Georgia Football: Offense

Oct 5, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt walks off the field with Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 34-31during overtime at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 5, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt walks off the field with Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 34-31during overtime at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia 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 Aaron Murray being able to stay healthy during his career…

“We’re thankful that Aaron’s been able to stay healthy throughout his career, and we want to keep it that way if at all possible. There have been a lot of quarterbacks injured this year, and in particular in the league. The SEC East has been hit pretty hard. Like a lot of guys, Murray works hard. A quarterback like Murray knows that he’s in the weight room for protection purposes as much as he is for running the ball and pounding people at the end of the run or that type of thing. He works on flexibility and strength and all of that type of thing because he wants to be as quick and as athletic as possible, but he wants to be able to handle the fact that he’s going to get hit from time to time. Hopefully he will stay healthy. He’s taken some big licks. There’s been some times where he’s pulled the ball in a zone read and gotten hit pretty good, especially early on. His first year, he relied a lot more on his feet and took some pretty good shots that year, but I don’t want to talk too much about it.”

On the hardest hit he’s ever seen Murray take…

“I don’t remember the game, but I think it might have been his first year. One time he was down in the red zone area and he pulled the ball on a zone read and someone just laid it on him pretty good. That’s the one that I remember most, but he could probably tell you better.”

On Todd Gurley’s status for this game…

“If he’s healthy enough to play, he will, and we expect him to be healthy. We still have to practice a couple of days, but it’s a game. Whoever our starters are, we’re going to play them. I think you get your conditioning in practice, mostly. We’re going to play him according to what is best for the team at that time.”

On Marshall Morgan’s improvements as a kicker from last year to this year…

“I just think that the first time you do it, you go from kicking in a high school stadium with 500 people or maybe 5,000 people. You’re kicking off a tee and the rush isn’t the same, and then you go into these stadiums where there’s 80, 90 or 100,000 people inside and there are people watching on TV. Every single game, you know that every kick you make is probably going to make a difference in winning or losing, or even every extra point. That’s kind of hard to adjust to when you’re not used to that, and it’s probably a little bit of a shock to them. After the ability to live through it for a little while and work on some things in the offseason, he’s done a good job. I’m happy for him. I will say that all of the signs we’re seeing now, I saw in the spring. He was really kicking well in the spring, and camp was tremendous. We knew he couldn’t play the first two games, and it was hard to watch him kick so great. Of course, Patrick Beless came in and made every kick, so that was wonderful, as well. He’s done a good job.”

Split end Michael Bennett

On Aaron Murray’s durability…

“It’s incredible. You don’t see that in any position. Quarterbacks don’t get hit as much but they still get hit, so it’s literally unbelievable to see him never come out. It just shows how tough he is as a player. He’s one of the toughest guys I know.”

On what the team is trying to accomplish over the last few games…

“We just want to win them. If we end up going to theSEC Championship, great, if not, we still won out. We’re not really worried about what Missouri does, or what another team does, we’re just worried about ourselves.”

On Appalachian State…

“You can’t look past any game. That North Texas game we didn’t play as good as we could have, and hopefully we’ll jump up on App State and not let up.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On whether he takes any pride in the durability he has displayed throughout his career…

“I definitely do pride myself on being able to physically get up and get going.There are some days I wake up and I’m like, I don’t want to get out of bed, I’m in some pain right now, but I hate missing practices and I hate missing games. Even in high school when I broke my leg my senior year, everyone was like you’re done for four months, but I was like no, I’m not, I’m coming back and did whatever I could to get back and play in the last two games. I’m just the type of guy that if there’s a way to get back I’m going to find a way and make sure I’m ready to go.”

On the emotion he displayed in last Saturday’s game against Florida…

“It was just an emotional game. It is every year. There’s always a lot of talking, some extra pushing and shoving, but it’s just the way that game goes. It means a lot to both teams, no matter what our records are or how our seasons are going that game is always a special one.”

On Appalachian State…

“They’re going to be ready to go, they’re going to be amped up, and we have to be ready to go. We aren’t a team right now that is good enough to just go out there and think we are going to beat anyone. We need to prepare well Monday through Friday and that’s something we did last week in preparation for Florida. We had a great week of practice and that’s why I think we were so successful. We need to do that every single week to make sure we win on Saturdays.”

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