Johnson said entire team at fault for loss at Virginia

Nov 06, 2017
Brant Sanderlin
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is shown in this filed photo. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said his team needs to improve its finishing in a testy post-practice press conference on Monday.

After the passing game struggled, the special teams allowed a touchdown and botched a kickoff, and the defense gave up a late scoring drive, Johnson said the entire team was at fault for Saturday’s 40-36 loss at Virginia. The Yellow Jackets (4-4, 3-3) will host Virginia Tech on Saturday.

“Bottom line is you have to score one more than they do, however it comes about,” Johnson said. “I mean, everybody has their chance. We haven’t done a good job finishing. 

“You are right, we haven’t done a good job finishing on defense, but we had the ball back with a minute, 12 seconds to go and couldn’t finish on offense either. We’ve missed kicks, we’ve done whatever it takes. At the end of the game, we haven’t finished.”

Johnson’s answers to some questions on Monday were punctuated by sarcasm and minor curse words.

Asked to assess his play-calling: “I thought it was tremendous. What kind of damn question is that? What was your assessment of the play-calling?”

An answer of why he continued to call pass plays when TaQuon Marshall was struggling (he finished 6-of-22 with two interceptions and was sacked five times) led to Johnson responding: “If I didn’t throw the ball much, guys like you would be questioning why the hell you didn’t throw the ball with nine guys in the box.

“Were guys wide open?

“Yeah, pretty much.”

Asked if there might be changes on the coverage teams after Joe Reed returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, Johnson said, “Been a lot of them on there. I’m sure there will be some different guys this week. Ask Coach (Joe) Speed. You can talk to him about that.” Johnson made the assistants off-limits to the media this season.