Kentucky-Georgia Postgame Quotes

Oct. 23, 2010

 

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Kentucky Head Coach Joker Phillips

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

COACH PHILLIPS: Injury report, Cobb had a hip pointer. We took him inside to take a closer look at it, massaged it, got some ice on it and he came back. Tyler Robertson had an A.C. sprain in his right shoulder, and La'Rod King has a knee sprain, and we'll take a look at it tomorrow.

One of the things we talked about is starting fast and playing the first half. You come in at halftime and it's like we've been here before. Down 18, I think it was the same score as last week, and we made a play right before the half to get the momentum similar to what we did last week.

We made the play on defense to turn the ball over to keep it from going up 25. But in the first half this week, you turn the ball over three times. We turned the ball over on downs and they score 21 of their 28 points on 67 yards. Then they have a kickoff return and at half our defense has only given up 96 yards total and 28 points.

I mean, you show me a team that's only given up 96 yards and 28 points, and I could tell you before even looking at the game, looking at the stats, that you probably would have turned it over or given up a big play on the special teams, and that's what we did.

I'd like to see what type of team -- I think we know what type of team we have. We've got a team of fighters. There's no question about that. That's not hard to determine. I'd like to see what type of football team we truly have. We'll only see that when we see this team play for four quarters and we have not done that yet. Any questions?

Q.You haven't had a game where all three phases played well on a given night. Can you put your finger on anything at this point?
COACH PHILLIPS: No, we can't. I wish we could. All three phases played in the half together at the same time, but we haven't played four quarters. Today I thought our defense was battling their tails off.

I thought our special teams gave up the big return. We had guys hit (Brandon Boykin) on the 25-yard line, we've just got to get him down. Our offense turned the ball over three times in the first half, and gave it up on downs, which is like a turnover especially when you're on the short field.

I'd like to see us play, all three phases, for four quarters. We know what type of football team we have -- so you guys will see. Because we think we have a pretty good football team, we do. We think we have a good football team. We've just got to put four quarters together in all three phases.

Q.Can you talk about the pass rush and how that affected the team?
COACH PHILLIPS: It's the best pass rush team we've seen, no question about that. One of our offensive keys to the game was we felt like we had to handle the edge rushers. They've given a lot of people problems. We had to use some chip (blocks), to chip our way out to give the guys some help.

But you can't use it all the time, because you won't get some of the underneath control guys out free sometimes. But the times that we didn't, especially the first time, the first pass we tried -- first dropback pass we tried, they got pressure on us and caused the fumble. But this is by far the best pass rush we've seen.

Q.On the UK turnover on the first possession of the game ...
COACH PHILLIPS: Offensively one thing we have done is we had scored, I think, four out of the five times we've taken the ball first. We had a big first down on the first play, was it Jordan Aumiller?

All right, so we got some momentum, and we tried to play action, hard play action pass to get the ball down the field, and we thought we had the route open, we just gave up the sack, and caused fumble, and that set the momentum back to their side.

That's one of the things the defense denied. We need our defense to go out on the field with a long field with a lot of grass behind them. And they had to go out with a short (field), I think it was 29 yards behind them, and that becomes tough. It really does.

But we've got to get them stopped. We've got to at least hold them to the field goal, and they took over the momentum. We thought we had it back when we got the field goal. The score is 7-3, and they returned the kickoff back. I'd like to see our defense go back on the field at 7-3. They didn't go back on the field until it was 14-3.

Q.So that first drive they have the long drive. Do you think that really hurt you?
COACH PHILLIPS: The first drive in the second half? I mean, it did take some of the momentum that we had gained in the first half away from us. But we drive right down too, and we turned it over again.

If we could just get the ball in the end zone and get close to the red zone, if we could just get the ball in the end zone we'll be able to get that momentum back with about six minutes left in the half, six or seven minutes left in the half. I think that hurt worse than them going down and scoring on us.

Q.On Georgia's running game ...
COACH PHILLIPS: A couple of those times they ran on us it was a nine-man front. Somebody's got to make the play for you. You've got nine guys in the box, and the only reason we didn't have ten is we wanted to put somebody over the top of (A.J.) Green. Want to have somebody underneath and somebody over the top.

So we had a nine-man front. You've got to get yourself off the field when we've got nine men in the box.

Q.On the failed fourth down conversion ...
COACH PHILLIPS: It was a quarterback sneak, simple quarterback sneak. We expect to get half an inch on fourth down, 4th and 1. I don't care how many guys they put up there. We've got to be able to come off low and hard. We expect when it's 4th and inches to get it. And it cost us. It did.

I'll take the blame for that. Again, we put our defense out on the field with a short field and you can't do that. I think that one was 39 yards, I think, something like that. Thirty-seven yards, and we can't do that to our defense. I expect to make that.

Looking back on it, we probably should have punted it. But I did expect to get that. We needed some momentum also, and it took the momentum away from us when we didn't get it.

Q.On A.J. Green's influence on the Georgia running game ...
COACH PHILLIPS: One thing you don't want to do, you don't want to single him up a lot. You want to try to put a guy underneath and a guy on the top so it takes another guy out of the box.

But late in the game they were playing two tight end sets and two back sets, so you actually have an extra guy when you put that -- you don't have to cover down on another receiver, because they've got two tight ends in the box.

But, yeah, he does help their running game because he brings another guy with him. You've got to mix and match your coverages. You've got to get two people over the top of it or one guy over the top of it at times. That gives them the ability to run the ball with numbers.

Q.What did you see from Raymond Sanders? A little bit of a ray of light?
COACH PHILLIPS: You know, we've seen it all most of the year from Raymond. Raymond is a really determined runner he's a really sharp kid, catches the ball well. He's a perfect back for what we do. He makes some people miss, and he got stronger as the game went on. I'm just proud of him.

Q.What about (Derrick) Locke? What are the chances you think he'll be back in?
COACH PHILLIPS: He will work out tomorrow. I think he's got most of the feeling back. The thing we've got to do is make sure he's got some strength so he can protect himself. One thing you don't want to do is put a guy out there that can't protect himself. But he'll work out tomorrow, and we'll see it. It will be day-to-day, whether or not he can go.

Q.On the play of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey ...
COACH PHILLIPS: Good back. Every week you play in the SEC, you're going to face some good backs, and he is good, tough, hard-nosed. A typical SEC back, that's what you're going to see every week.

Q.You talk about big plays and winning games and things. Do you think turnovers are contagious?
COACH PHILLIPS: I don't think they're contagious, no. I don't think they're contagious. They did a good job of tackling the football. La'Rod (King) -- I mean, that's an effort turnover.

La'Rod's fighting his tail off. He's carrying them. And everybody's saying go, go, go, and he's at five yards, he's at 10. He gets to 15 yards after contact, and the guy comes in and puts his hat on the ball, that's an effort turnover.

Like the one down on the goal line coming out, we've got to put our eyes on the ball, secure it, and get up the field. That is the one that you get discouraged about.

Q.Speaking of La'Rod, do you keep guys fighting or when they're wrapped up at that point tell them to go down?
COACH PHILLIPS: No, we teach them to keep fighting. It's hard to tell them to go down once you get wrapped up. We want to put both hands over the ball. He was trying to get his other hand up to continue fighting.

Like I said, that's an effort turnover. The guy came in and put his hat perfectly on the football and knocked it out. But, no, we want to teach our guys to keep fighting. That's how we're playing. Our guys continue to fight, scratch and claw. And that's what La'Rod was doing.

Q.The interception in the end zone, was that a miscommunication? Did it kind of cut off or what?
COACH PHILLIPS: I think Chris (Matthews) was thinking it was going to the back shoulder, which we've done quite a bit. And Mike (Hartline) was thinking over the top, which it's kind of in between when the defensive backs are over the top, you throw back shoulder. When the receiver is over the top, you throw over the top.

It's kind of an in between deal where Chris was even with the guy and could go either way. But it was a huge play for them, it was. And I think that took the momentum, not their offense going on us on the first series. That was a big play for them and getting the momentum back in the second half.

Kentucky Players

#4, Raymond Sanders, RB

On how important do you think it is catching passes out of the backfield ...
“That’s what coach Sanders wants our backs to be able to do, to catch the ball out of the backfield. When you catch it out of the backfield it makes you more of a threat and the offensive coordinator can trust you when the quarterback checks down to catch the ball and run a certain route. That’s what my high school coach taught me to do when I was in tenth grade. He told me to learn how to catch and just make plays however you get the ball.”

On did you get more confident as the game went on ...
“That’s usually how I play. My offensive line did a great job getting me a push and as the game went on I just want to keep pushing and get stronger and let the defense know I’m here for all four quarters. That’s how I play.”

On the kickoff that was returned in the first quarter ...
“I was very upset at that because I was supposed to keep leverage and I got sucked in. I apologize to my fellow teammates for that one. That was a hard one for me.”

#53, Ricky Lumpkin, DL

On is this loss a little worse because you can’t win the SEC east now ...
“It’s a little worse but at the same time there’s up side to it. You’re looking at a couple more games, you win out and you’re still eight and four and you go to a really nice bowl game for a chance to get that ninth win. But it hurts because we were in prime position again and we didn’t get the job done.”

On do you think this team worries too much about the future ...
“We honestly don’t worry about what’s going on because we know we have to come in every week and play and try to change that reputation of being Kentucky and not being ok with just putting up a fight. No one looks back a game either, honestly were a team that takes it game by game and I just don’t know what happens in the first half or how we always shoot our self in the foot.”

On do you think it’s more mental than anything right now ...
“I think it could be more mental, it’s a tough game. It might be physical too because we haven’t had a bye week and guys might be fatigued. It’s been a rough stretch, we’ve played a lot of good teams in a row and we’ve been banging and giving it our all and it might be catching up. At the same time everyone walks around like they’re ready to play.”

#5, Mike Hartline, QB

On if it felt like the Ole Miss game, where Kentucky was turning the ball over but also being productive offensively ...
“I feel like we have been playing this way the whole year. We have always been down, whether it was turnovers, bad field position or we couldn’t score early. It did kind of feel like that, but at the same time we have so much confidence in our offense to keep scoring points. We weren’t anticipating three fumbles, especially three in our territory. It was tough to overcome.”

On this team falling behind and rolling the dice and thinking that they will be able to comeback ...
“Yeah, it almost seems like that is our motto and that is how we are going to play football. But like you said, we can’t do that. We are making it hard and tough on ourselves. I am not saying that every SEC game isn’t tough, but we can’t definitely make it easier on ourselves.”

On where the team goes from here ...
“You just play the next one. The season is almost over and the SEC East is pretty much out of reach but we have to keep fighting for our best bowl game. We have to keep going and six is our number, so we have to fight for that and from there get to the best one after that.”

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening statement...
“We’re very, very excited about winning a game somewhere besides Athens. It’s good to get three victories in a row. It’s good to even up our record in league play and overall. We’ve caught a good little bit of momentum and I was really proud of how we came out ready to play again. I thought the guys started fast. We were very fortunate to get the turnovers that we got and the kickoff return and even a fourth down stop. All those things were huge for us in the first half and we took advantage of most of those things. We did miss a field goal that could have been problematic as that game went on. You have to give Kentucky credit. It was the same score as it was a week ago, 28-10, and a week ago they came back and won it. If we didn’t put some points on the board I believe they would have won it again. So I was just happy we came out in the second half and got a good drive and put some points on the board. If we didn’t score that other touchdown I’m not sure we could have held them off. It was just, overall, a good game and a good victory for us.”

On Kentucky’s defense in the first half vs. their defense in the second half...
“Well, this game in particular, let’s face it, was it three or four turnovers in the first half? I mean, that’s hard to overcome for any defense. Our field position was tremendous. It’s hard to keep people out of the endzone when you have such a short field to defend. And seven points was a kickoff return for us. It’s hard to start fast defensively when that many turnovers are happening. I think, really, we didn’t really drive the field until the opening drive of the second half - everything was short field. We only had like 90 yards of offense in the first half. I didn’t think they played poorly actually. It looks worse on the scoreboard, but those turnovers will kill you.”

On catching some breaks...
“I don’t know. We’re playing hard. We’re playing with a lot more confidence right now. For whatever reason we’re knocking a lot more balls out and when the ball’s on the ground it’s closer to us and we’re getting on it. We’ve had years or games where the ball is on the ground and we just can’t find a way to get on the darn thing. Usually whoever it’s closer to gets it. It does bounce a certain way and we’ve had some good bounces lately.”

On the impact of Brandon Boykin’s kickoff return when looking back on the game...
“Well it was huge. Any time you can get a touchdown that fast it’s spectacular. It was a great job by Coach Ball and that group. Last week, really, they were probably the worst I’ve seen them in awhile. We did not have a very good kickoff return unit a week ago. So we challenged them and Coach Ball made some nice adjustments and everybody responded well to it. It was good to see Boykin get his fourth return for a touchdown. I don’t know what our record is but he’s probably pretty close.”

On Washaun Ealey’s play...
“Well it was great. He’s been running pretty good all year the ball’s just been squirting out. Last three games he’s not had an issue with that, although there was a ball that got loose in the Tennessee game but it got out of bounds. But the last two games I don’t think the ball’s gotten out at all. That’s good, he needs to do that. That’s part of the job description is to hang on to the football. But he also ran very hard, he ran downhill. He was excited about playing the game and even when he got banged up he wanted to get back in the game. Scored five touchdowns, set the school record for rushing touchdowns is pretty special and he earned it.”

Georgia Players

#11, Aaron Murray, QB

On the offense...
“It was a great day for the offense. This is Georgia football right here. The offensive line had a tremendous day opening the holes. Washaun (Ealey), I think, pretty much had his best game of his career today. I think five touchdowns and made some spectacular runs. I think it was a great offensive day. I think everyone is happy and pumped up about what we did today.”

On scoring on the first possession of the second half...
“That was huge, just because at halftime we talked about last week and what happened at last weeks game vs. South Carolina with Kentucky. We just came out with the mindset that no one had the momentum coming into the second half, it was 0-0. It’s a whole new ball game and we wanted to get after them. We came out with that mentality. We really just ran right down them got the points on the board that first drive and that really set us up for the rest of the half and gave us some good momentum.”

On the defense ...
“They did a great job. The first half, I think, we had four plays and we had 14 points on the board between the kickoff return and turnovers, things like that. They did a great job of really getting us the ball, great field position, and as I said, causing turnovers which gave us more possessions.”

#3, Washaun Ealey, TB

On his five touchdowns...
“It is a great honor to do that. I applaud my offensive line and my fullback, Shaun Chapas, and the receivers. They blocked hard all night and were more physical than Kentucky was tonight. I feel like I played up to my potential and I have to keep doing it. ”

On the statement this makes going into Florida next week...
“We have to look past this game. This game is over we have to start getting prepared for Florida this week.”

On the way his game is starting to come together ...
“I feel like I am doing stuff that I should have been doing during the offseason and right now we’re on a roll and hopefully, we can stay that way.”

#42, Justin Houston, OLB

On causing turnovers in the game...
“We talk about turnovers all the time. If you want to be a great defense, you have to cause turnovers and that’s what we want to be. We want to be a great defense and knowing that you want to be a great defense you have to cause turnovers and that is what we have to do.”

On his defense...
“I know for us to be a great defense I have to play great. So that is what I am trying to do come out and play hard every game, every snap.”