“We’re coming out of a bye week where we feel like we got a lot of work done. A lot of extra reps for Georgia Tech. We had a great practice yesterday and we’re finalizing the game plan today. We’re getting ready for a very difficult conference opener as we play in Atlanta for Georgia Tech. I think their defense is ranked number one in the country right now and I think offensively they’re like third in the country so they’re unique team right now. They’re very difficult on both sides of the ball right now coming out of two games.”
What were the costly mistakes that occurred last year against the Yellow Jackets?
“Mistakes in all three phases. I mean the break downs that I look at is we were somewhere around the 20 or 18 yard line when we fumbled the ball on a third and short and gave them the ball there. When were on our own 20 and we threw a little screen pass and the defensive end picked it off to give them a real short field. We fumbled I believe on a kickoff return and we also let them return a kick for a touchdown. And then we went for a fake punt and didn’t get it on our end of the field. I looked at just in those mistakes alone we gave up 28 points right there. I know everybody jumped all over the defense and we’re not sitting here condoning the defensive play but it was not a one sided deal. It was not just the defense that gave up problems or created problems for us. It was the entire team. Especially with an offense like theirs that is very productive and very difficult to defend. You cannot give them extra possessions and you can’t give up points on special teams. You really don’t have much of a chance to win if you do that.”
Did you change anything you did this year during the bye week as opposed to your approach last season?
“Yeah we did. We changed it up quite a bit actually. Part of that was learning some lessons from last year but also we have two bye weeks this year. This one is so much earlier in the season it’s a totally different deal. That was my plan in the summer when I was looking at the season and the way it was going to fall out. I planned out each of those bye weeks already way in advance. The second one is a little bit more difficult to plan out as much because to me in the second one it’s going to be what’s the status of our football team at that time. Where are we injury wise and all those things. But yeah, we did change up some things this last week.”
What kind of different things did you do this past week with your preparation?
“We spent almost all of our time on Georgia Tech where we didn’t in the previous year. We were still trying to learn what we were doing offensively and defensively and spent time on us where this year we spent quite a bit more time just on Georgia Tech.”
Did the coaching staff work on any adjustments during the offseason to prepare for the triple option attack that Georgia Tech employs?
“We did some game planning in the summer on their offense especially. Defensively, a little bit tougher on the offense because Ted Roof you may have studied some stuff Ted Roof has done at Penn State and all those but you couldn’t put together a game plan. Defensively, I would say the majority of the defensive game plan was probably done in the summer. Now if you saw the game against Duke they came out with a new offense. Probably fifty percent of the time they were in a new offense. They were in the gun with three backs in the backfield. Not running triple option and being a more conventional offense. They ran a lot of different plays from that set back there. Again that puts stress on you defensively. You’ve been working on everything for triple option and now you have to slow down a little bit and go back and make sure you cover what the new offense that they’re running also. So I think Vad Lee enables them to do both and that’s the tough thing about them.”
On his impression of the Georgia Tech defense based on their play so far this season:
“Here’s the thing as you look at them. I think what Ted (Roof) is doing is not anything extraordinary or out of the ordinary or anything like that. What Ted’s got is Ted’s got them in position to play. I mean that’s what he’s doing. He blitzes as he feels he needs to. He’s changing his fronts a little bit but he’s multiple in coverages. I think what he’s done is he’s settled them down and their playing just good solid football. They’re in position and where they’re supposed to be. They’re not out of position and making major mistakes and things like that. He’s got them in position. He’s putting them in a position where they can make a play and they’re making plays. I think he’s doing a really nice job with them.”
How do you feel about cut blocks and the amount used in the Georgia Tech offense?
“Well I don’t know what Cut (David Cutcliffe) said but my opinion is it doesn’t really matter what I think. It’s part of the game. I mean it is actually part of the game. In Paul’s offense they’re able to take advantage of it. We could do it but with what we do it doesn’t fit as much for us. It really fits for what they do in their triple option offense. It is legal and part of the game so who am I to complain about it. What you do is you practice against it. No matter what you’re still not going to be able to show as good of a picture as the way they’re going to play it. They’re going t be good at it because that’s what they do. We cut all last week in practice and we’ll continue to cut this week in practice and guys either learn how to play the cut block and still go and make plays or they don’t. Georgia Tech’s offense is betting that you’re not going to be able to play it because you don’t see it that often. It’s part of the game so whether I like it or not it’s part of the game. You better get ready for it.”