From the locker room: 'People are gonna feel like the season's lost, but it's not'

semerson@macon.comSeptember 1, 2013 



Quotes from Georgia coaches and players after a 38-35 loss at Clemson.

MARK RICHT, head coach

Recent experience with bad starts to the season:

"I don't think we have anybody in there ready to jump off a bridge or anything. That happens in football. When you play a really good football team you could get beat. And when you do, you move on, and you continue to play well and get better, make corrections. We're still learning a lot about this team. We'll get some firepower back defensively. We'll get some more veteran play coming back. It'll help our specialists as well. I think Corey Moore will be back. We'll have Josh Harvey-Clemons back."

The botched field goal:

"It would have been interesting to see what would've happened if we'd had made that short-range field goal, and got within seven. I'm sure they would've played defense a little differently too, but at least we would've had a chance to tie at that point. But it was a moot point after that."

Gurley's injury and return:

"Unfortunately on that first run (Gurley) strained his quad. Really, I was surprised he came in the game, to be honest with you. He came back early after that, and was just not effective at all, and then by the end of the game he recovered enough to do his Todd Gurley-ish runs."

Were there times the inexperience on defense showed?

"I don't wanna call anyone out or anything like that. I mean everybody's got injuries, everybody's got issues, and we played the best that we had available at the time. I appreciate all the player's effort, and we just weren't good enough tonight to get it done. You just have to give Clemson credit."

The offensive line:

"The pass protection, I think when you play in a stadium where you're the opponent and there is a lot of crowd noise, you have to play with the silent cadence, and you don't really get the jump that you'd like to have with your own cadence. And when that happens, sometimes you really just don't get out of your stance enough. And that's really what happened a couple of times."

Having an opener like this vs. a Buffalo:

"You're not gonna hear me complain about the schedule. I'm fine with our schedule the way it is."

Why didn't Marshall Morgan play?

"Well, because we didn't let him play."

Was it a suspension?

"Well, what do you want? I just didn't let him play."

Aaron Murray's play:

"Overall I thought he played pretty good. The fumble really hurt us. He's gotta squeeze the ball better. That was a tough turnover right there and cost us, the short field and seven years. The pick, that happens sometimes. It was a good (defensive) scheme."

The left tackle spot:

"The times we got beat in my opinion, we just got beat off the snap. And we'll have our cadence next week. If we were at South Carolina it'd be a little bit tougher on them. But it'll be a lot better to get off the cadence."

On South Carolina:

"What I saw on TV on Thursday night, up front they're very big and physical on both sides of the ball. Connor Shaw is a very difficult quarterback to manage in how he runs the football. And he threw the ball extremely well. Mike Davis, their new back, really played extremely well, looked physical as a runner. They do a good job all around."

***

AARON MURRAY, senior quarterback

On the outcome:

"It's tough in an away game. Sometimes the other team gets a good jump off of the crowd."

The biggest challenges in this game:

"Our biggest challenge was dealing with the crowd noise and penalties. We killed ourselves with penalties tonight. It's tough to convert third-and-long. Penalties are a big reason why we lost tonight."

***

JORDAN JENKINS, sophomore linebacker

Did the defense wear down?

"A couple guys got hurt and that wore them down a little bit. I feel like it was more just confusion a little bit. A couple guys wore down but I wouldn't count that as a factor."

What this does for the season:

"I feel like this might be a small setback, but it wasn't an SEC loss, that's one positive thing about tonight. We lost to a good team, they were a top 10 team, have one of the top offenses in the country. Now we just have to come back and play SEC football."

***

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

What now:

"There's a lot to build on. It hurts. People are gonna feel like the season's lost, but it's not. We've got a lot of football to play. We've gotta regroup, because we've got a very good team coming in to our place next Saturday. It's tough, but we've gotta forget this game and move on."

Evaluating the offensive line:

"I thought they played well. ... A couple times we got whipped, a couple times we might've held onto the ball a little long instead of getting off (to) our primary (receiver). I thought we played well, we had to adjust some people there. (Chris) Burnette had to come out a couple times. They opened up a lot of holes, we had a lot of huge runs, we had a lot of big plays. But again, too many penalties. You can't hold, you can't block below the waist, you can't turn the ball over and hope to win on the road."

Injuries:

"Todd goes out, Malcolm Mitchell goes out, those are probably are two most explosive playmakers on offense. I thought Keith went extremely hard when he was in there. He got a little worn down, and we hit kind of a little bit of a lull there."

The game:

"Our biggest challenge was overcoming some adversity, some self-inflicted wounds we put on ourselves. Turnovers and penalties and taking some sacks. We're self-inflicting ourselves and putting ourselves in a whole. You're gonna have trouble getting first downs if you're first-and-20 all night."

"I said all week to our guys: You're going into their place. Everything's not gonna be perfect. We're gonna have to overcome some adversity. We're gonna get some penalties called on us and we're gonna have to overcome. We were able to overcome on a 97-yard drive where we had a penalty. But we just had too many and had to overcome. I thought our guys hung in there, never blinked. And you've gotta give (Clemson) credit, they made some plays."

***

KOLTON HOUSTON, junior offensive tackle

Bobo saying the line didn't play badly:

"Bobo's pretty straightforward so if he says that he means it. But at the end of the day we gave up pressure, we didn't open up that many holes, and Aaron's jersey was dirty. Anytime your quarterback's jersey is dirty, you've got room to improve."

***

JUSTIN SCOTT-WESLEY, sophomore receiver

Demoralizing effect from Malcolm Mitchell injury?

"We can't let it have a demoralizing effect. You have to stay focused and locked in on the game."

The result:

"It's very disappointing. But it's football. It's a game of inches. We didn't come up with the win, but we know what it takes to be great. We've just gotta come out and make corrections and prepare for South Carolina."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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