September 6, 2000 - by
Georgia Tech Head Coach George O’ Leary

Sept. 6, 2000


I thought it was a good character game for us, but I was disappointed with
the number of penalties. When I looked at the game, we had nine penalties
that cost us over 100 yards in field position. With two turnovers and the
amount of penalties that we had, you don’t normally win ball games like
that. I give credit to the players for coming back and staying in the game.
I hope we build on that during the rest of the season. Last night was a
much more spirited practice than the week before, and I think that has to
do with winning and building some confidence in some of the players.

The chore this week is playing Florida State, who is certainly deserving of
their ranking. They return a wealth of experience on offense and defense.
For us to have success, we’re going to have to make plays on offense and
defense, as well as not give up the big plays. Florida State shortens the
field on you, so we have to have some consistency on offense with
maintaining the ball and moving for first downs. Defensively, we can’t give
up a lot of sustained drives. Last year we got into some situations of
getting into third and 10 or 12, and they were consistent in completing
things for first downs. That’s one area that we need to improve on if we
are going to be successful this week.

George Godsey is the starter and Andy Hall will play. That’s something that
I made a commitment to before the season started. Until one shakes out
where I think that he’s the guy that I want to go with for the rest of the
season, I will continue to play both. What I like is that they are two
different quarterbacks as far as how they attack things. You have to have
two quarterback that are ready to play.

You saw George Godsey’s experience count when it mattered last week.
Obviously Andy Hall doesn’t have that experience yet. That’s where George
has separated himself a little bit. Right now, I don’t want to go into the
season without two quarterbacks who know the gameplan and the system.

We’re still giving up big plays, and that has to stop. I thought we played
better up front. We had three sacks and we put more pressure on the
quarterback than we had in the past. We played the point of attack better,
but I still continue to impress on the secondary that they need to improve
their tightness and their coverage. We played pretty well in this last game
and forced a lot of three and outs against a team that knew what they were

There is no question that in the two-deep they have a lot more talented
players than we do. I think we have closed the gap on them in speed. I
still think the number of the people that they play is still way ahead of
everybody else in our conference and probably in the country. That’s where
they separate themselves. They will play number of different receivers, and
there is not much drop off. They all can catch the ball and they all can
run. I think they really utilize their personnel very well.

Everybody strives to win your conference and that’s the team that you have
to go through to win it. Coaches and players at this level are all great
competitors. You don’t get discouraged, you keep trying to improve.

The kids have played them before and they look forward to playing them.
They have watched a lot of film and it’s no secret that you have to make
big plays on offense and defense and not give them up. They make it hard
because they don’t huddle and put the pressure on the defense to react.

He lost some weight over the summer, and he’s a lot more mobile than he has
been in the past. He’s a very smart quarterback and knows where to go with
the ball. I think they are utilizing him very well. He’s a very efficient

I thought Joe Burns was very good, but he played too many plays. We have a
bunch of running backs and we need to play a lot more people there. Sean
Gregory needs to play more, he only played 15 plays last week. Joe Burns is
not a guy that can run 70 plays, and that’s something that has been
addressed. It’s a long year and we have some other backs that need to play.

There’s no question that when you play your second game of the year, you’re
better than you were in the first one. We just happen to be playing Florida
State. Our kids are going to practice well, and we’ve got to eliminate some
of the mistakes. Penalties and turnovers are two of the quickest ways to
get beat, and that’s what I’m stressing this week. Our offense and defense
will have their game plans, and they have to go out and utilize them to get
the job done.

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