Vanderbilt-Georgia postgame quotes

Oct. 15, 2011

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Vanderbilt vs Georgia
October 15, 2011
Vanderbilt Stadium

Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
Opening Comments
"I want to thank our fans that came to the game and supported us. I appreciate them being here. I'm appreciative of Georgia's fans for coming early, cheering, and staying late. Our kids competed hard. At Vanderbilt, we're going to compete with class and play with class. I'm impressed with our guys. We competed and there are no moral victories. We lost to a good football team. I have tremendous respect for Coach Richt and his program."

On What Happened on the Field Post-Game:
"We just had a tough, emotional game and some things were said that I didn't think we're appropriate. I went to find Coach Richt and didn't find him, so I found one of his assistant coaches and it didn't go well. We're not going to sit back and take it from anyone."

On What Happened When He Finally Found Coach Richt:
"I explained to him what happened. That's for me and Coach Richt to deal with. Hopefully, we'll learn from that experience. Those things happen."

On Jordan Rodgers' Play:
"He made some plays and he fought like crazy. He definitely made plays with his feet and I'm proud of him... I don't want to talk about who is going to be the starting quarterback until Wednesday... I'd like the focus not to be about the QB situation. I want the focus to be on what a great college football game that was... It's about the team and how we play together as a family. You earn everything you get."

On the Blocked Punt:
"You'd love to scoop and score... It wasn't for a lack of effort. It didn't bounce our way."

On Vanderbilt's Kickoff Returns:
"We have to find ways to make plays on special teams. We have to play aggressively on offense, defense, and special teams. I want our coaches to call the game aggressively. Don't play not to lose."

Vanderbilt Players

Zac Stacy - Junior Running Back
On the game...
Give it up to Georgia. We played a very good football team tonight. We did a good job of fighting, but we came up short. It hurts, but it's definitely a learning experience for us and we're going to just try and get better for next week.

On why the running game fared so much better tonight...
That's just us getting better. The offensive line does a good job of getting better each and every week. They did a great job tonight. It all starts with them.

On if the running threat of Jordan Rodgers helps his running game...
Jordan played an excellent game tonight. He did what he had to do to make plays, especially when his number was called. Whether it's him or anyone else on offense, we're just trying to make plays.

On the trick plays, including his halfback pass for a 43-yard touchdown...
It's just making plays and doing what we're expected to. I've never completed a pass that long before. I get a little anxious (when the play is called), but you just have to let it rip.

On the mood in the locker room...
It hurts. We just have to get better, move on and worry about next week.

On Jordan Rodgers...
He showed his versatility and his ability to make plays on his feet. We can built off that and get better.

Chase Garnham - Sophomore Linebacker
On the loss:
"Obviously we're disappointed, but there's always positive things we can take from it. We'll watch film tomorrow to see our mistakes and learn from it."

On giving up 325 passing yards:
"That was a little disappointing. We didn't do a very good job of those zone covers and cover 2. We got to get that fixed next week and continue to get better."

Chris Boyd - Freshman Wide Reciever
On the offense's last efforts to win the game:
"It was a good look by Jordan. The Georgia safety got over just in time and got a finger on it. If he wouldn't have gotten a finger on it I'm pretty sure I would have reeled it in, but it was just out of reach. It hurts, I wish I could have made the play."

On Jordan Rodgers performance as quarterback:
"He was really good. He handled it like he should, like a veteran quarterback would. No one would have known that he hasn't been playing the majority of the time. He played really well, handled it really well, and made big plays when we needed them, so he did everything we expected of him. We're glad he can make plays like that. We can go a long way with a quarterback like that."

Jordan Rodgers - Junior Quarterback
On getting in rhythm and being more comfortable:
"Yeah, I think so. I settled down a little bit after we didn't do so good on the first drive or so, but we ended up completing a big third down there in the second quarter that got us on a roll. We put a couple drives together. The running game was great tonight. The O-line played really hard the whole night, so we had some big holes out there for the run game for me, for Zac and Seymour had some good runs too."

On Rodgers illusiveness (did it help):
"I think so. With how much their interior line backers carry on some of those routes that are too high, there is no body in the middle, so a couple times I went through my first couple reads and there was no one there, so I stepped up and took off. So when there's not so many eyes on you, it is a lot easier to get some yards."

On the interception at the end (were you trying too hard):
"Yeah, I think so, we had a little over a minute left, we came close on that first, almost exact same play to Tate and came back down the middle. The safety kind of set on the outside, so I had to put it to him again down the middle and it was left a little high, and that's on me. I was just trying to make a play. I would have liked to get a couple more completions there and try to get a drive going late, but I just tried to take a shot a little too early."

On the play of the offense (mistakes and positive plays offsetting):
"It's going to be rough looking at the film knowing how many plays we left out there today. We had some big plays, we had some really good drives, but we left a few out there that we're going to really want back and could have changed the game."

On gaining experience from the Alabama game for the Georgia game:
"Yeah, I think so. It was good getting a lot of playing time out there last week against a high caliber defense like Alabama. Georgia has a good defense too. You've got to give them credit. They played really, really hard tonight, and they have a lot of good athletes over there. So yeah, I think that helped get in the rhythm a little faster."

On the final seconds (emotions, etc.):
"Yeah thinking we had one, maybe two, plays, we ended up getting two. We were really just running two guys deep, one under, I would have really liked to get it in the end zone there. I don't want to leave one short and have him try to run into the end zone and get pulled up. I thought we had a decent shot on Boyd, but I ended up having to come back shorter because of where the safety was playing, but it was close. On that second one, I stepped up, and I believe I got hit when I was throwing it, and luckily Barden caught it and tried to make a play. Got to give the special teams credit, blocking a punt, giving us a chance out there. That's a huge play, I don't know who blocked it, but Udom was in there, making a big play, and giving us a chance to try to win it out there. That's all we can ask for."

Andre Hal - Sophomore Defensive Back
On how big the hole was for the kickoff return:
"It was real big. My blockers did a good job. They did a good job all night, it was just one block away every time and I got that one time and took it to the house."

On the emphasis to make something happen and turn the game around (kickoff return):
"Yeah, on the sideline, they were like, 'We need a big play, we need a big play Dre.' I was like, 'I'll try, I'll do it for ya'll.' Me and Steve were back there talking about it and I was like, 'I'm going to take this one to the house.' And I did it."

On solid special teams play:
"Oh yeah, we did have some big plays. We had a blocked punt, I wish we would have picked it up and scored, but we did a good job tonight on special teams, with the kickoff return and kickoff coverage."

On the team not giving up this year:
"This summer we just stayed here and worked hard. We talked about that the whole year, that we have worked to hard for this, we have worked too hard to lose and we couldn't pull it off, but we still worked hard, we still tried to get it at the end."

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt
Opening statement:
"First of all I want to say I think Vanderbilt did a fantastic job tonight. They were just inches away from winning the ball game there at the end, resilient bunch of guys, being behind most of the game, kept fighting the whole game, never gave in even when at the end when all we had to do was punt the thing down the field to pretty much ice it. They found a way to get in position to win the game on the last two plays of the game. My hat's off to Coach Franklin and the job he did, the job his players did. Also, I'm more thankful than anything we got the victory. It's a good thing to win on the road in the Southeastern Conference, it's a good thing to have five wins in a row, and four SEC victories in a row, all that's good. Thankful for the victory, but got a ways to go."

About the special teams miscues with the fake-punt and kick-off return:
"Fake punt play, fourth and over ten, as soon as they shifted, I should have called time out. My gut said time out, I basically asked are we good, and it happened real fast. You hate to have to go punt-safe when it's fourth and fourteen, you think you shouldn't have to go punt-safe the entire ball game, but maybe that's what we got to do just to secure the ball and get the ball back. That certainly gave them life, kick return for a touchdown. Looks like they just executed extremely well. Basically went untouched. The block punt at the end, they put everybody up there and came after it and got it. On that play, I'm just thankful that Drew Butler had the presence of mind to get up and make a play, because if he doesn't make the play, the game's over."

Worried about lapses in special teams?
"I've been worried about it. Last couple ball games, we kind of settled things down, got to the point where we were playing very good steady special teams. I don't know if we were necessarily winning special teams but we weren't losing because of it. Then tonight happened. Thankfully we got some time to regroup and do what it takes to get solid again."

Variety of play calling?
"The double reverse, they had a lot of things that I thought was impressive. You figure sooner or later they're going to run out of some of their gadgets and at that time they'd softened us up enough that they just flat out hammered us. That one drive anyway. So I was really concerned that they were starting to hurt us with their running game. I thought well maybe that was just a one line deal but they continued to have a good amount of success. Then Rodgers - their quarterback, a very resilient player, very gutty player - he ran the ball well. You could tell some were designed runs and some were just the fact that we were in coverage, he had no one open and he sped on through there and took off."

About the post-game argument:
"I don't know what happened, I just know that I hate the fact that at the end of a game, we can't just shake hands like gentlemen and walk off the field like men of integrity. I really don't know for sure what happened, I've heard a couple sides of the story, but it's hard to know which one is one hundred percent the truth, but the fact is when the game is over, it's over. You shake hands and in our case, you're thankful for the victory. It's like at the end of a play: when the play is over it's over, you go to the sideline. And we didn't do a very good job of that at times. It was heated, it is a battle. It's not a war with real bullets but it's war in a sense. Tempers do get flared up. And we've got to mind our blood getting hot... maybe TV will pick it up and we'll get a better sense of what happened, but we are grown men and we all need to act that way. But we're also competitors and we all have emotions and sometimes when you get a little bit fired up it's hard not to keep from getting in a jawing contest. I'll say this, there were times in the game where I was ashamed of some of the choice words that came out of my mouth. I've got to be disciplined too."

Aaron Murray - Georgia Quarterback
On Vanderbilt's Defense
The players are prepared you're not going to catch them off guard. When the opportunities are there you've got to hit them and we did that a lot tonight. Wish we could have had a couple more but we got enough points to win the game and we're happy to get out with a win.

On the back and forth style of the game
They had some pretty good plays and there was some crazy plays on special teams but we're just happy to get out of here with a win.

Ray Drew - Linebacker
Whenever things get going rough, it lets us know that in a time of adversity we can come together as a team. In a way, it's a good/bad situation. It's a bad thing that it happened but it's a good thing that we could come together as a team.

Marlon Brown - Wide Receiver
I was focused out there and I told myself if the ball comes my way I'll just try to make a play.

On stepping up tonight Yeah, definitely. Malcolm's not here and there was no more deep threats besides Tavares so I was just making plays.

Jarvis Jones - Linebacker
There's always room for improvement, we didn't play like we wanted to obviously. We had a lot of busts, we gave up some big plays. We had great defense and we shut people down, and I know we're capable of being better. We've got the players, we've got the coaching staff, and we've got the energy and mindset to be a physical and dominating defense. I'm just glad we get this week off to go over the mistakes.

Blair Walsh - Kicker
We're a good special teams unit all around and we need to start putting more focus in it and we just need to perform better. We work and sometimes you don't get the breaks you want, sometimes you don't perform as well as you want.

It's definitely positive momentum to build on this game and also learn what you can from mistakes. We're winning, it doesn't matter if we win by one point we're still winning.



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