From the locker room: 'These are the games you remember'

semerson@macon.comOctober 5, 2013 

Comments from Georgia players and coaches following their 34-31 overtime win over Tennessee:

AARON MURRAY, senior quarterback

The injuries on offense:

“It’s tough. But we’ve always been a team that it’s the next guy up. Obviously you want to have all your weapons. There’s no better feeling than knowing you have a full group of guys to throw to, to hand the ball to. But right now that’s not the case. We’re gonna have to have guys step up and understand their role is gonna be bigger.”

The feeling of winning like that again:

"Both weeks, huge wins. These are guys you love to play in. Well not really, I'm stressed out. (Smiling). I'm growing some gray hairs right now. These are the games you remember. We'll talk about these games for a long time. ... I feel like I've aged 10, 15 years in the last two weeks."

On winning in the clutch again:

"You've just gotta step up. As an offense we understand that we had to make big plays in those situations in those games. We have a veteran group of guys, especially in the front. I mean those guys up front have done a great job. I think I was sacked once tonight. To be sacked once in that environment with the crowd noise is unbelievable. ... A lot of maturity on this offense, and we're able to step up and make plays."

The confidence level on offense:

"It seems we've been in this situation a lot between this year and last year a lot. So it's not something we're stressed out about. We're very confident when it comes to what our one-minute plays are and what we need to do."

On his 53-yard run:

"There was a split-second where I was like: Slide. But then I said screw it, let's go for it all. Luckily I didn't get killed."

MARSHALL MORGAN, sophomore kicker

On the game-winner:

"They called the timeout and I just thought back to last year when we played Tennessee. They did the exact thing, and I hit the 53 (yarder). So I was thinking back to last year, hopefully the guy lets me do it again."

The moment:

"These are the days that you dream about when you're kicking. I've only had one time in my life, back in high school when I made a game-winner, and it was a short one. So out here in college, my second year ... I felt great."

On his 56-yard field goal:

"I just felt so good after last game (when he hit a 55-yarder). I felt the operation working smooth after last week, me, Nathan (Theus), Adam (Erickson) and the whole line. I didn't even think anything of it. When it happened I tried not to think anything of it, it was so early in the game. But I kind of was pretty excited."

RANTAVIOUS WOOTEN, senior receiver

His game-tying catch:

"I walked up to Murray (before the play), and he actually hot-routed it. I knew that the guy, 35, he would give some ground and I would be able to slip inside and take the inside, and that's basically what I did. Once I took the inside, soon as I got my eyes around, Murray threw a ball that was uncatchable. I don't even know what happened, I just caught it."

Did he realize what just happeend:

"It definitely hit me. I knew the magnitude of the game. That's why I want the ball to come to me. That's why you come to Georgia, to make plays like that, and when the opportunity came and presented myself I just wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. And that's what I did."

What's it say about the offense:

"Oh man, I'm so proud of this team, that we can fight, we can come through adversity. No matter what happens we can push. There was no point in that game where I thought we would lose, because I knew what kind of team we had."

JORDAN JENKINS, sophomore linebacker:

The Tennessee fumble in overtime:

“My view when I saw him dive, I thought he scored. I didn't know he even dropped the ball until everybody was over there saying he dropped it. I just thought he was out of bounds before he dove but after I saw it on the screen I was overjoyed. Something in my heart just knew we were going to win this game when it got that close. I kept thinking of the motivational videos that we watch talking about Georgia never quits, Georgia always finds a way to win, and that's what we did today. That helped us out this game.”

Tennessee's offense:

“They have great linemen, they have Rajion Neal, who is a great running back, a great skill player even back in high school he was a great back. They had playmakers and they capitalized on the mistakes we had, and we definitely had those so we have a lot of work to do this week before we play Missouri, because that's another team that will sneak up on you in a heart beat.”

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

The game-tying touchdown:

"We were going to direct the ball to (Chris) Conley, and they played a certain coverage where it had to go to Woot. And Murray did a nice job of finding him and throwing it to a place where only he could catch it. And what a catch by the kid. I'm just proud of that kid. Fifth-year senior, he's been through a lot since he's been here, but his opportunity's here now and he's gonna have to step up the rest of the year."

All the receivers going down with injuries:

"There was a lot of scratching of the head up there (in the press box) about what we were gonna do. We just said keep playing. Keep playing. And to Aaron: I don't care who's in there, you treat it like Malcolm Mitchell and Bennett and Justin are all in there. You've gotta do what they tell you to do - I'm talking about the defense - whatever they do you've gotta go with the ball there and you've gotta trust the guys to make plays."

Sticking with the run despite Gurley and Marshall out:

"I felt like that's what we needed to do. If we started slinging it they were gonna start playing more of a two-shell, and play kind of zone-match underneath and kind of challenging our X (receiver) to make plays. So I felt like we needed to stay committed to the run. Those guys did a nice job tonight."


Granted that his defense needed to play better:

"It was a learning experience, we won the game with the players we had, and we've gotta move on."

Tennessee converting all those fourth downs:

"Because our offense is so explosive - I mean South Carolina went for it on fourth-and-2 - we're gonna see a lot of fourth downs, because people feel like they've gotta keep the ball because our offense is so explosive. Which is in turn gonna make you play more plays than normal defensively, because teams aren't going to play conservative and punt. So hey that's part of it. And fourth down's a chance to get a turnover."

Overall assessment:

"First half we were good. And anytime you're doing something well the other team's not just gonna keep doing the same thing, they're gonna adjust. Well, you've gotta be able to handle that, and you've gotta be able to adjust to those things. We probably didn't do that as well as we should've. We didn't set the edge of the defense well on the perimeter. But it's a learning experience. But hey we took the guys that we had and we were able to win the game. ...

"We made one more play than they did. There's no style points in this thing, you've just gotta keep winning. And I think our guys know they've gotta keep getting better, though. They understand that when you have a team 17-3, you can't let the momentum get going, particularly when you're on the road. ... We've just gotta learn from that and move forward."

Related stories:

The morning after: Winning at a heavy cost

Marshall, Scott-Wesley out for the season

What now at tailback and receiver?

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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