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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post-Game Notes

Can't get enough of the Matthew Stafford to A.J. Green touchdown pass that won the game for Georgia? Here's a nice breakdown in quote form from a bunch of different angles.

Before the play:

Head coach Mark Richt: "That last play, you're down by three, a field goal at least keeps the game going, and you try to coach him up to try to make the play if you can. If everything breaks down, get rid of that son of a gun and allow us to have a shot at the field goal."

Defensive tackle Corvey Irvin: "I went up to the offensive huddle before A.J. scored and I said, 'Man, if you get in there, I promise you we're going to seal the game.'"

Quarterback Matthew Stafford: "(A.J.) didn't get involved in the game early on, and I kept going up to him saying, 'Hey, just keep running your routes hard, it's going to come, there's going to be an opportunity where you're going to make a big play, and he did it."

The start of the play:

Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi: "It wasn't supposed to be an outside play, and it wasn't supposed to be something that he rolled out on."

Stafford: "That's actually a play we've practiced I think we've had it in for two years and not really run it. You kind of wait for those big times to run plays like that."

When things broke down:

Stafford: "To tell you the truth, I saw a free safety kind of run out the middle to cover Knowshon on the wheel route early on, and pressure just got pushed in my face. They said A.J. was wide open early on, too, but I just couldn't see. I decided to scramble out, and he's a lanky dude with some ups and can catch it, and I said just throw it high to him."

Green: "I was thinking that I just had to make a play. My job is to run with him when the play breaks down and try to make a play. It was supposed to be a post route. I was looking at him and I pointed to throw it up."

Left tackle Clint Boling: "I really didn't see anything until I saw Matthew rolling around at the end and A.J. make that catch in the end zone, so I don't really know what happened before. But Matthew made a play, and A.J. did, too."

The aftermath:

Stafford: "Coach Richt told me if it's not there, throw it away, but I figured I'd just throw it and give that kid a chance. He did an awesome job. I figured he'd catch it or nobody'd catch it, and he just did a great job."

Richt: They broke down a little bit protection-wise and he just started scrambling, and I was not real happy there initially. When I saw the results, I was thinking the kid's a genius."

-- Brian Mimbs knew Kentucky would be aggressive on special teams, but the Georgia punter wasn't expecting to put his team in a bind with multiple punting problems.

Mimbs, who entered the game averaging 44 yards a punt, managed just a 34-yard average on three kicks against Kentucky and had one punt blocked in the second half.

"They'd been coming all day," Mimbs said. "The first two punts they were coming, and eventually their will to block a punt paid off. We knew they were going to come after it when we were backed up, and they did, they got it."

The blocked punt set up a Wildcats touchdown, as did another shanked kick by Mimbs later in the half.

The special teams also allowed a 96-yard kickoff return by Kentucky's Winston Guy, part of a unit that chalked up 221 return yards in the game.

"Fans are always wanting you to kick it out of the end zone, and we had the wind at our back, and we tried to kick it out of the end zone," head coach Mark Richt said. "It didn't have enough air time, and we did not get into coverage as good as we should."

Three of Kentucky's touchdowns followed big special-teams plays, but the Bulldogs were able to overcome the problems with a frenetic offensive output and some clutch defensive plays in the fourth quarter.

That was little solace to Mimbs, but he said he'll take a win even if he didn't contribute much to it.

"I know that we were backed up twice, and they ended up getting 14 points off of it, so to come out with a win, it just shows your team's character to scratch and claw and pick up one phase that might not be working well," he said.

-- Georgia right tackle Justin Anderson left Saturday's game after he ruptured a plantar wart on his foot. Richt said the rupture was minor and necessary to the healing process, but it could keep the 330-pound lineman out until the Bulldogs' bowl game.

"It's painful for a while, and then it goes away and you're good to go," Richt said. "That's what they kind of want that thing to do is kind of break free, and then it goes away. But with a kid that big, I don't know if he'll be able to just turn right around in a week's time."

Richt said Anderson might play against Georgia Tech on Nov. 29, but Josh Davis and Kiante Tripp would likely fill in next week against Auburn. Davis got the majority of the playing time Saturday.

"We're running out of guys," Richt said. "We're not totally drained of guys on scholarship, so we still can field an offensive line, but we've taken some really, really big hits on our offensive tackle position this year."

-- First Brannan Southerland scored a one-yard touchdown in his first game back after missing six weeks with a foot injury. Then third-string fullback Fred Munzenmaier found paydirt in his lone carry of the season against LSU three weeks ago.

And Shaun Chapas, who started in Southerland's absence and has played significant minutes since his return, still had a zero on the stat sheet under "TDs."

That changed finally in the second quarter against Kentucky on Saturday, when quarterback Matthew Stafford hit Chapas in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown.

"It was funny because I've been hearing about it all season, and as soon as I got one, I got to the sideline and everybody was laughing," Chapas said. "It felt good though, but it feels even better to get the win."

In typical Chapas fashion, his big moment was a bit upstaged. The press box announced the touchdown for "Shane Chapas" and his teammates managed to give him a hard time on the sideline despite his success.

"I thought he was allergic to the end zone," left tackle Clint Boling said, laughing. "I was surprised he didn't drop it. But I was happy he finally got one."

-- It came as a surprise to almost everyone in the stadium, including his parents, but senior walk-on Andrew Gully earned the first start of his career Saturday.

Gully was offered scholarships to several smaller schools, but decided he wanted to play at Georgia. He earned his first significant playing time against Arizona State earlier this season, sharing a sack in the second half, but his strong week of practice leading up to Saturday earned him a start at defensive end.

"I've been playing a little bit since (Arizona State) here and there, and this past week in practice (coaches) had been repping me out with the ones," Gully said. "I'd been going with them, and 10 minutes before the game, (coaches) told me me I was starting."

Gully said it didn't come as a complete shock, but with his parents in the stands for the game, he had to admit it was one of those moments he'll remember for a long time.

"I wouldn't say I was in shock because I'd been going with the ones," Gully said, "but I was just thinking, what could be better than this? I'm starting at UGA."

-- Linebacker Darius Dewberry missed the game with a hip-flexor injury.

-- Safety Drew Williams left the game early with an injury, and reserve fullback Justin Fields was on crutches with an aircast on his leg after the game.

-- Richard Samuel was the Bulldogs' first tailback off the bench Saturday, picking up two yards on his only carry, while Caleb King did not play.

-- Dannell Ellerbe started for the first time since suffering a knee injury that kept him out of three games. Darryl Gamble didn't see his first action until early in the second quarter.

-- Matthew Stafford had a career high 376 yards passing, and Mohamed Massaquoi set a career high with 191 yards receiving.

-- The win was the 80th in eight seasons for head coach Mark Richt.

-- And finally, this was the best quote ever, so I had to include it...

Me: Are these type of back-and-forth games fun to play in or is it just really stressful?

Shaun Chapas: I'm already going bald. I don't need more stress.


Anonymous said...


Have you noticed Kiante Tripp having a somewhat negative demeanor since his most recent position change?

The coach’s’ comments haven't sounded too positive lately when Kiante’s name comes up.

I appreciate your work this season. I had worries when Ching left, but you've more than filled his shoes.

DawgCPA said...

What a game! You did your usual outstanding job. You obviously got caught up in the game like the rest of us since you stayed in the press box all the way thru Dobbs' interception!! OR was it the UK ladies you mentioned? Nevertheless, between your reports and Scott Howard's calls, we really felt almost like we were there! Thanks, man.

David Hale said...

Many thanks for the kind words guys.

Re: Kiante Tripp. Richt hasn't come right out and said anything, but reading between the lines and just watching the playing time situation, it's hard not to think something's going on.

On his teleconference Sunday, Richt spoke with far more certainty that Tanner Strickland would see some playing time with Justin Anderson out than he did of Kiante. I think that says it all.

Anonymous said...


Do those two catches that mo mass had were he fumbled the ball count toward his total in recieving yards or did they not count at all?

I enjoy reading your site. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...


They count. A ball carrier gets credit for yardage gained. Whether they fumble or not doesn't matter.

In this specific case, MoMass gets credit for two receptions and the accumulated yards, and Stafford gets credit for two completions and the accumulated yards.