Georgia-Clemson post-game quotes
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Georgia-Clemson post-game quotes

Todd Gurley
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia rolled over Clemson Saturday night 45-21 behind an impressive performance from junior tailback Todd Gurley.

Gurley had 293 all-purpose yards, three rushing touchdowns, and a 100-yard kickoff return.

Here are post-game quotes from last night via UGA:

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…
“It was a great second half. 21-21 in the first half and both teams were flying around, wanting to win. It was a game of momentum, and I think by far the biggest play was the kickoff return for a touchdown. It just got us back in it. We made a commitment this week that even if it was three, four, five, even six yards deep, we were coming out of there. We did a good job of blocking and Coach (Tony) Ball set it up well. We put our very best players on special teams and it paid off.”

“We knew we had fine backs and we knew at some point in the game that we’d have fresh legs in there and tired people trying to tackle them. And that’s what happened in the second half.”

“I want to tell the fans thank you. They were so awesome. The Dog Walk was phenomenal. It was as good as it’s ever been. Clemson had to use some timeouts because of the noise and everyone had the red-out in mind.”

“Defensively in the second half, we took a little pressure off our corners by not playing as much man coverage. We challenged our men inside to keep them from running the football and we got a lot of good stuff. Jeremy (Pruitt) did a good job making the change. (Leonard) Floyd and (Jordan) Jenkins on the edge are formidable guys, and our inside linebackers played well for the most part. They moved the ball some on us, but after a little while, we shut that down as well.”

“We did well in every phase of the special teams. We made all our extra points, we had a kickoff return for a touchdown, kickoff coverage was mostly outstanding, our punting was solid and we were close on breaking some punt returns. Overall, we did a great job.”

“Hutson Mason was solid. He managed the game well. Clemson has a formidable pass rush, so he had to get rid of it sooner than he wanted. But we’ll get better at throwing and catching.”

“We’ll use next week to get stronger. We’ll get some lifts in, we’ll mostly meet on Monday, practice Tuesday through Thursday, and we’ll give them the weekend off. Our staff will spend some good time getting ready for South Carolina.”

TB Todd Gurley

On being a leader and getting into the defensive huddle…
“I had a lot more energy than I usually do. It’s always good to see a defensive guy in the offensive huddle so when they see an offensive guy in their huddle they get more pumped up and start feeling more confident. They know that the rest of the team is there with them and they get after it.”

On his kickoff return for a touchdown…
“Coach Ball and Coach Lilly had a great game plan and we knew that we would have the middle of the field open. I just had to get there and get through the hole. Luckily I was able to do that and I just kept running.”

QB Hutson Mason

On Todd Gurley’s performance…
“He makes it easy for us. You just have to give him the ball every chance you get. We have some pretty good backups too. Sony [Michele] and Nick Chubb are both really great. We knew Nick’s skillset coming into the game today and he ran well. He reminds me a lot of Todd.”

On today’s win…
“The credit for this game really goes to our offensive line and the defense. It’s frustrating when you’re an offense out there and the defense has been playing so well but you can’t really get anything going. We just kept telling each other that each drive was going to be the one that we got started rolling. Then Todd took that one to the house and we just never looked back.”

FS Corey Moore

On the running game…
“We have a lot of really great backs on our team. Those guys really just controlled the game and gave us as a defense a lot of rest. When they go out there and run like that, it makes our job a lot easier.”

On the key to the defense performing the way it did in the second half…
“Everybody just has to do their assignments. We had a few hiccups in the first half but we looked past it and communicated better and we played our game and executed. We just have to get better from here. It’s only one game.”

OLB Leonard Floyd

On playing all over the field tonight…
“I feel very comfortable playing around like that because in Prep School I played multiple positions. [Defensive coordinator Jeremy] Pruitt just put me in the right position to make plays and I was able to do that.”

On if there were any second half adjustments to the defensive game plan…
“There weren’t really any adjustments at halftime. Coach Pruitt just told us to keep playing our stuff and the execution came through late in the game.”

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

Opening Statement…
“I’m proud of our guys for competing hard against a really good Georgia team. We made too many mistakes against a really good team. It was 21-21 at the half and we really missed some opportunities in the first half with some drops and missed field goals. We were right there in it in a tough environment. It was a three point game late in the game and we just could not get the field position flipped. We talk a lot about the game within a game. We cannot keep a good offense the ball in great field position like we did tonight.”

On Todd Gurley…
Todd Gurley is obviously as good as it gets. He is a great, great football player. If you give him the ball in the position that we gave them he is going to do great things. Gurley, and all their backs, were special tonight.”

On the game…
At the end of the day, Georgia is a great football team. This is the first time that I have ever lost a season opener. It’s new territory for me. I’m used to walking in after the game and being 1-0, but this time I’m 0-1, but we’re just 0-1. Every goal that we have is still in front of us. It’s never as bad as it seems and it’s never as good as it seems. We’re 0-1 and we have a long way to go. The season starts tomorrow. That’s the mentality that we have. The challenge if we win or lose is to grow and learn and that’s what we will do as a football team.”

On the second half adjustments by Georgia…
“Georgia’s average start was on their 43 yard line and our average start was on our own 19 yard line. That’s the difference in the game. Eventually that is going to catch up with you. They did a great job of getting us behind the chains and we got into some long yardage situations where we couldn’t convert. We were playing up hill the entire second half. It’s a three-point game late and we don’t go down there and get it done and then they come back and score to make it a 10-point game. Even then, I thought that we were right there. We just couldn’t get that critical play when we needed too. If we can get that first first down, there is a high percentage that we score. We just couldn’t do that in the second half. You have to give them credit for putting us in that position.”

QB Deshaun Watson

On the way Clemson played in the second half…
“Georgia executed way better than us. We still played hard to the finish but they just out-executed us and we just have to regroup tomorrow.”

On his first touchdown drive…
“You know I just had to wait for my time. Coach Morris said ‘always be ready,’ so I was ready and we just executed and it just happened.”

On if he was nervous…
“No I wasn’t nervous. Just having fun.”

QB Cole Stoudt

On how he played…
“I think I played good. I think I could have made a few better decisions. I wasn’t perfect, you’re never really perfect, so I think I’m going to have to go into the film room and see how I did when we go in there tomorrow and Monday to evaluate myself, but overall I think I did pretty good.”

On the offense playing with their backs to the wall…
“It’s tough and there’s some frustration in there, but you really can’t stay focused on that frustration because you’ve got to go out there and perform and make some plays. We went out there and struggled a little bit, but it’s something we will have to get better on and build as a team.”

DT Grady Jarrett

On the defense’s inability to stop the run…
“We just didn’t tackle. The aim of the defense is to get the guy on the ground. It’s fixable, but we knew what we were getting when we came into this game. They have great running backs and to be successful we had to tackle them and make the play. We did a good job of that for three quarters but then it got away from us, so we’ve got to learn from it and get better.”

On if the defense wore down…
“I wouldn’t say we wore down. If the offense gets stopped for a three-and-out, we’ve got to go out there and get a stop, too. We are working together as a unit, and in all three phases, offense, defense, and special teams, we didn’t execute well enough to win this game tonight. Everything that happened, we are going to learn from. We know that Georgia is a really good team, and we can’t afford to make mistakes like the way we did with the tackling performance that we had in the fourth quarter. We’ve just got to finish.”


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