Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dawgs Hang On To Defeat Tennessee


The Dawgs hung on to win a 51-44 shootout with Tennessee Saturday in Sanford Stadium. Georgia is 5-0 for the first time since 2006 and is 5-0 for the fourth time under coach Mark Richt.

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…
"It's nice to have a gut check and come out on top. A lot of things in the first half deflated us, but we realized where we were, we knew we had to play another 30 minutes, and we rose to the occasion when we needed to. We kept them out of the end zone when we needed to, we got turnovers when we needed to and we did what we had to do to win. I'm going to focus on the positives because we got the win. … We're 5-0 and 3-0 in the SEC, so we're exactly where we want to be. We're going to enjoy the victory and make the corrections we need to make."

On Tennessee…
"Tennessee is very talented. They have good-looking athletes. They have all the tools to move the ball and make big plays and they did. But the defense got the stops when we needed them and we got the turnovers when we needed them. … Tennessee is very good. I think Derek Dooley has got them going in the right direction. They're going to be a pain in the rear for some time to come."

On Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree…
"Rambo and Ogletree ended up being the top two tacklers. They had some rust, no doubt, but you can't replace their athleticism and their ability to make plays. I'm glad we got them back and they got the rust out. Hopefully next week they'll be even better."

On the South Carolina game…
"South Carolina is a huge game, we all know that. We've got a lot of respect for them. They've beaten us the last two games, so we've got something to prove. If we can keep improving, get prepared and stay together, we have a good chance to get after it. We're going to Columbia for a 60-minute war."

On Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley…
"Marshall and Gurley are really fantastic players. I wouldn't trade them for anything."

Two-Headed Monster: True freshmen tailbacks Keith Marshall (10-for-career-high 164 yards, 2 TDs) and Todd Gurley (24-for-130 yards, 3 TDs) combined for 294 yards and 5 touchdowns. Marshall had scoring runs of 75 yards and 72 yards. This was the longest scoring run for the Dawgs since Brandon Boykin took a pitch 80 yards for a touchdown against Boise State last year. His 164 rushing yards were the most for Georgia since Washaun Ealey had 183 versus Georgia Tech in 2009. Marshall now has two 100-yard games. Gurley came into the game leading the SEC in scoring and scoring TDs. This marks the fourth game in five that the Tarboro, N.C., native has gone over 100 yards.

40+ Yet Again: Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC) came in leading the SEC in scoring at 47.5 and dropped 51 points on the Volunteers. This marks a school record fifth consecutive game with 40+ points. In fact, the teams combined for the most points in series history with 95. The previous high was 84 in 2006. UT’s 44 points is the most by a Dawg opponent in a losing effort in regulation. The only game to top it was 49 by Auburn in four overtimes as Georgia won 56-49 in 1996. After tallying 30 point in the first half, UT was limited to 14 in the second half and the Dawg defense forced turnovers on UT’s last 3 possessions.

Opening Drive: The Dawgs have now scored on their opening drive four out of five games. On Saturday, Georgia’s first drive lasted 6:06 (longest of the year) and was a 13-play (longest of the year), 84-yard drive. Gurley, who had 32 yards on the drive, capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with three scores.

Also Through The Air: The Dawgs ended the game with 278 passing yards, showcasing an arsenal of receivers and tight ends. Junior tight end Arthur Lynch finished with three catches for a career-high 75 yards, including a career-long 38 yarder. Junior quarterback Aaron Murray completed the day going 19-for-25 for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore Michael Bennett completed the contest with 5 grabs for 70 yards and two scores. He now has a team-leading four touchdown catches

Blocked Punt: Junior safety Marc Deas recorded the Dawgs’ second blocked punt of the year in the third quarter. Freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons recovered the block. The Dawgs took over at the UT 47-yard line. This marks the 21st blocked punt in the Mark Richt era. Redshirt sophomore split end Michael Bennett caught his second touchdown of the game four plays later to put Georgia up 43-30.

Points Off Turnovers: Junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree tipped a Tyler Bray pass that sophomore cornerback Damian Swann grabbed with one hand for his first career interception in the second quarter. This marks the first pick for the Dawg secondary this year and the third for UGA in 2012. Gurley later scored on a 51-yard scoring run to put Georgia up 27-10, but the Dawgs missed the extra point. Quarterback Aaron Murray fumbled on the 8-yard line in the final minutes of the second quarter and Tennessee recovered it. UT later converted it into a touchdown, but also missed its extra point. With 1:42 left in the half, Marshall fumbled and UT scored seven more. The Vols also picked off a tipped ball midway through the opening period and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. With 5:55 left, senior Sanders Commings notched his sixth career interception, getting it at the Dawg 36. It led to a punt. With UT driving with 1:22 left, freshman Jordan Jenkins forced a fumble and was recovered by senior John Jenkins. It led to a punt. Commings got his second INT with 7 seconds left for the win., the first Dawgs with two INTs in a game since Rambo against Ole Miss last year. The Dawgs have now forced 10 turnovers and scored 34 points. Their opponents have converted nine turnovers into 36 points. Georgia is now +1 turnover ratio for the year.

50 Yarder To End The Half: True freshman placekicker Marshall Morgan booted a 50-yard field goal in the final seconds of the second quarter to tie the game at 30-all. He is 4-for-5 in field goals this season, including an SEC-long 52 yarder this season at Missouri. For the fourth time this year, Marshall also hit the goal post on an extra point attempt, missing his second in 2012 on Saturday.

Tackles: Alec Ogletree led the Dawgs with a career-high 14 tackles and a tipped pass that led to an interception. This is his fourth career game with at least 10 tackles. Junior free safety Bacarri Rambo also had nine stops.

Starters: Ogletree and Rambo made their first appearance for the Dawgs this season, both starting on defense. Also of note, sophomore Malcolm Mitchell started on offense for the first time in 2012. Mitchell had started the last three games at cornerback after starting nine games at SE. He also finished with 16 kickoff return yards in the first half.

Game Captains: Senior split end Marlon Brown, senior defensive end Abry Jones, junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and redshirt sophomore free safety Connor Norman served as Georgia’s captains.

Up Next: The Dawgs (5-0, 3-0 EC) travel to #6 South Carolina on October 6th in Columbia, South Carolina. The game will be televised by ESPN at 7 p.m.

Quarterback Aaron Murray

On the running backs...
“I knew that they'd be good. Keith got here in January and had a great spring. And then with Todd Gurley, we knew that he was going to be a special player after fall camp.”

On the play in the first half...
"It was a little sloppy in the first half just giving away the ball, but we came in at halftime and looked at things. We were playing pretty well except for the fumbles, so we knew we could have a good second half if we could protect the ball."

On his first quarter interception...
"I was upset about it, but you have to move on and try to make plays later in the game."

Tailback Todd Gurley

On the performance today...
"We made some mistakes but it takes a good team to finish like that. I think it says a lot about the team to take the win back like that. I just kept trying to move the ball forward and focus on the next play. I felt good out there and had some space."

Tailback Keith Marshall

On the fumble...
"I put extra pressure on myself after the fumble, but the coaches and the rest of the team kept telling me that everyone makes mistakes and that I had to move on."

On the offensive line...
"The O-line is playing great. I had some huge holes all day. They keep playing better each week."

Cornerback Sanders Commings

On Tennessee's offense...
Hats off to Tennessee, they were manning up to block and we weren't able to get a lot of pressure.

On this week...
I'm ready to get prepped for South Carolina. That's a big test for us and we know that we have to have a good week of practice.

On the interceptions...
”Both of the interceptions felt good. I saw the ball well and was able to get there in time. It's always great to help the team, especially late in the game.”

Free Safety Marc Deas

On the blocked punt...
"It felt like I had just scored a touchdown. It's still pretty surreal--I'm still a little shaken up by it. It makes me feel so good because special teams plays like that don't come about often. I was glad that I saw that weakness and was able to take advantage of it."

Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley

Opening Statement…
“You have to give a lot of credit to Georgia. They are a great football team and a heck of an offensive football team. I am proud of this team for fighting. I think we showed that we have some resilience in this ball team, but we a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball. We are leaving here a better team than when we got here.”

On his team…
“There is a lot of disappointment. We kept hanging in there but couldn’t get over the hump and get a stop when we needed it. We had the ball in the last possession and had an opportunity to score, but we didn’t get it done. We haven’t been in those situations a lot. We are going to learn from it and next time execute it better.”

On the defense…
“We are better in a lot of areas, but we have to shore up the run defense. Georgia is a great running team but we are a lot better than what we showed out there today. It was frustrating. We have to go back, watch some film and look at our personnel. If we have to make some changes, then we will make changes. We have to learn to play better.”

On the 20-3 run that ended the first half…
“I’ve always believed that this team has some fight in them. We just had to go out there and prove it. We got hit by a freight train early in the game, but we were able to fight back and get back into it. We went toe to toe with a top-10 team that will be competing for a national championship. Georgia was ready to play and we were on our heels early. We showed that we could fight back and make some plays when we
needed too, but we still have room to improve.”

Tight End Michael Rivera
“We came into this game with a lot of confidence, but it just didn’t work out like we thought it would. Through all the disappointment, I think the team grew a lot. We’re disappointed but as always, stay positive and look forward to the next game.”

Wide Receiver Zach Rogers
“We showed a lot of heart tonight, and I think that’s something we can take forward into the rest of the season. We’ve shown we can hang in there with a top-five team and go toe-to-toe with the best of them. We learned a lot about ourselves tonight.”

No comments:

Post a Comment