Georgia Football: Tuesday Press Conference – Offense

Richt & BoboGeorgia head coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Tuesday during the Bulldogs’ weekly press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On the play-making ability of the offense…

“I don’t know if we’re mismatching anybody. I don’t know if our players are that phenomenal where we’re just dominating people off the line of scrimmage or breaking away free. I think collectively, they know what they’re doing and they’re very good football players. They’re good route runners, and they’re good at knowing what to do. They work well as a team, and they have a quarterback that really understands it all. Coach Bobo has done a tremendous job of putting it all together, scheme-wise, and just executing. It’s like I told them – I don’t think we’re that good where we can just show up and win without really being honed in and without really being focused. I don’t know if we can just say, ‘Hey we’re Georgia, and we’re going to whip you.’ We’ve got to have the right type of focus and the right type of mental frame of mind to get the job done, so that’s what we’re pushing for each week.”

On the success of Georgia’s offense when running quick one- and two-minute drives…

“It starts up front again. The entire game against LSU, I don’t think Murray felt much pressure. The pressure is real, and it’s physical. You may not get sacked, but if that pocket begins to squeeze on you from the outside and you have to move up and here they come in your face, even though you might get the ball off, you’re feeling the squeeze of it. There was a lot of space in the pocket for most of the day, and when you have space in the pocket, you feel comfortable and feel like you can make your reads. You can throw the ball without feeling like you’re going to get whacked every time you let go of it. I think it started there, and again, the receivers were running good routes. Coach (Tony) Ball and his staff came up with a great plan. It’s just execution. If you’re executing well, you have a chance to move pretty efficiently, and it was just one of those days.”

On Aaron Murray…

“I thought Aaron played good during the game, when the game was over I thought he had played good, and then I watched the film and I thought he played great. He was on top of everything – all the checks, all the protections. The balls were extremely accurate. He had very few balls that were not catchable. I can’t even hardly think of one. There might have been one that wasn’t very good, but he played great. I think what happens is that when you get your expectations so high, unless it’s perfect, you’re not happy. If he was a second year guy, we might say “oh my goodness,” but I think we’re getting to the point where we’re expecting him to hit every target. We expect him to make every check, and we expect him to know the protection all the time, so when he does it, it’s not that big of a deal. After I remove myself from it and looked at it as a coach and watched every single snap, I was really impressed with the guy.”

On Todd Gurley…

“I don’t know if he’ll practice or not. I know that he sprained his ankle enough to where he couldn’t finish the game, and he’s getting treatment for as long as he can get it and still go to class. I just don’t know. When we say day to day, that’s the best way to describe it because we just don’t know how fast it will heal or how fast the swelling will go down. He was supposed to be on crutches, but I looked out the window and watched him walking with his crutches over his shoulder, so I don’t know if that’s a telltale sign, but hopefully it won’t be too long.”

On Keith Marshall…

“I think Keith Marshall is very capable of carrying the load. You talk about carrying the load with 15 or 20 carries, and I think he could do it if he had to. J.J. Green has done a nice job for us when he’s gotten in the game, and we think Brendan Douglas is a very legitimate SEC back. If Todd is not able to go, we can count on those three and then we’ll have to figure out what to do in the fourth position. We’ve had Kyle Karempelis play before and A.J. Turman right now has kind of been moving towards a redshirt. We’re not sure exactly what will happen there, but I don’t think this is going to be a long-term enough situation where we start grabbing a guy out of a redshirt.”

On the play of long snapper Trent Frix…

“Trent had a very good game. He snapped the ball very well on the punts. Nathan Theus still snapped it for extra points and field goals, and he did a nice job, as well. Frix was right there when the ball got bobbled. He gave the hit to make sure that the LSU man wasn’t able to get back on the ball. I think Connor Norman eventually got on it. Frix has a very good snap and very good speed. He’s played some linebacker in his day, so he’s probably a guy that can make some plays getting a guy on the ground. Most people in the country don’t account for your snapper. They feel like he snaps and he’s not capable of making a tackle, and a lot of teams just let him run free and assume that the punt return man can make him miss or maybe they’ll have someone down at the end to knock off the first guy that shows up if it happens to be the snapper. I think he’s going to be able to run down there and make some tackles for us over time, as well.”

UGA-vs-LSU0037Quarterback Aaron Murray

On how he feels as he approaches the SEC passing record…

“It’s definitely an honor. It’s crazy to think about. I’ve never been a guy who’s worried about stats, it’s all about winning, winning, winning, but it’s definitely an honor to be alongside some of those guys like Greene and Wuerffel. Guys who did some unbelievable things while they were at their colleges.”

On if the team will be able to avoid a letdown after a big win on Saturday…

“I think we are feeling great. We have a lot of momentum. I think the biggest thing is that we have great leadership and our leaders are really going to have to step up right now and make sure guys are staying focused. We’ve been practicing our tails off in practice, just getting after it, working and training hard, staying very focused in meetings and on the field. I think that’s why we’ve been successful, because we are putting the work in right now.”

On the possibility of J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas having expanded roles this week…

“Those two guys have really worked their tails off since they first got here and have done a great job of watching Todd and watching Keith and whatever they do in practice and games. All of us have complete confidence in whoever is back there, especially those two younger guys. It will probably be a little bit of a shock for them when they get into that stadium and see 103,000 people, so you just have to calm their nerves down just like the rest of the young guys. I feel like it’s just a ball game. They’re very talented backs and I’m sure they will do great when they get in there.”

UGA-vs-LSU0043Wide Receiver Chris Conley:

On whether or not new jerseys and colors can help a team…

“It depends on the team, it depends on the player. Certain players get motivated by certain things, so for some of their guys it could be a confidence boost and an adrenaline rush to help them execute. But when it really comes down to it a uniform is a uniform and it’s going to come down to who’s ready to play Saturday.”

On how the team will perform after last weekend’s win…

“I think this is where having older people on the team really comes into play a lot. Older guys who have been in situations where they’ve won games and realize that they have to forget about that and move forward. I think the older guys are going to be conveying to the younger guys that this win didn’t mean anything if we don’t win from here on out, and if we don’t focus on the game at hand. It’s really up to a lot of the seniors and some of the juniors to keep the team focused and make sure we have good practices today and the rest of the week.”

UGA-vs-LSU0031Tight End Arthur Lynch:

On whether or not Aaron’s game has gone to another level…

“I think he has stepped up his game, even more so than in the past, and it’s not just about who we’ve played but about his decision making, his ability to make the big play when we need it most, and third down throws that are pretty vital. I think that’s all something that comes with maturity and hard work and preparation, and those are three things that have always been in his corner.”

On if he thinks there’s a danger of letdown against an unranked Tennessee team…

“I think there definitely is, and I think that’s where it takes guys like myself and the other senior leaders to be like, look, this is the SEC. For some of you freshman that LSU game was one of the most emotional games you will ever play in, but this is not the time to rest on your laurels. You have seven days and you play another tough opponent in Knoxville, that’s just how it goes. For us, that’s what we’re going to press all week. This team is dangerous, they have a new coach, they’re hungry for a big win, and they could turn their season around with a win against a top-ten opponent. We just have stay headstrong and stay focused.”

Wide Receiver Justin Scott-Wesley:

On the Tennessee environment…

“I think it’s going to be crazy. We’re on offense, and they’re going to be trying to distract us. The band’s going to be playing. Rocky Top is going to be playing. Orange will be everywhere. It’s going to be crazy. I heard they have new jerseys, too, so they are going to be amped up.”

All photos are copyrighted property of Sonny Kennedy Photography,
http://www.sonnykennedyphotography.com/

Topics: Aaron Murray, Georgia Bulldog Football, Georgia Bulldogs, Mark Richt

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