Georgia Tech’s season officially ended yesterday with a loss to rivals Georgia in Athens. The loss dropped the Yellow Jackets to 5-7 and they will not go to a bowl game for the fourth straight season.
Georgia Tech played the game harder than most thought, leading 7-3 after the first quarter, but a series of crucial errors in the third quarter blew up the game for the Bulldogs, and they won 37-14.
After the game, interim head coach Brent Key spoke to the media, and here’s everything he had to say.
“Start with Kirby, his staff and his players. They’re a good football team and well coached. They did a good job on the track, especially in the second half and we made some mistakes in the second half, but we were able to do the drives didn’t maintain it. We turned the game around early and were able to keep field position in our favor. With the game and possession too. That was all part of the game and we were able to do that in the first half but when the second part came , had a few mistakes on some drives, drops or a special team error and we can’t have that in big games like this, we knew it was going to be a field position play and they have an explosive offense, we knew possession was for us would be very critical, and we knew getting the defense off the field at times would be very critical.
Early on I thought we could move the ball offensively and found nice spots in their covers to throw it early and run it and they shrunk it a bit in their trajectories. When we got there in the second and third quarters we weren’t able to make those efficient first down wins that happened early on and that’s what the game is about, especially in a game like this you have to be able to Get these third and manageable. We had the big fourth down conversion in the first quarter that could put us in a position to score and then I thought we did an excellent job early in the game to take away the explosive, take away from them the explosive pass and then as the game went on we started to wear down a bit and had some gap issues on a couple of moves and got into one to one sim blitz reporting but I thought Thack did a really good job done to prepare the boys for the soccer game.
Respect Georgia and her soccer team. I haven’t seen an end to the guys out there, our guys have gotten their hair out of the way and the clock has hit zero and that’s something to build on as you head into the off-season.
1. Whether Georgia did anything differently defensively in the second half…
“I mean, they had some more single dog pressure on really single people up front and constricting… I noticed they had some issues on the edge of defense that we took advantage of early on and then they really shored it up in the second half, so kudos to them for the adjustments and we need to keep working on those areas throughout all four quarters of the game.”
2. On how the team kept fighting and how their expectations translated into the game…
“My expectation was to win. Those are our expectations of the game we play. You play the game to win, you don’t play to finish second. You play the game to win and that’s what we’re preparing for we were preparing to win this soccer game and there is no other acceptable result and this is how we approach the soccer game. Did we play hard? Yes we did, we played really hard. We wanted that our guys dialing in and having a good plan of attack yes we had a good overall plan were we able to prevail in the end no
3. Whether he’s done enough to be the head coach of the program moving forward…
“I’m not going to say anything about that now. This is 100% about the kids in the locker room and how they persevered and played this season. I respect your question but it’s all about the kids in that dressing room and the coaches who have worked so hard this season.”
4. About the game of the secondary side…
“Yeah, you know, with KJ (Wallace) out today … as many 12 staffers as they ran on offense, we were able to play more 4-3 defense and we took a lot of snaps there, so that took a little bit of that Stress those guys in the back end were having having to play so many snaps when KJ was out and Rodney… and setting up Rodney for the last few weeks in this place and Rodney went in early and played well for a freshman got his first burn and kinda spun all over the place but I mean he settles in pretty quickly and he’s going to be a good football player and he’s got a lot of snaps in the nickel commercial when they went into 11 staff subdivision and overall… the secondary out of the Preparing throughout the week in anticipation of what is to come from formation tendencies or movement tendencies and being able to anticipate what the offense will do and their communication at the back and being able to communicate with each other and address everyone on the same page, they’ve done a really good job.”
5. How the bugs affected her…
“Yeah, I mean it reduced field position and that was the crucial part of it. I mean you look at that play call on the second down, we were able to uncover something in that coverage and now you’re third and long and third and 10 and then two games later with the snap and they were able to take advantage. The defense was got put in a bad position a couple of times and had our backs to the wall and really came through and we were able to pin them to a field goal a couple of times on those occasions and only credit to those guys no matter where they are were on the field that they went out and played the next game and that’s what we’re asking these guys is to play the next game and they did. Then we fumbled the next drive, so look at there two back-to-back streaks where we could move the ball and never get past 30, so we tied one-handed behind our backs.”
6. One of the game’s offensive opening scripts…
“You play the hand you’re dealt and there’s been no need to sit around and complain about it, and I said it last week, the more time you spend complaining about it, the less time you have, to find a solution to this and the collective of employees has really come together over the past 9-10 weeks and it has worked to put together the best plan. I thought we had a really good plan together and we were able to pull some things from it formally and personally, but besides that, it played to those quarterbacks’ strengths and you have to play to your players’ strengths and put your players in a position to make games, regardless of who’s out there.
7. How the experience was for him…
“I mean… I’ve had a chance to be the head coach at my alma mater for the last eight games. It was very special and it was very special to train with kids like that. I mean to do what these kids did and play as hard as they played and the clock was down to zero today and it’s such a recognition of the kids and the leadership of this dressing room and the leadership throughout the week that they have given each other to really own and the players have ownership and responsibility and accountability and they are 100% committed to it. They bought into every part of it and when you as a player have ownership of your own team it’s really an empowering thing, so yeah it’s been a real pleasure and an excellent time to be able to coach these kids.”
8. When it felt good to move forward regardless of losing…
“Yes, I’m sorry, but I’ve never felt good after losing. 22 years ago I walked off this pitch after losing and the next time I come here it’s … like every game you come to win and that’s the 100 percent goal that we as a football team to have.
9. If he could share what Kirby Smart said to him after the game…
“No. I’ve known him for a long time and played and recruited against each other on that field, trained against each other for a long time, so we go way back.”
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