From the locker room: 'We got ourselves into a fight'

semerson@macon.comSeptember 21, 2013 

APTOPIX North Texas Georgia Football

Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch (88) flps on his head after scoring on a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Aaron Murray as North Texas defensive back Hilbert Jackson (6).


Reaction from Georgia players and coaches after their 45-21 win over North Texas.

MARK RICHT, head coach

The takeaway from this game:

"We got ourselves into a fight. It was tied, obviously, in the second half, and it could've gotten real ugly. But it didn't. We continued to settle the game down by playing great defense, and continuing to move the ball and get some points. We were able to finish the game without a lot of drama. It could've been very dramatic. ... We definitely have gotta clean up any issues we have. We already have made a move on the punt snapping anyway. (Trent) Frix finished up the game. We'll re-evaluate if that's what we wanna do the next game, but there's a good chance Frix will continue to snap for punts."

Special teams mistakes:

"There's been a lot of good things that have happened on special teams but: High snap you miss a field goal (at Clemson), drop a snap you give the defense a short field (vs. South Carolina), touchdown on the kickoff (vs. North Texas), blocked punt for touchdown (vs. North Texas). That's four plays. We've probably had 100 special-teams plays by now but you just hate, the bad ones have been really bad. We absolutely have to clean it up or we're not gonna be able to win, we're not gonna go where we wanna go if we don't clean it up."

North Texas kickoff return:

"I've been bragging about this return man (Brelan Chancellor) for two weeks now, and he at least made me knew like I at least knew what I was talking about. But I'm not sure my players believed me until he took it to the house. Just had too many guys get knocked down at the point (of Chancellor breaking free). We've gotta get better at that, without question."

More on the game:

"I didn't see anybody panic. I saw more frustration than anything else. Statistics lie, and statistics can get you beat sometimes. But statistically even in the first half, a lot of yards for us, not a lot of yards for them. If you look at the statistics of the total yardage it was a lopsided game but it wasn't in the points because of the big plays they made in the special teams, and the pick that Murray threw in the end zone."

TODD GRANTHAM, defensive coordinator

On his unit's performance:

"The drive that they scored on was really self-inflicted, some penalties and not matching some things right. It was more us. Give them credit. But overall, we were put in some tough spots and they kept grinding. We're a young team. We've gotta build on it, and keep working, and keep moving in the right direction."

On playing younger players:

"They played. Shaq (Wiggins) played. Sheldon (Dawson) played. (Tim) Kimbrough played. I mean wanted to play them a little more, and they deserved to play. But with a one-score lead you can't really do that."

"They're young, and it's gonna be a rocky road. I mean, they're young. They've just gotta keep playing. If we do that, we'll be fine. I'm really proud of the way they handled the adverse situations, meaning some sudden-change situations. It was a two-score lead and they got the ball in plus-territory and we were able to get a three-and-out. I thought that they were into it, and they bounced back from the (score) that they gave up, and they didn't score any more, so I'm more pleased with their mental toughness and their ability to continue to play regardless of the situation."

MIKE BOBO, offensive coordinator

On Aaron Murray:

"Everybody always - I do as a coach - if anybody throws a bad throw or makes a mistake we act like it's the end of the world, which frustrates me sometimes. A guy gives so much to this program, works extremely hard to put our team in a position to win games. That's what he's continuing to do this year. Georgia needs to realize it's a blessing to have Aaron Murray and how much he means."

The run game:

"They played good run defense. It kind of reminded me a little bit of the Kentucky game (last year) and what they were doing schematically. We were forced to go to the air a little bit. But I felt in the second half we were able to establish a little bit of the run game, and use some of the clock. We didn't really use much of the clock in the first half, but we finished up with 190-something yards rushing. Every play is not gonna gain 20 yards, you're not gonna have 200 yards rushing every game. I know that's what we all want, but teams are gonna line up and play defense and take things away, and they wanted to take away the run game today. But I was proud of how our guys responded."

AARON MURRAY, senior quarterback

The game:

"I was really proud of the way we fought. You're gonna have rough times in a season, games aren't going to be going well. You might be losing. As an offense you might get a couple three-and-outs. But just forget, get it behind us, get ready for that next series, that next play, and go from there."

The rain:

"I was praying all day: Please don't rain. But it did, I knew it was. I thought we still played pitch-and-catch pretty well, throwing the ball. A lot of credit to our ballboys. I said I'd give them a shout-out, they did a great job. Will and the rest of the them - I want to make sure everyone puts this in their article - Will and the ballboys, and Steve, I want them to get a shout-out, they did a heck of a job of getting the balls as dry as possible. Coach Bobo kept asking me after every series: 'Can you throw it? Can you throw it?' And I said: Yes, we can throw it, just call your game. He trusted me, and I we still made some plays."

On his interception:

"Just trying to force something downfield. Bennett was open, if I probably could've thrown it as high as I can to the back of the end zone it might've been a chance. But I didn't throw it high enough, and just forced it. That's a ball you've just gotta throw away and eat it, and just play to live another down. Just not smart."

MARSHALL MORGAN, sophomore kicker

Patrick Beless, who replaced him the first two games:

"Beless did a good job. He's a great kicker, really accurate. He's my buddy, and I'm glad he got out there. But it just feels great to be back out there."

On the 99-yard kickoff return:

"I kicked it, it had good hang time. He just bounced it out, and he had a good open passageway."

His suspension:

"It's no fun being out there and knowing you're not gonna kick in those games. But North Texas, playing them, it just felt great being out there, and now we can look forward to LSU."

LEONARD FLOYD, freshman outside linebacker

His two-sack game:

"I finally got my first sack. The whole week the coaches have been pushing on me that I need to get a sack, that I didn't have any sacks yet. So I've been working hard all week, using my hands to get myself ready for this game. It felt good, but I'm looking forward to LSU now."

What the defense takes from this:

"I felt like we took a big step today as a defense. But we're gonna come in Monday and coach is gonna have a scheme for us and we're gonna go from there and get ready for LSU."

COLLIN BARBER, sophomore punter

The special-teams mistakes:

"It's frustrating, because I ended up with a great average, and to have one blocked, it's kinda like: Darn, I had such a good game, and then this happens. But it was life, mistakes happen and everything, you've just gotta learn from it and keep going."

The blocked punt:

"High snap. I jumped up, I fully jumped and extended my arms. By the time I got down there I tried to one-step kick it and they were already there to kick it. Also, we checked into our right protection into a wrong one, and I guess that set a guy or two free."

ARTHUR LYNCH, tight end

Blamed himself for blocked punt:

"I'm the one calling the protections so I'll put that on me, it was my fault. It wasn't the snapper or the punter."

TRAY MATTHEWS, freshman safety

His interception:

"I wish I could've stayed up (and run with it), but the way he threw it I had to dive and make the catch. I couldn't be greedy, man. I'll give it an eight (out of 10)."

State of the defense:

"We have a motto: Don't give up explosive plays, we need turnovers, and give a lot of effort, and secure tackling. And we did that today, all four of them."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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