Dogs talk about challenge of facing Tennessee at Neyland Stadium

ATHENS – A quick rundown of news, notes and quotes from the Georgia Bulldogs’ media session Tuesday in advance of Saturday’s game at Tennessee:

GEORGIA COACH MARK RICHT

  • On playing at Neyland Stadium — “It’s a very tough place to win, at least it has the last two times we were there. We pretty much got drubbed. We didn’t put up much of a fight to last two times we were in their house, so we need to try to hopefully change that. It will be a challenge for us. We know that and we are looking forward to it.”
  • On Tennessee’s offense — “They are number two in the league in total offense, number two in passing and number one in passing efficiency. Another thing that is pretty impressive is they’re tie for first in America in first-down conversions. That’s why they’re leading the league in time of possession.”
  • On next win being the 100th of his career — “I never thought I’d get to 100. I didn’t know if I’d get 100 games period. But to get 100 victories this week would be sweet, no doubt . . . because it is Tennessee and it is so important for where we are right now and the race we’re in.
  • On recruitment of Da’Rick Rogers: “I think wherever Da’Rick decided to go play football he’d be playing. No doubt about that. By the time he did decommit we were pretty sure that he was going to do that, so it didn’t come as a shock at that point. We think he’s a good player. We wanted him, we recruited him, we thought we had him for a while, then it changes. It happens in recruiting. It doesn’t happen a lot with us historically. But there were some things that happened that made him feel like Tennessee was the best place for him. So that’s where he is and now we have to defend him.”
  • On South Carolina and Florida losing — “It is definitely a motivating factor for everybody. That’s why we have the plaques on the wall. We’re shooting for the Eastern Division title. That’s our goal.”
  • On Georgia’s defensive line — “The D-line is doing extremely well. All defensive coaches want to stop the run. They know if you can get a team to be one-dimensional or as one-dimensional as possible it could play in your favor. We’ve done a good job of holding the point and penetrating and forcing doubles teams and allowing linebackers to get free hits. All those things have been very important, and especially when we had the injuries at linebacker. It was good for a guy like Amarlo (Herrera) and Michael Gilliard to have guys playing up front real stout. We’re beginning to get more pressure from our pass rush without some type of a blitz. We’re starting to get more sacks, starting to get more pressure, and getting more balls thrown where they can be intercepted. We’ve intercepted a good but of them and dropped a few. There were probably two pick sixes in the last two games that really could have changed the game, but the D-line is doing great right now.
  • On Aaron Murray’s interceptions and the pass protection — “When you throw the ball you do need protection, you need good routes, you need an accurate passer and you got to make good decisions. All those things have to happen. When you throw interceptions some of them do have to do with protection, some have to do with a bad decision, some have to do with a wild throw and some have to do with a poor route. There’s probably a little bit of all that in there, but I would say that we need to protect the passer a little better. I think Aaron has made a lot of tremendous plays with people breathing down his neck – as soon as he releases the ball getting hit in the mouth. Sometimes there are situations where you must throw hot and you know a certain guy is going to come clean. It’s part of the game. You catch, get it out quick and usually if you get it out quick enough you’re not going to get hit or it will be a late hit. But when the protection is set where you know there is a hat on every guy that is coming and you should have the confidence to where you have a pocket where you step up to throw, we’ve had too many leaks in those types of situations. A lot of times Aaron has made tremendous throws with a guy leaking through. I think if we clean that up it will help Aaron overall, in his decision making and in his accuracy. The better protection you have the more confidence you have to stand in there and make your reads and make your throws.”
  • On Tennessee native Marlon Brown — “I’d say he’s not 100-percent yet. He wasn’t last week. He felt good enough to play – kind of strap it up and go. I’d love to get to see him get back to being 100-percent and just seeing what he can do because he did have a really good camp. (Rantavious) Wooten had a great camp. Here we are just wondering when Wooten is going to come back. Those are two guys that were in the starting lineup in preseason and in the way they were practicing. Now, some other guys have got opportunities. I don’t know if these guys will be rolling back into their starting jobs or not quite frankly, but I hope they get back to that form and push them. Right now, we’d love to play six receivers a lot. You can’t play with three receivers. We need six that are healthy and know what to do and can make plays. With the pace we are going at we just can’t do it with three guys. We need those guys back.”
  • On considering playing Justin Scott-Wesley — “We had thought about him. Justin Scott-Wesley is a very talented guy. We did not necessarily want to put Chris Conley in there. I don’t know, but if Wooten never got hurt and Marlon never got hurt, Chris may be getting redshirted right now. In order to do what we wanted to do we had to put the next guy in that we felt was most ready. Justin is going to be a really good receiver. We are very excited about him. I might have made this comparison, but he’s a lot like where Michael Bennett was last year. A guy who is very talented and could play but you wonder if he would get enough opportunities if we took him off his redshirt. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a year from now to see him do the kind of things Michael Bennett is doing today.”
  • On putting games away offensively in the second half — “We talk about it a lot. We want to put teams away. We just have not been able to do that. You also get in a situation where if you got a lead you want to be careful not to do what we did where we threw that pick six. We’re up 21 points and the defense is in complete control. So yeah you want keep doing things offensively but the more you throw it the more risk you take of that – a pick six – happening and all of a sudden it’s a two-score game and it gets a little bit tighter than you want it to get. I certainly don’t want to play a conservative brand of football in the third quarter, but if it’s in the fourth quarter and you are up by three scores I think it’s wise to burn as much clock as you can. You do that by running the ball and making sure you don’t snap ball too early in the 40-second clock. Sometimes it’s boring but if you win the goal is to win.”
  • On the defensive being improved and not allowing a lot of big plays — “We’ve played very good defense and part of that is not giving up the big plays. I guess we’ve given up one touchdown the last three games – that’s pretty impressive. I like what’s going on in that regard. A lot of it has to do with maturity of our defensive backfield. A lot of it has to do with how the defensive line has been playing and not letting anybody really get anything started. Not very many runs have spit right threw the line where a guy has a chance to make a safety miss in space and make a big run. They’ve had to earn everything they get. Very few times has someone come through there clean, and when they have the ‘DBs’ have been there to corral it and get them on the ground. We’ve been tackling pretty well out in space.”
  • Injury updates to Damian Swann (groin) and Chris Burnette (ankle) — “Damian Swann is getting better. We think he might get some scout team work today. Chris Burnette is also getting better. We think he’ll probably get some scout team work today. Then, after a day like today when it’s the first time back, you get a lot better feel of where they are at. We’ll see if they can make it through the practice number one, and number two, how sore they are going to be tomorrow.”
  • On CB Brandon Boykin’s (busted mouth) practice status — “Boykin will go non-contact this week but he will play.”
  • On a definitive decision on Cornelius Washington’s suspension — “It’s going to be a solid two games.”
  • On the offensive line — “We’ve still got a ways to go. I still think we got the right line up in there right now. Chris Burnette is going to get an opportunity, possibly this week, to become one of the starters depending on how he does throughout the week. We need to continue to get better and more consistent with what we do. The better we get up front the better we are going to be on offense. Usually it has to happen up front first and then you find out how good your skill is. If the line really starts playing at a consistent level, we’ll see how good our runners are and how good are throwing and catching is. Don’t get me wrong, we are doing a lot of good things. I know we could do better and I just want to see us reach our potential, and we’re not there yet.”
  • On if where the offensive line is now is what he expected — “When I watch film I see that we have the ability to do better and do it on a more consistent basis. I don’t want to sound like I’m totally picking on the line. At all positions we can get better. But I’ll say it again when the ‘OL’ and ‘DL’ play great you are going to have a good season and a good team.”
  • On if fatigue is an issue with the offensive line — “They are playing a lot of snaps and fatigue could be part of it. We are playing more plays than we’ve ever played before, and there’s not a whole lot of rotation going on. There’s none really. So fatigue could be part of it.”
  • Relationship with Derek Dooley before he was at Tennessee — “I got to know him. I know when he was a first-year head coach – and I guess Louisiana Tech was his first head coaching opportunity – we had a couple conversations. I think he was just calling some head coaches around the country that he knew and had some relationship with and was just talking a little bit about what he was about to go into and anything that I might be able to help him with. I don’t remember the exact conversation other than there was a couple things that came up and he wanted to know how I did this or that. There was a little bit of that going on, so I’ve known him for a while now.”

PLAYER INTERVIEWS

QB Aaron Murray

  • On how concerned he is on the number of interceptions he’s had this year — “Not at all. Obviously I don’t want to throw interceptions; that’s not something I want to do. I want to protect the ball and get my team the best opportunity to win. I have to work on my accuracy and my decision-making and not throw those passes. I know what went wrong, I’m working on it and Coach Bobo is going to drill me hard in practice this week.”
  • On this game possibly becoming Coach Richt’s 100th win — “One hundred wins is a lot, especially in the SEC. To be in the same program and get your 100th win is pretty impressive. We all love Coach Richt and I know he and the rest of the team would enjoy seeing him get that 100th win.”
  • On putting pressure on himself to improve from last year — “Definitely. I want to continue getting better. I don’t want to stay the same. I want to improve on my abilities and have this offense continue to improve. As one of the leaders of the offense, I need to continue working hard, wanting to get better and wanting this offense to get better. We haven’t won all the games we’ve wanted to, but the potential is there. There are definitely flashes here and there when we look awesome, but we’ve just got to keep working. Once we clean a couple of things up, I think this offense is going to be pretty unstoppable.”

TE Orson Charles

  • On playing Tennessee in the past — “I played against Tennessee (in Knoxville) my freshman year and it was a pretty hostile crowd. I was kind of upset because I felt like we just fizzled out in the second quarter; the score was pretty even and then we just fizzled out. The crowd got even louder because they felt like we gave up. I’m excited on going back in that stadium and showing them that this is a different Georgia team.”
  • On coming back from an 0-2 start — “It was definitely depressing, but we had to come together and realize we still had our whole season in front of us. Yeah we lost two games that I felt like we could have won, but we still had the whole season ahead of us and we wouldn’t let those two games dictate our season.”
  • On preparing for playing in Knoxville — “Just as far as switching up the snap counts and looking at the ball, I think the main thing is just looking at the ball. You won’t be able to go off the snap count because it’s so crazy out there. We’re starting to practice mixing up a few things.”
  • On giving advice to the younger guys — “The coaches did a very good job as far as letting us know how loud it’s going to be. We put up a Youtube video and they showed us how loud it would be. I’m pretty sure the young guys really understand that. The main thing is: if you look at the ball, you can’t jump off sides.”

Mike Gillard

  • On Tennessee’s quarterback Tyler Bray — “Tennessee’s quarterback is a really good player. Against a guy like him, we really have to go out there and make plays. He’s a tall, rangy guy who can get the ball into really tight places. We have to be able to put some pressure on the quarterback. This game is going to be a test for us. We have to go out there and make plays on him and his wide receivers.”
  • On the success of the defense — “It feels good, especially to hear the stats that we have put up. It’s amazing. Coach Grantham really emphasizes running to the ball and playing lights out. We made up our mind to go out there and be one of the best defenses in the country. It’s a credit to our coaches. They really work hard, day in and day out, to put the players in the best position to win the game.”
  • On getting healthy on the defensive side — “Getting some of the guys back creates a lot of depth on the defense. To be a good defense, you need to have depth and have good players to back up the starters.”
  • On the pass defense — “Our coaches have kept emphasizing the importance of getting sacks and putting pressure on the quarterback. I feel like the outside linebackers and defensive lineman have been going out there and have wanted to get sacks.”

Abry Jones

  • On the improvement of the defense the last few weeks — “I think we have realized the goals that we set out for the season. Great teams always have a great defense. I think we are recognizing the amount of talent that we have. The players all want to make our mark on Georgia history.”
  • On getting sacks — “It brings a totally different feeling to the defense. Once you have linemen getting sacks and getting into the groove of things, they start getting more and more. It also creates competition among the linemen about who can get the most sacks.”
  • On if the importance of this week’s game — “Every game we play is a bigger test than the last one. This is a rivalry, so we want to go out and play well. We have some momentum going into the game and no one wants to see that momentum stopped. Tennessee is going to come out, play hard and try to get a win on us.”
  • On how the team is preparing — “Now that we have won a few games in a row, people are ready to go out there and practice and work hard. People are thinking about what they need to do after practice, during practice and what they need to do to get ready for practice.”

191 comments Add your comment

crackbaby

October 4th, 2011
2:40 pm

What’s the line?

Stinger

October 4th, 2011
2:40 pm

I wouldn’t get too excited about being in a 3 way tie for the EAST. South Carolina holds the tie breaker over you and Vandy will probably win out.

crackbaby

October 4th, 2011
2:40 pm

First? WTH? LOL

Douglas Dawg

October 4th, 2011
2:44 pm

Huge game Saturday. Don’t win this and the season spirals even further out of control. Win and winner of GA/FL will go to Atlanta. Come on Dawgs, hunkerdown!!!!

crackbaby

October 4th, 2011
2:47 pm

Would be nice to see the Dawgs ground and pound the Vols into submission. 30+ touches for Crowell & company. That will also open up passing game for Murray who could use a confidence boost.

Neyland stadium upperdeck is the worst seating in all of college football.

Can you spell i-r-r-e-l-e-v-a-n-t?

October 4th, 2011
2:47 pm

Tennessee 31, Georgia 17

The descent into the maelstrom of oblivion and irrelevancy continues!

A very, very grim day for UGA and its pathetic fans.

Dixie D.

October 4th, 2011
2:50 pm

UGAtards are swilling the Kool-Aid again, aren’t they.

beanster

October 4th, 2011
2:52 pm

“The descent into the maelstrom of oblivion…”

It’s just a football game. You’re not impressing anyone with big words. And if you talk like that, you must be a huge geek.

Spaceman Spiff

October 4th, 2011
2:52 pm

Ah, Stinger (= GTBob, Rooster, Can you spell, Dixie D and all of the other irrelevant trolls), please impart some more of your so-called wisdom on us.
I love it when techies live vicariously through us.

norris

October 4th, 2011
2:52 pm

Vandy will win out? If Vandy had a half way decent offense they would have beaten South Carolina! I couldn’t take watching either one of them bumbling through that game!

crackbaby

October 4th, 2011
2:54 pm

I’ll take UGA fans over Vols fans 364 days a year.

DawginLex

October 4th, 2011
2:55 pm

Vandy will win out?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SC IS GONNA GET RAPED AT FAYETTENAM

If we take care of business, that is the only loss we need

Calhoundawg

October 4th, 2011
2:56 pm

Douglas Dawg, we’re 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC and tied for first place with five games to play. What is it, exactly, that is “spiraling out of control?”

Fact Finding Missionary

October 4th, 2011
3:00 pm

Isn’t the SEC a conference and not a league?

SimpleDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:01 pm

Wow. The Vowels sound like world beaters…..and in only the second year Derek Dooley’s tenure.

Gee, I hope we can compete with those big, bad Vowels.

1953dawg

October 4th, 2011
3:04 pm

This is the battle of losers. Neither Q.B. has ever won a BIG game, and neither QB has ever brought his team back in the 4th qtr. for a big victory. Yet,both fan bases are raving about their q.b. being the best in the SEC. That tells you have awful the SEC is when it comes to quality qb play. Also, you have 2 coaches that haven’t won a BIG game in 2 years, and for Richt it goes alot farther than 2 years. You also have 2 programs that are fighting for 3rd place in the SECE behind Fl, and S.C. So who really cares which team wins this game? It really doesn’t matter, because both teams, both coaches, and both programs are insignificant in the SEC now. Richt has had 10 years to destroy the UGA program, Dooley has only had 2 years, but my bet is that neither one of these coaches will be around in 2 years. Richt will finally get what he deserves after his team finishes 4th in the east again, and Tenn. will only give Dooley one more year to turn around another sinking program. So i quess you could call this game the desperation bowl. Both programs are desperate, and both programs have terrible A.D’s and head coaches. Hard to compete in the SEC with that combination. UGA&Tenn. 3rd place in East ROCKS!!!

RevThomas

October 4th, 2011
3:05 pm

Love Coach Richt! Let’s get Mason some playing time – he is exceptional!!!! http://www.wedgeorgia.com

DawginLex

October 4th, 2011
3:05 pm

1953

so if UGA wins Saturday and then beats Vandy and Florida and Auburn and Kentucky, we can count on never hearing from you again?

SimpleDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:05 pm

On second thought…..maybe we just ought to go up there, slap the snot out ‘em, amd leave them in misery.

Oh, and I love the techies trolling the Georgia stories and throwing stones from the weeds. So typical.

Z-Dawg

October 4th, 2011
3:06 pm

Remember that commercial on espn where a guy that knows nothing about sports starts spewing random statements out of his butt that are no where NEAR correct????

That guy is Stinger. Probably the most misinformed statement of all time on this blog. What a genius.

beanster

October 4th, 2011
3:08 pm

Great stuff here, Chip. Thanks.

SimpleDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:10 pm

Wow #2. 1953dog…you’re not a Dawg. You sound like one miserable, hateful SOB.

You need some happy pills.

AltamahaDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:13 pm

Is there ever really a battle of losers when 1953 posts?

volgrad1985

October 4th, 2011
3:16 pm

Vowels?!? Really?!? Is that supposed to mean something, some kind of insult? I just don’t really get it, whether it is from Shultz or the UGA fans. Is it just a compulsion for DaWg fans to add a ‘w’ to team nicknames? If so, it’s just plain stupid.

AltamahaDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:20 pm

You mean stuwpid.

JaxDawg05

October 4th, 2011
3:21 pm

Replying to trolls under UGA related articles on the AJC website is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. After a while you realize the pig LOVES it.

RedandBlackDawg

October 4th, 2011
3:22 pm

Stop their passing game, that really is impressive against the likes of buffalo, montana and cinn. and the DAWGS win the game. Bray might be a great QB in the future but against a tough defense, he looks pretty ordinary. Their running game averages 80 YPG and that is against 3 out of 4 cupcakes.Crowell has done better than that by himself in 3 out of 4 games. They have a weak punting game, and no real standouts in return men,.
If UGA’s young men don’t get flaked out being in a large hostile stadium, there is no reason, not to beat Tenn.

GO DAWGS and GATA

Spaceman Spiff

October 4th, 2011
3:23 pm

@SimpleDawg – 1953 is just another bug troll… Thats why I always say I love it when the technerds live vicariously through us!

Mark

October 4th, 2011
3:28 pm

LOL, it seems that the author left out some words…

[...] More of the same, straight from the horse’s mouth: “We talk about it a lot. We want to put teams away. We just have not been able to do that. You [...]

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

Douglas Dawg

October 4th, 2011
3:35 pm

Come on Calhoun Dawg… we would be a 500 ball club. If we loose to TN, who thinks we will beat FL? I don’t, what would they be playing for? Win at TN and we will beat FL, just my opinion. I have been, and continue to be a big CMR supporter, but Saturday is huge my friend.

beanster

October 4th, 2011
3:39 pm

The East race still wouldn’t be over even if we lose on Saturday. UT has LSU and Bama and USC. UF will end up with at least 3 losses. USC might be tough to catch, but it would still be far from over.

Dre

October 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

Only way way to prevent sacks in Aaron “IceAge Slow Release” Murray, is to leave 10 in to block for him, and for each guy to hold his block for 15 seconds.

Dre

October 4th, 2011
3:40 pm

UGA is sually in the top 5 in least sacked QB’s under Bobo.

ONLY Murray has sturggled in the last 4 seasons.

Dre

October 4th, 2011
3:43 pm

3 and outs on Murray’s 1st 4 ppossessions in 2nd half didn’t help. luckily, the defense bailed him out again.

RJ Voorhees

October 4th, 2011
3:44 pm

Go Dawgs!! Beat the orange off of Tennessee and move closer one step closer to the Championship game. Tennessee and Florida are tied for the ugliest uniforms in college football.

Dre

October 4th, 2011
3:44 pm

Wonder why Washingon only got a 2 game susppension when Baker got kicked off the team for the same thing? Guess he’s a favorite.

sogadog

October 4th, 2011
3:44 pm

Great report, any chance Hutson Mason will play given the fact Murray’s turnovers cost the Dawgs the USC game and the turnovers continued in the Miss State game?

Mason should play a couple of series so we can see what he can do.

Dre's Dad

October 4th, 2011
3:48 pm

Little Dre, it is time for you go come out of your room, and bring all of your little tech stickers with you. Didn’t I teach you better than to fantasize about other teams?

DawginLex

October 4th, 2011
3:48 pm

UT next 5 games

Georgia
LSU
Bama
Arkansas
South Carolina

Absolutely no chance they win the East. They may not even make a bowl.

Robinwood

October 4th, 2011
3:49 pm

If the Dawgs head to Neyland on Saturday night and treat Tyler Bray like they’re about to face Ryan Mallett and contain him accordingly, they leave with a win.

Mark

October 4th, 2011
3:50 pm

sogadog – Mason should only come in when the game is well in hand, NOT in a hostile environment – we all saw how that worked in jax last year. Keep in mind that his “great” performance this year was against a weak, weak team

Wreckmaniac

October 4th, 2011
3:52 pm

Has any yellow jacket and dawg ever worked together as well as Calvin Johnson and Stafford ?

[...] webmaster@technorati.com wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

G

October 4th, 2011
3:56 pm

Brian Evans is not playing safety like the last time we were in Knox. Kiffin went after him on the first play abd often. Bring that fire that you had a the start of the MSU game Dawgs. GATA

Spike 80DF

October 4th, 2011
3:57 pm

“we need to TRY to HOPEFULLY change that”….geez

Appropriate Movie Quote

October 4th, 2011
4:00 pm

Miss Sue: You like Tennessee? That’s a good school. Not at the academic level of Ole Miss but they have an outstanding science department. You know what they’re famous for? They work with the FBI, to study the effects of soil on decomposing body parts. When they find a body, the police wanna know how long it’s been dead. So the fine folks at Tennessee help them out. Oh, they have lots of body parts. Arms and legs and hands, from hospitals and medical schools. And do you know where they store ‘em? Right underneath the football field. So while it’s fine and dandy to have 100,000 fans cheering for you, the bodies you should be worried about are the ones right under the turf. Set to poke up through the ground and grab you… Well, it’s your decision where you wanna play ball. Don’t let me influence you.

Spike 80DF

October 4th, 2011
4:02 pm

What is: The Blind Side?

BG

October 4th, 2011
4:03 pm

GO DAWGS! Let’s whip some UT a**!