From the Georgia locker room: 'I'm about to pass out'

semerson@macon.comSeptember 28, 2013 

Comments from Georgia coaches and players following their 44-41 win over LSU:

MARK RICHT, head coach

Opening statement:

"I don't know where to start, other than how thankful I am and how honored I am to be a part of something like that, to be a part of a program where everybody just rallied, and everybody did their part. All the fans, coaches, players, all of our support staff. It takes so many people to pull something off like that."

Aaron Murray's performance:

"He came back to play a game like this, and hopefully win a game like this. He certainly played great in the South Carolina game. I thought he played great in the Clemson game too. That was a big game too, we just didn't win it. But I've always said that it's a team game, and when everybody wanted to give him a bunch of grief about not winning big games, it wasn't him winning and losing games, it was Georgia. He's a part of it. Now that we've won these two games, I'm not gonna put it all on Aaron. ... But he certainly played beautifully. He played clutch."

Special teams play:

"I was concerned about it. Every time we kicked off I was holding my breath, and I'm sure the fans were too."

Getting two out of three against the top-10 opponents, would you have taken that at the beginning of the season?

"I probably would have. And if I had to pick, and if you said it had to be two out of three I'd have said the conference games. It would have been nice to get three of them. ... But every game's gonna be a barnburner until we get more stout on defense and continue to get our special teams in order."

Todd Gurley's status:

"I know he sprained his ankle, he's out, I don't know how long. But yeah, Keith came in, played really good. The other backs came in and did real well. ... I have no idea on an ankle like that if Todd will play next week or not. So those other boys will get reps I'm sure in practice."

Georgia's defense giving up so many third-and-longs:

"Did you see the throws? Were they pretty amazing? I thought they were pretty amazing throws. I think that was part of it."

AARON MURRAY, senior quarterback

Is that kind of game fun or nerve-wracking?

"Both. It's fun when I'm on the field, but when I'm not on the field it's really stressful. ... I looked at Arthur (Lynch) and said we've gotta start saying some Hail Mary's, and praying. ... It was stressful for us, but I don't think a fan could've asked for a better game."

The offense's ability to keep answering:

"Just a really mature group of guys on offense. We knew we had mature guys heading into the season, a lot of leaders. It's great to go into the huddle with all those guys. Everybody's relaxed, everybody's calm, everyone's confident."

DAMIAN SWANN, junior cornerback

Overall thoughts:

"We've just got to learn to come with our game. I think the drive before that (LSU's final scoring drive) we got them where we wanted them, and we didn't execute. And that's what it comes down to, not executing when it matters. I think we stepped up as a unit and got a stop, and that's what we needed."

What was being executed wrong?

"I think we had a lot in the gameplan, to stop the run, and to stop Landry and Beckham. Sometimes we didn't get checks that we needed to get based on personnel, based on where they were lined up. And sometimes that hurt us. We gave up some plays that we shouldn't have given up if we were in the right audible. And we're fine. We got a W against a great LSU team."

TODD GRANTHAM, defensive coordinator

The third downs:

"We didn't get off the field ... because we didn't do the things that we've gotta do in that situation, and that's really mostly youth. And the combination of youth not playing the situation right, along with them being good, and making plays, kind of makes it the way it happens. That's why you have to coach resiliency and keep playing. If guys believe in you and your system and keep playing they've got a way to win the game."

Defending the third-and-longs:

"Basically there's only two scenarios that are going to happen there: One, they're going to throw it beyond the sticks on the route, or they're gonna make a catch and run play. Well, jams and re-routes are important, (and) we didn't jam the guys like we needed to. We didn't stay in the zones that we needed to. And we didn't read the eyes of the quarterback. And the guys stepped up and made a good throw. That's on us, and we've got to get better on that, because really in that situation there's nothing else to call."

More on the pass coverage:

"We had guys on guys with two safeties, basically. Whether you play zone or man, when you face strong-armed quarterbacks that are NFL-type guys, you've gotta be on them. Because if you're not, they're gonna put it in there. So you've gotta be on them, and you've gotta match them. ... I feel like we played them the right way. We had the right guys on guys. They made some plays. I think we can play a little bit better technique in a couple areas. But in the end, I think we were closer. We kept calling the same things because I wasn't gonna leave the gameplan, because I was afraid if you did that you're isolating linebackers on guys. I didn't wanna leave linebackers on those wideouts."

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

Aaron Murray's game:

"I mean, what a game. What a performance by him. What a performance by everybody, our whole football team. I just thought he was very calm tonight every time I talked to him on the phone. He responded, he knew what they were doing, he was going to the right place with the ball. And it was a great job on that last drive. They played more (pass) coverage. They played a 2-Tampa zone, and he just kept taking the check-down."

Keith Marshall's performance:

"I know he wishes he had a couple runs back where he didn't pick up his feet. But Keith's been a little banged up and hasn't had a lot of practice time. But what'd he end up with? (Ninety-six rushing yards.) We ran the ball well, we threw the ball well, we protected well. Just a great effort by everybody, when their numbers were called guys made plays all night long."

Have you ever been through a month like this?

"No. No. Obviously all three teams were ranked, and high-pressure games. But to be honest all SEC games are like that. It's gonna be like that next week in Knoxville, 100-something and thousand (fans). We'll do a good job of enjoying this but getting back to work."

Quayvon Hicks not playing as much:

"To be honest, Quayvon didn't play as well as would've liked last week, and Merritt Hall's been practicing great. I think we've got two quality fullbacks that do a nice job. And that's a lot of pounding for a fullback, so you want to rotate those guys and keep them fresh."

One more thought:

"I still think we can get better offensively. (Laughing.) We played one half without Todd Gurley, and it's good to see those guys step up, and J.J. Green step up."

MARSHALL MORGAN, sophomore kicker

His 55-yard field goal:

"I hit a 27-yarder earlier in the game, and I think that gave me some confidence. When I went out to kick from 55 yards, I knew I had it."

Special teams having a strong night:

"It's amazing that we can kind of get the stress off coach Richt's back. Because I'm sure the people are asking about special teams and stuff, and today special teams really came together and really did a great job."

His two games returning from the suspension:

"It's all part of God's plan, I guess. I just had a great time out there. I felt real comfortable, and I had a great summer. When I go out there, my teammates are always pumping me up and hitting my back, saying I'm gonna make it."

ARTHUR LYNCH, senior tight end

Murray's game:

"Even that (interception), you can't really predict a gigantic human being just coming out of nowhere to be that athletic. That was probably more an exceptional play than a bad play. ... I think Aaron was almost perfect today. He played well, and he was definitely perfect down the stretch."

JUSTIN SCOTT-WESLEY, sophomore receiver

His game-winning touchdown catch:

"It was kind of the play concept as the one against South Carolina. Just a shorter field. A different play, but the same concept back-side."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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