October 31, 2010

Richt says Green was targeted

Georgia coach Mark Richt dismissed the notion that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo didn't have quarterback Aaron Murray look to make A.J. Green the Bulldogs' featured receiver in Saturday's 34-31 overtime loss to Florida.

In fact, Richt said that's quite the contrary, although Green had just two catches for 12 yards through the first three quarters before finishing with four grabs for 42 yards and a touchdown.

"There were 16 plays we called that he was the primary receiver and six others where he was No. 2 in the progression and for whatever reason the ball went somewhere else, like the touchdown to Tavarres (King)," Richt said during Sunday's weekly teleconference with reporters. "If you remember that play, he (King) was pretty much wide open. It looked like he got beat badly but he was supposed to have help inside so the ball goes to Tavarres where if they would have doubled Tavarres the crossing route going to the area across the field where that double was supposed to occur, the ball could have got to him."

As for Murray, Richt didn't see nerves as being the biggest problem for his quarterback, who was intercepted three times in the game.

Of course, the biggest miscue came when Murray was picked off in overtime by Will Hill, but there was also the interception by Janoris Jenkins on the game's first play.

"I didn't see him (Murray) have any really different demeanor at all. Like I said last night, when you're taking inventory of what happened, the first play he threw was just a hitch route and their DB (Jenkins) jumped it. He (Jenkins) took a little bit of a risk. If you go a little stop and go he would have been beat badly, but he didn't so he broke on the ball," Richt said. "Murray pretty much did his normal drop and threw it on rhythm. Sometimes that happens when you get an aggressive corner. If anything we should have challenged him deep before throwing a hitch out there, in my opinion."

Either way, Richt wasn't buying nerves as being the reason Murray's first five passes fell incomplete before hooking up with King on a 63-yard score.

"I don't think it had to do with being hyped or juiced. I don't think the turnovers were from a guy who was too juiced. He did a lot of good things, but there were time he wasn't as accurate as we'd like him to be," Richt said of Murray, who threw for a career-high 313 yards and three touchdowns to go with his three interceptions. "There's a ball or two you wish he would have thrown but chose to scramble and spin. But other than that, I don't know if he's played any different than he has all year."

At 4-5 with three games left, Richt said his team's goals will be as follows - win as many as possible.

That begins with Saturday's contest against Idaho State before Georgia closes out its season with a contest at Auburn before wrapping up the regular season against arch-rival Georgia Tech.

The Bulldogs still need two victories to become bowl eligible.

"We're going to try to win the rest of our games, beginning with Idaho State. That's all we can do and there's honor in that," Richt said. "The fans pay their money for football tickets and other people still love the Dawgs and want us to do well. These guys may not be professional athletes, but they've got pride in what they do."

NOTES: With two more games against Idaho State (Saturday) and Auburn before getting his team's first bye of the year, Richt hinted he might change up his practice schedule to keep players from getting worn out. "It won't be a huge change," Richt said. … Wide receiver Kris Durham has a bruised lung and is listed as questionable for Saturday's game. "He might have some blood in there that we have to deal with," Richt said. Center Ben Jones tweaked his ankle in overtime but the injury is not considered serious.

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