Georgia-Tennessee Postgame Quotes

Oct. 10, 2009

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Tennessee Locker Room

Head Coach Lane Kiffin

Opening Statement: "Very big win for us to get our first win at home and an SEC game, it was really powerful. This is a big time match up for us. [Georgia] is a state we do a lot of recruiting at so it was very important for us. I don't know all the Tennessee history and traditions of all the matchups nor do I ever pretend to, but GA is one of the great teams in this conference. I told [the team] that to me, this is the biggest matchup. To me, Georgia, because of what we need to do in recruiting, will be the biggest matchup for this staff and for our team so it was a great win for us.

"I think the storyline of the day is the defense and I hope it doesn't get missed. The score doesn't really show it. But think about this, the defense didn't give up many points. They gave up a 52 yd field goal but they never got inside the red zone. I don t know that I've ever been a part of a game that the defense didn't let a team into the red zone one time. So when you win a game 45-19 and play pathetic on special teams, that says a ton about your defense.

"The second thing behind that is Jonathon. To see Jonathon play so well was really great. Four touchdowns and 300 yards passing verses a very talented defense was great to see."

On Jonathon Crompton: "First of all you talk about their defense. What happened in the game was, you're going to give Jonathon a lot of credit today which is deserving. But I've sat up here and told you before that whenever you win, the quarterback gets too much credit, and whenever you lose, he doesn't get enough and gets killed. What happened today was he played really well. But why did he play well? Guys made plays for him. Denarius makes a play and breaks a tackle and goes and scores. Gerald jumps over a guy and makes a play. So I've said time and time again, if we get our passing game on the same page and guys make plays that helps the quarterback a ton and it builds his confidence. And you saw him, as the game went on he started forcing some balls in there in a good way, because he had the confidence to make the plays. And obviously we kept him on the run a lot today. We did not sit him in the pocket. That is one of the most talented defensive lines that you could have. Very physical guys, so the last thing we wanted to do was sit in the pocket. Really we hardly dropped back and passed at all. Unfortunately, the interception was one of the few attempts."

On Defense: "We talked about that we needed to stop the run. Even though I think they were 105th in rushing coming in. But we needed to stop the run and make them try and throw the ball. And we needed to take away AJ, so we had some different coverages we'd played before to try and take him away and to hardly ever leave him matched up because he is a great player. It was good to see our guys respond and it was good to get turnovers. I can't remember winning the turnover margin since the first game of the year. We lose the turnover margin every game, so we talked about that being a huge thing always, but especially this week. Georgia is one of the few teams worse than us in turnover margins so we knew that would be a big part of the game.

On receivers: "They really responded and had a good week of practice. We had talked about stepping up. We had one less receiver this game so we needed guys to step up and play some more plays and they did that."

On special teams practice during bye-week: "I don't know what more you can do on kickoff coverage than we did this week. Unfortunately, we got momentum and then they got a 100 yd return again. So, we'll have to look at the film and figure something out. We put everybody that we could on that team to try and make a play so we're going to have to figure it out. Obviously the safety on the blocked punt, we got beat inside on that. It was very disappointing."

S Eric Berry

Opening Statement: "Coach made a big emphasis this whole week about he wanted us to beat Georgia, how much we had to prepare to beat these guys. He made it very clear to us what he wanted us to do today. You saw that today."

On the fumble return: "Coach says good things happen when you run to the ball. I was running to the ball and saw it come out, and I was just trying to make a play for the team. I think the crazy part about it was how excited the whole defense was to turn and block. Those guys were running faster than me, and I had the ball. It's just amazing how unselfish our team is and how unselfish our defense is."

RB Montario Hardesty

On preparations for Georgia: "There was big emphasis put on this win all week. Coach said this one was going to be for our seniors. He didn't want us to lose to Georgia, and he wanted to start a trend of always beating Georgia. I think we took those words to heart and had a great week of preparation. You could see Crompton looking real confident in practice. You don't go to Saturdays and just turn the switch on. You could see it building up in practice. We just played with great energy today."

Georgia Locker Room

Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Comments: "Right now I can tell you Tennessee did a wonderful job. They played better, tackled better. It's very obvious that their team was the better team today. We've got a long way to go to become a good football team right now. We've got to get back to work, continue to fight and find a way to beat Vanderbilt. That's where we're at right now."

On Georgia's offensive struggles: "I think you have to give credit to Tennessee's defense, first and foremost. They played at an extremely high level. We were able to make plays here and there, but nothing consistent. Tennessee tried not to give up anything big to see if we could drive the field. On a consistent basis we weren't able to put enough plays together to put it in the end zone. "

On whether he was surprised at Tennessee's ability to throw the ball: "Not really. I think eighty percent of the yards they had were off the bootleg and play action. We geared to stop the run, and didn't adjust very well to it. We did a little better job in the second half, but not really. So when the quarterback is running free and the receivers are running free, we've really got to put it on them, and Jonathan (Crompton) did a great job today."

On the play of Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton: "I don't know if they expected to put their entire gameplan behind him. I'm sure they thought he would be a part of it, but when it started out so successfully, they said `Hey, let's stick with it.'

On Georgia's struggles running the football: "It's difficult to mount any sort of sustainable drive if you don't run the ball well. For our offensive system to be successful, we've got to run the ball well. It's just not there right now. We've got some relatively young backs, but we've got a ways to go."

SS Bacarri Rambo

On his interception return for a touchdown: "I got it in my hand and I was like `let's go'. I'm used to playing offense and used to having the ball in my hand."

WR A.J. Green

On why the offense struggled: "I can't tell you. We'll go back and watch the film and see what we did. Sometimes you just can't get on a roll. Sometimes it just happens like that."

On the Tennessee defense and what they did to slow you down: "No different than what anybody else is doing. They were rolling the safety on my side, stuff like that. No different than anybody else."

KR Brandon Boykin

On his second 100-yard kick return this year: "I feel like anyone can do it when you have as big of holes as that. It's just a matter of running the ball. I'm blessed to get that two times in a row, let alone in one season or in anybody's career. That was the bright spot. We did a good job of blocking early, but we lost the game. We just got to go back and find out what we did wrong."

QB Joe Cox

On Tennessee's passing game: "We don't watch their offense on film, but we heard they run the ball a lot and try to run the ball right at you. And they come out slinging it. They looked good, they had a good game."

On what they do in practice this week to get better: "Everything. We got a lot of fundamentals to work on, just little stuff, little mistakes that shouldn't be made. We're going to have to work on all that this week and get ready to play another game. It sucks, but this one is over. We just have to look forward to next week and another game."

On Tennessee's defense: "They had a good defensive line and really good linebackers. And then Berry is blitzing some too. They did a good job of finding ways to get to the quarterback."





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