed to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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