From the locker room: 'This is a man's game'

semerson@macon.comOctober 27, 2012 

JACKSONVILLE - Here are some highlights from interviews with Georgia coaches after the win over Florida:

MARK RICHT, head coach

- Alluding to the comments made by senior safety Shawn Williams earlier in the week:

“They had been accused of some things that guys didn’t like being accused of. And I think that helped motivate them. I don’t think there was another game this year where we quite came out of the gate the way we did this one. Maybe Vanderbilt, where I think some guys were a little bit mad about some things that happened the year before. So I gotta do a better job of figuring out how to motivate, I guess.”

- What he told Aaron Murray at halftime:

“I told Aaron: Look, here’s my one bit of advice as a former QBs coach, and former quarterback, I said, you’ve gotta have a timer in your brain. You know when you progress it’s one, two, three. Once you get past your progression there, then throw it away, then scramble, or run or whatever it is. But don’t just stay in there and pump it six times then throw it under duress. Don’t do that. We were actually protecting pretty well. A couple of his picks he may have hitched up in the pocket three times before he cut it loose. …

“We talked a lot before the game about what being soft is, and what being soft isn’t. The thing I mentioned to the QBs is is if you get hit in the mouth a few times and you get sacked a few times, or throw a pick here or there, and you can’t get back in there and play football. So that’s kind of the toughness issue a quarterback has to deal with.”

- Overall statement on the game:

“Not many people gave us a chance. I don’t blame them. If I’d had watched the film, if I really knew football, if I was a fan and I knew football and I’m studying it, I’d say Georgia would win the game. If I was just totally impartial, if I was watching what was going on, I would say I can’t really see how Georgia can win this game, just on what was done up to this point. But I did feel if we played our very best, then we’d have a good chance of winning. I feel like if we played our best. I just hadn’t seen us play our best very much. But at this point we’re OK.”

More on Williams’ comments;

“The guys did feel like they got called out. And I told them: People weren’t you saying you were soft because of what Shawn said. … They said we, Georgia, was soft because when we played South Carolina we got hit in the mouth and didn’t have an answer. And then two weeks later we go play Kentucky, and Kentucky hasn’t run the ball very well up until they played us. And they ran it right down on our throats on the first drive. They ran for over 200 yards. They hadn’t scored on the opening drive in like two years. That’s why they were saying we were soft. It wasn’t what Shawn said. Shawn said what everybody else was already saying. I think it bothered them enough to get after it.”

- What he told Malcolm Mitchell after his penalty, just before his touchdown:

“I don’t remember. But I said enough to make him think that he may not ever get in the game again. And he started walking off. So I grabbed the back of his shoulder pads and said, Hey Malcolm, I’m only gonna take you out for one play.”

TODD GRANTHAM, defensive coordinator

- Jarvis Jones' peformance:

“This is a man’s game, and he played like a man. We moved Jarvis around a little bit more this game and played him with Jordan to get him closer to the ball so he could make plays. And he made plays. He was aggressive, and we wanted to get him where the ball was going to be, and he was just unbelievable.

- On what happened with the defense this season:

“There’s been an evolution I’ve seen here in my opinion the way I’ve seen it. We’ve had some guys suspended early. So with our scholarship number the way it is on defense, we’ve had some guys here that had to play that were either young or had to play another position, or moved from offense to defense. So we had to do that. So we did that for a little bit early to win games. Then we transitioned over and faced a good Tennessee team, and we moved some guys to some new spots because we get a few guys available. But then their fits aren’t right because they haven’t had enough reps. And then I think you get a bit of a confidence thing, because the success you’ve been expecting to have wasn’t there. Basically Monday was enough’s enough and we’ve got to play. But I think the continuity that they’ve had over the last few weeks has allowed them to get to where they are. So I think it’s been more of an evolving thing.”

- Since Williams didn’t speak on Saturday, what would his opinion be on whether Georgia was soft tonight:

“I would say we played the way we wanted to play. I think guys played physical and guys stepped up and guys did a good job.”

- Maintanied that Williams' comments weren’t a big deal:

“They’re not. They were big because you guys heard them. Trust me, there’s been other things said in meetings that were on the line of those things, by players, coaches and everybody. You guys just heard it.”

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

- Aaron Murray’s game:

“Obviously a little off early – for about three quarters. But to finish the game in the fourth quarter the way he did, and throw with a little authority, was good to see. That was the main emphasis at halftime: Hey it’s 7-6, we’re winning the ballgame, and we’re basically killing ourselves with penalties and throwing interceptions. I thought we protected awesome. I thought we had protection. I just didn’t think we were committed to ripping it in there on some passes. But that happens. You’re playing a great defense. They made plays. I like the way our guys finished the game and made plays when we needed it.”

- Malcolm Mitchell's touchdown:

“Third and medium we knew we were gonna have a chance to get one-on-one with Malcolm. He did a great job in tight coverage, reaching out and catching it with his hands. I thought a couple times we were letting balls get to our body, and when he did that he just made a play. It was a big-time play in a game where somebody needed to make a play on offense.”

- Changing the play call after the video review changed Mitchell’s play to a catch:

“They were playing a ton of cover-2 on us, a lot of two-shell. They haven’t done that in the past, they’ve been a lot of single safety the whole night. We had a run called there, with the wide-nine technique and the three-technique, and we thought we had a chance to catch them on that run. And the review gave us a third-and-medium, and we just went with a cover-2 on the one side and a cover-1 beat on the other. Murray did a great job going to the one side, the protection was great and Malcolm made the play.”

- The performance of the team:

“I thought you saw a will tonight. A will to win. And a lot of times that gets overlooked here at Georgia, on certain weeks. Some of those other teams, they talk about how they exerted their will. At Georgia they talk about how we almost lost the game. The bottom line is we went out and got it on both sides of the ball and special teams.”

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