Listening in on Mark Richt’s weekly radio call-in show Monday night:
Richt replied: “The bottom line is if you’re a true fan, in my opinion, you’re going to support your team no matter what. I don’t think you’re going to just love the boys when they win and hate on them when they lose, you know. . . . Our league is one that is a very, very tough league, and we’re not always going to win. We find ourselves 0-2 for the first time in 10 years, and it’s not a comfortable spot. It’s not a spot we want to be in. But it’s not like we got shellacked and run off the field. We actually, I thought, represented very well, even though we lost.
“The bottom line, of course, is the win. But the way the guys fought . . . there was a lot of courage; there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears. . . . If you just watch the spirit of these young men and how they fought and how the coaches fought, I think that is admirable. And I would say you certainly should continue to support for those reasons. . . . ”
“We looked at the film and realized every time that kid moved up inside that pocket good things happened and every time he started up and then dropped back again and tried to reload, something bad happened. So he’s just got to learn, and he’s getting there,” Richt said. “But you can’t question his toughness, his ability and just his love for the game and love for Georgia. So we’ve got the right guy right now. We’ve just got to keep going.”
“I did watch the TV copy myself, and I know the commentators were saying … there was no outlet, there was no short route, that there ought to be,” Richt said. “I don’t know what he saw, but there were actually two routes that were about a five- or six-yard depth and a couple of them that would be deeper routes.”
“It is a little disappointing,” Richt said. “I think the offensive-line play has been good but not great. Like you say, we got to find ways to sustain drives.
“I’d like to see us continue to run-block better, and I’d like to see us continue to pass-protect well, which I think we are. Some of the pass-protection issues really have nothing to do with the offensive line. It’s more back-related. The running backs have to step up and do their job too, and the receivers got to run the right routes, and the QB has got to put it on them.”
Murray, Richt said, needs to develop “a better feel” for when a receiver is open.
As for run-blocking, “we need to continue to … provide more space for the backs,” Richt said. “And the backs have got to get more than what [the linemen] block, too. If you watch around the country, you see backs breaking tackles, you see backs getting yards after contact and all that. I think we improved in that area last ballgame, but we still got a ways to go.”
“There were a lot of calls that were made where Orson was the No. 1 priority or No. 1 read for the quarterback,” Richt said. “Sometimes that No. 1 option is taken away, so you go to No. 2. Sometimes protection breaks down. Sometimes the QB is moving right or left at the moment when he should be cutting the ball loose to his primary receiver. Those were some of the issues.”
“You’d be surprised,” Richt said, “but the same things we did when we were finishing in the top 10 and all of that kind of good stuff — we’re doing those very same things. Sometimes you win some close games and sometimes you don’t, but right now I can promise you our coaches, our players are battling as hard as we can to get a victory. That’s going to be the plan for this week against Mississippi State. Hopefully, next time on the show, we’ll be talking about all the good things that happened.”