Ole Miss Week: Press Conference Quotes

ATHENS - Quotes from Georgia's weekly press conference.

Georgia Football Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening comments:

"Ole Miss is a very good football team. A year ago we barely survived them, they really outplayed us in my opinion. They exposed our punt protection like no one ever had. We had never had a punt blocked until that game and there was two that game, thankfully there was a penalty on one. Most of our players agree that last year was the most physical game we played. They liked that style of play last year, they wanted to hammer the ball and hammer their backs, especially Green-Ellis. They didn't quite have the passing game they have now, they wanted to run it down your throat like it or not, then they would fake it and launch one once in a while. I don't think they will be any different this year as far as the physical nature goes. We have a lot of respect for what Coach Orgeron and what he is trying to do, and last week's game against Florida is evidence that they are not far away from getting that big signature win. We are just going to try to keep that from happening this week."

On the Ole Miss offense:

"They have changed their offensive philosophy to a degree, Seth Adams is playing beautifully, he is the key to their success my opinion. They are still very much excited to give to the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but they throw extremely well and have great balance. Mike Wallace, Marshay Green and Shay Hodge have all made plays. Wallace is averaging over 25 yards per catch, Green is a great wideout, and also a very good punt and kick return man and Hodge has gotten into the act as well. Robert Lane at tight end does a very good job, he is catching the ball well, blocking well and he is a senior leader, he does a good job for them. Michael Oher is the most talented lineman but atkis, the center, is their leader up front. I know line coach Art Kehoe personally, he is a good friend, we played at Miami together back in the day. Cook is the fullback, he is the brother of the tight end at South Carolina, and this guy is tough. He is a Georgia boy and he does a great job of blocking in their system.

On the Ole Miss defense:

Defensively they have three junior college All-Americans that can all run and hit extremely well. Peria Jerry is extremely explosive, he is very strong. Greg Hardy is a very athletic defensive end and puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback in a 1-on-1 situation. He is a guy they will put in on offense to throw jump ball to, they have a unique situation there. Jamarca Sanford, the safety, I think is their leader in the back end, he is a very physical player."

On the Ole Miss special teams:

"Marshay Green as a return man gives staff a lot of headaches trying to decide how to cover him. We did a lot better with our kickoff coverage this week. We have to continue to get better, keep kicking it high and be in position and leave no lanes free. He is quick enough to make you miss and also has sheer speed. I think he could have more punt yardage if they were not so adamant about blocking your punts. They got us last year, I'm sure they will try to get us again. When you sell out to block the punt, there are not many guys to block for the return man. But, when they bring that kind of pressure, you need more guys to protect longer, so we don't get guys out quickly to cover, so that's what they use to free him up. He is fearless back there, he's a very talented guy."

On the offense's improvement from last year:

"Compared to a year ago I think we have had some better performances to this point, we are playing pretty good. Last year our quarterback situation was in flux and we had a lot of dropped balls. This year we have dropped a few but they haven't hurt as bad because we are executing better overall. We have good balance we are running the ball well. Matthew Stafford is definitely better than he was a year ago. Our offensive line play may be similar to a year ago, but they are going to get better. I am optimistic that we will continue to get better all the time. Last year everything was coming tough, it was hard, was all we could do to win the Colorado and Ole Miss games. This year we haven't had to rely on one guy doing something spectacular."

On the overall depth of the team:

"I think we have substituted better this year than we have in a while at most positions. The majority of our team has the depth to sub with the second guy coming in and playing as well as the first-team guy in many cases. We have had a lot of corners playing, our linebackers are all playing well, our defensive line, our defensive ends, our tailbacks and we are playing a lot of receivers. We haven't had the luxury of a lot of subs at safety or on the offensive line, and our tight end situation has been halfway decent. When you sub you have better morale, you keep everyone healthy and fresh, and it is exciting in recruiting to say ‘look how many guys we play'."

Sophomore Quarterback, #7 Matthew Stafford

On comparison to last year's offense:

"I think we're way further along than last year. We're playing with a lot more energy and that's a big deal. Last year we didn't know who was going to play any position, really. We had three running backs rotating in and three quarterbacks rotating in. It was all over the place, but I feel like we're a lot more settled this year."

On offensive weapons:

"I think we use them a little bit better than we were using them last year. We've by no means arrived as an offense and are playing flawless football. We know we're not. We're working hard and playing hard and playing with a whole lot of energy."

On the offensive line playing well:

"I think so. They're young and will make some mistakes, but when they know what they're doing they're playing hard, getting their hats in the right spot, and making some big plays for us."

On Tripp Chandler's hands:

"He's got some of the best hands on the team, truthfully. He's one of the best guys at catching the ball that we have. Sometimes you're going to just have one of those days. I had confidence in him, and I was going to come back to him late on that last play anyways. He made a great catch and got us in good field goal position."

On getting frustrated when passes are dropped:

"Sometimes I will say something and sometimes I won't, but I just forget about it and try to get the next play in and run it as best as I can. In football, every play is a new one, and you have to just forget about the last one, good or bad."

Junior Split End, #1 Mohammed Massaquoi

On this year's team:

"We just trust and believe in each other. We know that we're going to have ups and downs, and when the downs come, we know that we have to bounce back. We just trust in what we have." On confidence:

"There's a higher confidence level across the board. Everybody's out there to have fun, everybody's out there rooting for each other, and everybody wants everybody to succeed. We expect that out of each other, because we trust everybody."

On last year's offense:

"I think that we broke down as an offense and we didn't trust in what we could do. It took us a little time to refocus and get back to doing what was natural."

On this year's team:

"I'm just out there having fun. All the running backs are great, from the fullback to the running back to whoever touches the ball. We just want to go out there and help our teammates the best way we know how. Whether it's blocking, receiving, or whatever the case may be, we all support each other and we know what we can do. If everybody does their part then the sky's the limit."

Junior Punter, #32 Brian Mimbs:

On what he needs to do on a punt, especially if Ole Miss attempts to block a punt on Saturday:

"Operation is the key. We have to get the snap back there and protect. I've got to get it off faster than I normally would because they are going to come for it and look for any advantage they can to get on us and they are going to come hard like they did last year since they were so successful."

Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #56 Geno Atkins:

On there being a lot of rotation between first and second teams on defense:

"It keeps us fresh and allows us to player harder and faster."

Sophomore Cornerback, #2 Asher Allen:

On how thus year has been different for him so far:

"Just being able to increase my playing time, it's different in that way. As far as football goes, when you're out there you still have to make tackles and do the small things. It's kind of the same, but it's a big role too."

Junior Linebacker, #44 Marcus Washington:

On depth at the linebacker position and different players earning starts:

"I think it helps having depth at every position. That way, if a guy goes down someone can come in and you won't lose anything, so it's good to have depth at each position."

On what the defense needs to do to come away with a stop late in a game:

"We need to prevent our opponents from getting a big play – whether it's a long pass or a long run. We just have to stop that from happening."

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