Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/15/11
Georgia Tech's season may be over as far as getting to the ACC championship, but as far as Head Coach Paul Johnson is concerned, the season is anything but over. He made that abundantly clear in his Tuesday morning press conference that he hasn't give up on the 2011 season. His look into the future consists of Saturday's game at Duke, the home- and season-finale next Saturday against Georgia and a bowl game still to be determined. "We still have three games left to play," Johnson said of his 7-3 (4-3) team. "In a sport where you only play 13 games, you still have almost 25 percent of your games left. So you finish out. "You use things to try to motivate these guys, he continued, "I think there have only been 12 teams at Georgia Tech that have won eight games over the last 50 years. These guys have a chance to do something that doesn't happen every week. Sometimes we reinvent history but they can be up there with some of the better teams." Johnson knows about some of those better teams, as he's coached two of them, recording nine wins his first season at Tech in 2008, then 11, with an ACC Championship in '09. One more win would make him the first Yellow Jackets coach to put together eight-or-more wins in three of his first four seasons. That's no small feat at a school that has one football coach for whom the stadium is named (Bobby Dodd), and another for whom one of the most-esteemed awards in college football is named (John Heisman). But Johnson isn't playing on getting them to win one for him. He's calling upon them to win one for themselves. The defense had expressed their disappointment and embarrassment at the way Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas ran through them. Johnson is counting on the entire team to come back with a vengeance. "We'll see this week," he said. "You would certainly hope that guys are going to come back with a little edge and want to get that taste out of their mouth." Johnson said removing that bad taste was more of a requirement than restoring the team's morale. "I don't know that that's been a problem here," he said. "Clearly, if I thought it was an issue we would try to do something but I haven't seen that as a problem." Duke hasn't been much of a problem for the Jackets, either. Tech has won 15 of the last 16 meetings between the two teams and nine of the last 10 at Wallace Wade Stadium. Under Johnson, Tech is 3-0, having outscored the Blue Devils, 106-30. He's not going to let that dominance come into play. Nothing is to be taken for granted. "We have to go up to Duke, which is a pretty tough place to go play, he said. "I think Duke's an improved team. They don't have the wins to show for it, but I think they have a better football team than they were a year ago. They have been in most every game. We'll see if we can go play one of our better games and take care of business. "We need to beat Duke," he added. "Winning 10 games is out there in front of them, but that's not the focus. The focus needs to be beat Duke because otherwise it won't be pretty. We talked about the position for a bowl game, and we need to beat Duke. That's the next game. If you want to keep yourself in position for a higher pegged bowl game, then you need to win. It's important that way." Georgia Tech still has a lot of football to play and Johnson is going to make sure that his team plays all of it.
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