What happened to Georgia on final play?

semerson@macon.comDecember 1, 2012 

ATLANTA - There's a lot to digest and report about this game, so we won't do it all in one file. First, here's what the particulars had to say to explain what happened at the end of the game:

MARK RICHT, head coach

Call for spiking the ball or not?

"Well, spiking the ball takes time. We had plenty of time to call play, so we called the play and we were taking the goal was to take a shot at their back right end of the end zone and the ball got batted, the ball got tipped and it landed to a receiver that was running a speed out which I was just explaining. But our outside receiver is running a fade to the back of the end zone and our inside receiver is running a speed out and the goal on that is to get the corner who is out here trying to play that fade. If he's in any kind of zone, a lot of times if you flash a receiver in front of his face, they will squat at times or they will hesitate and you'll throw the fade over the top, if it's just pure man, you're just throwing the fade, anyway. And the ball got batted at the line of scrimmage and landed in the arms of our guy running the speed out."

More on the play:

"We had the play we wanted. We had a good play. The ball got tipped at the line of scrimmage and it fell in the arms of a guy in play. The ball was going to the back end of the end zone, either a catch or out of the end zone. Because if you have, I don't know how many seconds there were, 15 or whatever it was, if you spike the ball, you might only have two plays after that. If you throw the ball in the end zone, you probably get three plays out of it. So once you spike it, it does take a little time to spike it, and you reduce the chance of having the third play, basically. So the goal was to throw it in the end zone. That's what Murray was attempting to do. Once again, the ball got batted, and landed in the arms of our guy in play."

CHRIS CONLEY, sophomore receiver

Describing the last play:

"We were trying to hurry the ball up. We had them on their heels. We didn't want them to be able to change personnel, because they're a personel matchup team. So we hurried up. There was a little bit of confusion on the snap. The ball was tipped in the air. I had no idea it was coming to me. I lost it in the lights. It was right there in front of me, and instintively I grabbed it, when I should have let it go."

More on the play:

"We were given the opportunity to make plays today, and unfortunately I let my team down."

But why beat yourself up for what you're trained to do:

"You want to know the situation, and you want to know what you're going into. You want to be prepared for those things. Unfortunately with the chaos I wasn't thinking straight. So I wasn't able to make the smart play."

AARON MURRAY, junior quarterback

Thought about spiking the ball:

"Yeah, but we still thought we thought we had some time to get one quick play off. I mean if that balls not tipped then it's a fade. It's either a catch and touchdown or it's an incomplete pass and we still four or five seconds to go. We still (thought) we had two plays left and (could) take a quick shot while they're not ready."

His performance overall and the game:

"I've gotta go back and watch the film. I definitely missed some throws throughout the day that I gotta hit. I didn't make enough plays, we didn't make enough plays to win."

Emotion of finish:

"Oh it's tough. These guys fought their hearts out, it's the first thing coach Richt said in there, about how proud he was of the fight we gave today. It's a tough loss. We definitely can't say we didn't play our hearts out, didn't play for 60 minutes. It came down to the wire."

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

The final sequence:

"We work these situations a lot - after a big first down, to try to get there and not waste those three to four seconds, and get a play called in a hurry and get a shot at the end zone. It just didn't happen like that."

The final play:

"There was just some confusion on what happened there at the end. ... First it was poor execution by us not getting lined up fast enough. But it was basically: We were gonna throw a fade to the outside guys. If they were to play a cover-2 then that guy in the flat was to try to get his guy in the corner to hold his feet, and shoot it into the back of the end zone. I wish we could've got the play called faster. We didn't. And unfortunately there the ball got tipped."

Is that play, that sequence, going to be on people's minds for years?

"Yeah. I'm sure. We didn't finish, we didn't win the ballgame. And it's a tough pill to swallow, but our guys fought their butts off. And just really proud of how they competed the whole game."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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