FOOTBALL: Georgia Tech – Bronco Mendenhall Post Game

FOOTBALL: Georgia Tech – Bronco Mendenhall  Post Game
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[MUSIC PLAYING] Congratulations to Paul
Johnson and their– his football team. Hard fought game. I love my team. They battled like crazy. Played very strong, played
tough, played right to the end. I thought defensively,
we played very well, holding Virginia Tech to
field goals for the most part. Ultimately, the storyline
is special teams miscues. The kick return for a touchdown
and the ball, the punt, that bounced up and
hit one of our players. That turnover. Those two plays, I
thought, contributed to us not quite being able
to pull off this game. Certainly the safety. And so really those
three plays, in terms of clean play and execution,
were the difference in the game. Offensively we held
the ball and scored. Defensively, we
played well and held them to field goals, as well,
as I would say, significantly under rushing total. And so the plan
worked well other than the special teams
didn’t execute well enough on a few plays to win the game. But again, really thought
my team played hard. Thought they played well. Thought they played
with a lot of heart. And yeah, I am proud of them. When you play in
an overtime game, and you go on defense
first, and you hold them to a field goal, that’s kind
of where you want to be, right? It’s exactly how you design it. And so, the defense,
again, for the entire day, I don’t know how much
fault you can find. They played very, very
well from start to finish. On a– I know that you
mentioned that bounce-off play. Was that just like
a freak bounce? Or– So, yes, certainly it’s– I don’t know if it’s
a freak bounce or not. So our punt
returner’s primary job is to alert every player
that’s covering or holding up a defensive player,
that the kick is short. And then their job
is to get away. And so the communication
from the returner needed to be more
animated and more distinct so the player that was holding
up a defender going down to cover, could get
out of the way quicker. I think there was a
review on the play. Were you told it was
inconclusive, or were you told it did hit your– I wasn’t told anything
other than the play stands. You know, I looked
up and saw it. But I mean– You had that sequence in
the first quarter where the safety– injury and then the touchdown. But– well, your– maybe your first team
here, maybe your last here, have kind of pulled
itself together and got back in
the game the way– That series to start
the game, where there’s a safety, a quarterback
injury, and a kick return for a touchdown. That would have broken
the will of many teams. And it didn’t seem
to faze our guys. Nor did the whole scenario,
going all the way to overtime. Yeah, we didn’t kick the
ball through the uprights at the end. But that’s what
everyone will see. But we just– the team
played really well. We just didn’t quite
play clean enough to win. The third and 1 call down on the
goal line, past the end zone. Were you just hoping to
catch them off guard there? Yeah, we thought we had
just one opportunity. And we thought we might
catch them sleeping. What about the job Brennan
did, coming in for that series? It was awesome. I mean, he– it
seems like each time he goes in, there’s something
electric that happens. And he’s a really good player. But he has a presence that is– we see it every day defensively. We have a presence where
he just kind of thinks he can move the
ball against anyone, no matter the circumstance. And he’s probably right. Any serious
consideration once you talk to Kelly to
ride with Brennan and not go back to Bryce? No, our quarterback
is Bryce Perkins. And if he was healthy,
and able to play, we were going to play him. And he was healthy enough to
lead our team, which he did. Gave us a great chance to win. Did you have any idea
when he came to the saddle that he might be able to
still play, because it looked more serious– No, I thought it was done
when he went off the field. And then I was surprised
when I was told. And certainly there
was, you know, other things that
allowed him to play. So we’ll have to
reassess after the game, and after the pain management
goes away, and see. But he did a really nice job. In the overtime, what
you think about getting– were you concerned at all about
the location on the right hash? Or pretty confident that– Yeah, it never even
crossed my mind. I thought we’d be great. So, yeah, I thought we’d be OK. That’s kind of the
life of a kicker. You know, you’re only as
good as your last kick. But without Delaney, you’re
not in over– you had to make– That’s right. At the end of regulation. And he’s not– he’s
done a really nice job. And I mean, he kick– I’m walking off the field,
and he comes up to me and says he’s sorry. I mean, I mean, he
did the best he could. Just like the rest of our team. So I don’t think the
burden or the play shifts. I don’t think that play decides
it, even though that’s usually what’s the most visible. That series at the beginning
with the safety and the kick return for a touchdown, and
then the ball bouncing off one of our guy’s legs. All of those are
equal if not more impactful than the last play. Dylan Thompson by far saw
his most playing time, had his most impact on a game. What did you see out
of him out there today? We’re just down to playing
whatever defensive linemen we have remaining. And Coach Soto has really done
a nice job getting guys ready. So Grant Misch played
as a true first year. Tommy Christ has gotten
significant action again. Dylan Thompson now. Faumui. Yeah, he’s working
really hard to get anyone that we have remaining at that
position on our roster to play. And they did a nice job. Even though you lost an overtime
game, you’re sitting here 7-4. How encouraged are you going
into the final week of– I love my team. I mean, yeah, I’m
sad we lost the game. But you all saw how they played. I mean, it’s a whole
different team. It’s a whole different program. And that’s encouraging. And I’m their biggest fan. I just think the world of them. And really would like to see
them continue to have success and to have meaningful games
all the way to the very end is what you try for. And that’s what they’re doing. And that’s what they’ve earned. And no– next week is no
different or the bowl game. It just is the next growth
step of our program. And again, I credit Georgia
Tech for making enough plays to win the game. But there were some
pretty unique kind of out-of-the box plays. When you get a safety and a
kick return for a touchdown, that’s– sometimes it’s just enough. And that’s what they got. How big was the
37-yard completion. They had the third and 6– Oh, yeah. Late in the regular– Great catch by their receiver. I give him great credit. You can’t lay out any– Bryce was right there. Yeah, and if you say, who
do you want him to throw to? Throw it to Bryce. I mean, and stop and go. And their receiver laid
just completely out. Great play by them. And that young man is just– and if you’re a
college football fan, it’s just, like, way to go. And holding them to a field
goal on that possession was huge also. So, yeah, again, I thought
our defense played really well today. Not only just tenaciously
but statistically. But just not giving
up many points. I think it would have been
21 just on the defense if you don’t count all the other
stuff that happens in there.

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