ATLANTA — Paul Johnson wants to see — not hear — that his Georgia Tech players have learned from last week’s loss at Kansas.
Georgia Tech fell out of the Top 25 with its 28-25 loss to a Kansas team that lost its opener to FCS North Dakota State.
Johnson said Tuesday he will try harder to make sure his players are properly motivated for Saturday’s game at North Carolina, but he placed the bulk of that responsibility on the players.
“From the looks of the game I can certainly motivate better, but you know what my experience has been in 31 years? That’s movie, TV crap,” Johnson said Tuesday.
“You better be able to motivate yourself because I’m not going to motivate you 12 Saturdays a year. Anybody who thinks they’re going to go into a locker room and somebody is going to punch a locker or cave in a blackboard or head-butt somebody and everybody will go ‘Ah,’ that’s make-believe. It doesn’t happen.”
Running back Anthony Allen said Monday on his Twitter account the team has moved past the loss.
Johnson doesn’t want to hear that kind of chatter.
When asked if Georgia Tech’s seniors had anything to say to the other players on the plane ride back from Kansas, Johnson said he’d rather see the players lead with their actions on the field.
“It’s easy to talk. I don’t want to see anybody talking,” he said. “I tell them, ‘Show me, don’t tell me.’ We’ll see what they can do on Saturday.
“You do it by playing and doing your job and doing what’s right. It’s easy, anybody can stand up on the plane and say ‘Hey guys, we’re coming this week’ until you get hit in the mouth the first time.”
Johnson warned his players last week that Kansas players would be motivated by their opening loss to North Dakota State.
“We’ve got to do a better job and I’ve got to do a better job making them focus in,” Johnson said. “I talked about it all last week, but clearly they weren’t listening. Hopefully they will learn. Sometimes too, you just get beat. The other team has 85 guys on scholarship, too.”
Kansas ended an eight-game losing streak that began in the 2009 season.
“They’re not as bad as everybody thinks they are,” Johnson said of the Jayhawks. “They made a bunch of plays when they had to make plays, and we just didn’t play with any zip or burning desire. It’s like they wanted to win more than we did. You can’t play that way. We can’t play that way at Georgia Tech.”
Saturday’s game is the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for Georgia Tech (1-2) and North Carolina (0-1), which was off last week after opening the season with a 30-24 loss to Louisiana State at the Georgia Dome.
“We are actually looking forward to getting last week behind us and getting into conference play,” Johnson said.
“The good news is we’ve played two games. We’ve still got a bunch left and we’ve got a chance to get better. Will we? We could play better Saturday and still not know it because we’re playing a better team. But all we can worry about is Georgia Tech playing better. ... I think we’re capable of playing a lot better than we’ve played.”