C. Michigan Week: Press Conference Quotes

ATHENS - Mark Richt and several football players met with the media during the Bulldogs' weekly press luncheon Tuesday. They offered the following comments:

Head Coach Mark Richt
Opening statement

"We are getting ready to play the Central Michigan Chippewas. They are a really fine football team. They won the MAC the last two seasons. Coach (Butch) Jones is a heck of a head coach. Butch has a little experience with some of our coaches – Coach Martinez and Coach Jancek; they worked together at Central Michigan. He was a coach on the West Virginia team that beat us, so I'm sure he has a sense in his mind of what it takes to beat Georgia. I'm sure he is talking to his team about that. If I were him I would too. They have an outstanding football team. I don't think you can start talking about them without starting with their quarterback Dan (LeFevour). His statistics are really pretty staggering. If it weren't for what Tim Tebow did last year, everyone would be talking about what LeFevour has done. He threw for 3, 600 yards and ran for 1,100 yards. He is highly accurate and had 17, 18 or 19 rushing touchdowns and 30 or 40 passing touchdowns. The productivity of this guy is unbelievable.

"The thing I am talking to the team about is last week's offense we played against in Georgia Southern was a spread system and similar to what we are going to see. The difference is last week Coach (Chris) Hatcher was trying to break in rookie quarterbacks. This guy is not a rookie at all. He is a great player. Any school that is going to spend 50,000 dollars on a billboard knows they have a truly legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and he is that. They have a great tackle in (Andrew) Hartline, who was a preseason All-American. He has 40 starts in a row and is an outstanding lineman who is durable. Their offense has been averaging 35 or 40 points per game.

"Defensively, the main thing we see with this bunch from the film from last week is that they play extremely hard and hit extremely hard when they get there. They had a middle linebacker (Nick) Bellore who had 16 tackles last week, and (Frank) Zombo, a defensive end, was the player of the week in their league with two and a half sacks. He is a guy who played extremely well. They have a couple of kids out of Georgia. The defense has certainly proved that they will get after your rear end and play very physical.

"Their specialits—they do have some special guys there. Antonio Brown averaged over 21 yards a punt return in the last game. He is very, very dangerous. Their kicker is a second-year man who scored 87 points last year. He has the school record for most point after kicks. He kicked a 51-yarder against Ball State last year. Their punter is brand new. He only had three punts the last game and two were pooch punts and one was kicking off the one-yard line, so it's difficult to tell what kind of range he has.

"It's another chance to play a game at home and another chance to get better at what we do and hopefully get a victory. I thought our team didn't finish quite as well as I would like for them to finish. After watching the film I felt like our offense played harder than our defense. They played harder longer. In the first half I don't think anyone could have played much harder than we played offensively and defensively. But as the game wore on I thought the offense's stamina was greater. I thought they played harder to the finish and the defense didn't quite finish like they should. We will be emphasizing that for sure to play the full 60 minutes and play with an attitude and a mental edge that I think we lost as the game wore on."

On Corvey Irvin

"We named him captain. He earned it. He was defensive player of the game for us with the most production. I talked to him about where he was a year ago. A year ago he wasn't in very good shape and didn't know what to do. He was just trying to get some playing time. This year he is now a starter and a captain. He is in great shape, and I guess he is comfortable now where he can be a leader. For him to have the confidence as a second year guy to be a leader is a tribute to him. You gain confidence by preparing, and that's what he's done. You watch the film and he stood out. He was stellar and he finished. That's part of the reason why he had the production he had and why he's captain. I'm real proud of him."

On the expectations for Corvey Irvin and Jarius Wynn

"Sometimes you are careful about taking junior college guys because you know you want to do things a certain way. We call it the Georgia way. There is a certain way we do things—practice, academics—whatever it might be. It takes time to figure it out. Even if you are a more mature kid it's still new to you and you are almost like a freshman in some ways when you come in. I guess the buy in process came immediately for these guys. They wanted to do it the right way. They couldn't get enough of trying to figure out what the coaches wanted them to do. Because of that attitude and work ethic you would never know they are junior college transfers. You would say they are fifth year seniors."

On the team's top concerns…

"Finishing strong is one of the top concerns right now. I think it will be relatively warm today. We are going to go on our field turf today to make it as warm as we can and try to simulate what it might be like Saturday. I heard it could be in the 90s and sunny again. From what I understand today and tomorrow might be like that. They said Thursday could be more of a rain issue. We want to condition in the elements that we are playing, and that's what we couldn't do last week or the last three weeks before that. It just didn't seem to cooperate with us, so I think this week's weather pattern is going to be a little bit more conducive to getting acclimated to what we will play in Saturday. That is a big issue for us."

On a spread offense wearing down the defense…

"I knew the strategy last week would be to run plays quickly, make you get lined up and ready to play, run plays where you don't hold the ball long and make you chase. They know how hard we practice and how hard we play. If you get a defensive lineman who is going to rush the passer as hard as he can, then turn and chase the ball as hard as he can it starts to wear on him. You have to start substituting. Then they get to the line of scrimmage and simulate like they are going to go quick and sit on the line. If you watched our guys I don't know how many times they were sitting there for 15 seconds. That's hard to do. They are not here to physically pound you. They are here to wear you out in another way. That's the same philosophy that Central Michigan has too. It's a good philosophy."

On Central Michigan's offense…

"They will definitely push the ball down the field more often. The biggest difference in these two is the quarterback is a veteran. They will put the game on LeFevour. They are going to win or lose with his play where last week Georgia Southern was trying to be very careful with what they asked their quarterbacks to do. They really weren't even solid on who was their guy. That is the biggest difference. Because of their reliance on the quarterback to make plays they will be more apt to throw the ball downfield."

On Dan LeFevour

"As soon as we knew Central Michigan was on the schedule we knew who he was. We really weren't too thrilled about him being in his senior year and ready to go. The timing was not very good. You would rather play Georgia Southern when they are breaking in their young guys. If we had played Georgia Southern a year ago with the guy they had at quarterback a year ago it would have been a different ballgame all together. You really don't want to catch a team if you are just going to play them once in a blue moon when they have their veteran quarterback and he has been tremendously successful. This guy is a very, very tough football player."

On Georgia's wide receivers and blocking…

"Our receivers played well. What I loved about our receivers the most was how hard they blocked all game long. Even towards the end of the game when we played some guys who didn't start, they came in and blocked hard. I have a play where Cordy Glenn is blocking the guy out of the frame, Tavarres King blocking a guy 35 yards down the field staying after him the whole way, and Caleb King making people miss; three freshmen on the same clip really encouraged me. Everyone else was playing well, but they did something stellar."

Junior QB, #7 Matthew Stafford
On Central Michigan…

"They're a good team. They know how to win. Their quarterback is a really good player. Their offense is a fast paced no huddle kind of thing, and it's going to be tough on our defense. I think their defense is much improved from what they were last year from watching the first game this year, so it'll be a test for us."

Junior SE, #16 Kris Durham
On down field blocking…

"Blocking is one of the most important things because with our running backs they can always break one, so as long as we are down field blocking and they make big runs then (opponents) will stack the box and that will open up the passing game."

Redshirt sophomore TB, #24 Knowshon Moreno
On having three running backs…

"I think it definitely helps. Last year we had Kregg Lumpkin and Thomas Brown. It was keeping us all fresh. There really wasn't any doubt when one guy came out of the game. It definitely helps this year having all three of us who can make some plays for this team."

Redshirt sophomore C, #63 Chris Davis
On Central Michigan…

"Central Michigan is a good team. They won their conference last year. It's a team that definitely has an opportunity to beat us. They have a great offense, and a defense that has got something to prove. Their quarterback rushed for over a 1,000 yards and threw for over 3,000 yards, and him and Vince Young are the only two to ever do that, which is pretty impressive. Our defense has a test, and our offense is going to contribute to our defense's success. We're going to have to keep them off the field by sustaining more drives than we did last week."

On the true freshmen offensive linemen who played against Georgia Southern…

"Cordy Glenn and Ben Jones both played well. If they just keep working the sky's the limit for both of them.

Sophomore WLB, #35 Rennie Curran
On last week's defensive effort against Georgia Southern…

"I thought we played a tough game and we all hustled to the ball. We did good things in the beginning, like overcoming adversity on the goal line and making plays when we needed to. But as far as finishing the game I don't think we executed that toward the end. I don't feel like we executed the way we should have. "Finishing the drill," that's one of our biggest mottos, just finish up strong and in that second half we gave up 21 points; we feel like we gave those to them. If we want to be a championship defense or a championship team, we can't allow those things to happen. I fell like in the next game, we've got to improve on that."

On this week's game against Central Michigan…

"They are def. a high powered offense, we know that they're quarterback is a great runner as well as a great thrower. We've got to be looking at tendencies and our preparation will be huge for this game. We have to know what formations they like to run and what situations they like to get in and anything that will help us out knowing what plays are coming."

Redshirt Sophomore FS, #9 Reshad Jones
On the defense's effort last week against Georgia Southern…

I think we do need to keep up the intensity. We got complacent, basically, that's mostly what happened. We also had some guys cramp up and different thinks like that; we didn't hydrate properly.

On Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour…

I know he's a pretty good quarterback; he's got stats like (Florida quarterback Tim) Tebow so I know he's got to be good. He threw for 3,000-plus yards and ran for 1,000-plus yards, so I know we got a great quarterback we are facing this week. He's very mobile and I know we are going to have to prepare. I've seen a couple good throws he made and a couple of runs he broke, so I know he's pretty good.

Senior DE, #99 Jarious Wynn
On Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour…

"JO was a big part, we've got to come together and we've got to work hard. I know Corvey (Irvin) has made big steps so I think we will be OK. It was a big loss for us but we are going to have people step and come out and work hard. If somebody falls, we really can't do anything about it. We hope the best for him and we've got to carry on.

Senior DT, #90 Corvey Irvin
On Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour…

"He's a great quarterback; he's very accurate and he can tuck it and run it. He's a good player, but we are good too. If we go out and prepare – and I'm sure they will too – the best team will win."

On success of the two other Georgia Military College transfers, Jarious Wynn and Vince Vance, in the starting lineup…

"I believe we would have been successful anywhere we went. Georgia was the right place for us GMC prepared us a lot for a lot of situations like this and for life period. After Georgia we will continue to be successful. (The coaches) took a chance and they won the lottery when they got us. I don't know if they are going to get anybody else, but I'm glad they came and got us. All 3 of us are starting this week and all of us are going to play pretty good football this week."

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