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November 28, 2011

Aaron Murray


THE MODERATOR:テつ Good afternoon, everyone.テつ Welcome to today's SEC Football Championship student‑athlete teleconference.テつ My name is Chuck Dunlap, Associate Director at the SEC.テつ I will moderate this call from the conference office in Birmingham.テつ
We'll have ten minutes with each student‑athlete, and we're going to begin with Georgia.テつ I believe we have Aaron Murray, Brandon Boykin, and Jarvis Jones. テつI believe Georgia sports information is on the line.テつ What student‑athlete are we going to be starting with first, gentlemen?
We'll begin with Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.テつ Aaron, while we take questions from the media, will you just address your team's 10‑2 season and their berth in the championship game.
AARON MURRAY:テつ It's a great feeling.テつ Especially coming up from starting off 0‑2 to really turn the season around.テつ This team is a very young team, and I think we definitely have matured during the season.テつ And just taking each week individually and have gotten better week by week.テつ We feel good with the progress we've made and the direction we're heading right now.

Q.テつ Hey, Aaron, what would it mean for you to walk off the field as the quarterback who won the SEC Championship this year?
AARON MURRAY:テつ It would be a great feeling.テつ This is a goal that, as a team, we set since January to be able to make it to Atlanta to compete for an SEC Championship game.テつ There's no other conference championship game like this.テつ This is the big one.テつ We're really excited.テつ Like I said, it would be an awesome feeling to be able to walk out of that stadium with an SEC Championship.

Q.テつ What about you personally in terms of individually?テつ Do you think championships should define your career or I know you've done a lot with touchdown passing records, et cetera.
AARON MURRAY:テつ Championships is all that matters.テつ When people talk about stats or this and that, I think the biggest stat is how many championships you've won.テつ My goal is to win a few while I'm here, and my first one, my first opportunity is this weekend.テつ So hopefully get that win, and from here on out, get a couple more.テつ It would be a great feeling.
I do think as a quarterback you are judged on championships.テつ I think this is a team‑‑ I'm not worried about myself.テつ I'm worried about doing what I can to get another victory for us.

Q.テつ Aaron, if you look at the beginning of the season, your numbers weren't anything like they look like now.テつ What's kind of been the difference for you in terms of the second half of the season?テつ You have 19 touchdowns to 6 interceptions since the Vanderbilt game.
AARON MURRAY:テつ Just continue to work on my stuff.テつ Like I said earlier, we're a very young team, and myself included.テつ I've only had one year of experience, and I still have a lot of work when it comes to my knowledge of the game, the playbook, defenses, and just continue to work on my footwork, my cadence and things like that.
I think I've definitely continued to work, and Coach Bobo and Coach Rick have pushed me to get better all season long.テつ I think the talent around me‑‑ we knew we had talent all year, and I think those guys around me have continued to get better all year too.

Q.テつ And just being the quarterback to mentally get over the first half swamp and be able to play this way heading into a game like this, how much has that helped you?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I think right now as a team we're playing great.テつ All three facets of the game‑‑ special teams, defense has been playing lights out all year, and offensively, we're a very young offensive team, and I think a lot of our young guys have matured, have grown up this season, and have gotten better.
Right now they're feeling confident.テつ I have a lot of confidence in our young guys, and we're ready to go.

Q.テつ LSU's got one of the top defenses in the country, of course, Aaron, you know that.テつ Give a comment on them, and then also how about the confidence you have in your offensive line to protect you when you are throwing on Saturday?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I have complete confidence in my O‑line.テつ Those guys have done a great job all year.テつ I think the biggest reason why we've been so successful on offense is those guys.テつ They've given me plenty of time, and they've opened up huge running lanes for our running backs.
Those guys, like I said, I trust them.テつ I know they're going to go out there and do a good job for me.テつ Their defense, LSU, they're one of the best in the country.テつ They have a lot of speed.テつ You think of SEC defenses, you think of speed, and they have a whole other speed on top of that.テつ They're very fast up front.テつ They get after the quarterback.テつ They're one of the top defenses when it comes to sacks.
And their secondary, I mean, they have some of the best corners we'll probably face all year.テつ We're going to have to make sure we're on our game and prepare extra hard this week.

Q.テつ Just wondering what quarterbacks did you grow up kind of watching and admiring and possibly trying to emulate?
AARON MURRAY:テつ You know, nowadays, for years now I've been watching Drew Brees, and I like watching Aaron Rodgers.テつ They've gotten some film on them, and I've been able to watch them in the off‑season and just see little things they do when it comes to footwork, when it comes to using their eyes and stuff like that.テつ I think, if there's any two better quarterbacks in the NFL to watch, I don't know any two better than those two guys.テつ I definitely looked at them closely.

Q.テつ Those are pretty good.テつ Do you feel like what you've done‑‑ obviously, you were a preseason All‑SEC selection.テつ I kind of know how you feel about those kinds of things, but do you feel you've done what it would take to be the best in the league this year?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I don't know.テつ It's not for me to vote on.テつ I'm not concerned about the accolades of this.テつ I'm just worried about getting a victory this weekend and getting an SEC Championship for the University of Georgia.

Q.テつ Aaron, it was unusual to see a Georgia offense have a winning game plan with so little input from the tailbacks last week, especially in the first half.テつ Going against this LSU defense, just talk about how important is it to get some healthy guys back at tailback this week?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I think it's huge for us.テつ We like to keep things balanced.テつ I mean, I'm not saying we're going to go out there and pass the ball 40, 50 times a game.テつ We want to be able to run the ball.テつ We want to be able to chew up clock to keep our defense on the sidelines. テつI think we've been able to do that all year.
Last week against Georgia Tech, Coach Bobo saw some things in their secondary that we could just hit them on and execute in the passing game, and we were able to do that.テつ Like I said, we really want to be able to run the ball, and I think we need to be able to run the ball against LSU in order to get the victory and put some points on the board.

Q.テつ Was there any feeling out there in pregame warmups that maybe you guys were saving Isaiah for this SEC Championship game?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I don't know if we were saving him.テつ I think they had all intentions, the coaches, of playing him.テつ I just don't think he was ready when it came game time.テつ He was close, but I don't think they wanted to risk any more injury. テつIf he was 100 percent, don't put him out there, we'd rather put someone else out there.テつ I'm pretty sure he'll be ready to go by today's practice.
I talked to him yesterday.テつ He said he's feeling great.テつ He'll definitely be ready for the game Saturday.

Q.テつ Hey, Aaron, can you just talk about those two corners specifically.テつ I mean, Claiborne, 17, and Mathieu, 7.テつ How big of a challenge are these guys going to be?テつ In watching film on them, are you in amazement sometimes at their play making abilities?
AARON MURRAY:テつ It's amazing, just how many plays they make.テつ You talk about Mathieu, you've got to worry about him on special teams.テつ They're great athletes.テつ You put them in the category, when I was watching the film, of just athletes like Jarvis Jones on our team.テつ They're football players.テつ They know how to go out there and make plays, and they're exciting to watch.
I know our receivers are excited for the challenge 6789 I know our guys are getting better every week this year, the receiving corps, and it shows by how many catches all of them have.テつ It's not one or two guys.テつ We're able to spread the ball around.テつ Like I said, they're excited for the challenge, and it's going to be a good one.

Q.テつ LSU is notorious for going on these big runs.テつ They closed the Arkansas game on a 41‑3 run.テつ They create a lot of different ways.テつ If things start going wrong, if they put up a quick 10 or a quick 14 on you, what is the key to try to combat one of those runs they seem to put on just about everybody?
AARON MURRAY:テつ Just keep working.テつ I know we'll probably have a great game plan for the game and just stick to it.テつ We've been down a couple games this year, and we've been able to come back and pull to victory.テつ We're a team that's not going to worry too much if we get down or this or that.テつ We've been down this whole season people have been doubting us.テつ We're a bunch of fighters.テつ I think no matter what goes on, we've got to stick to the game plan and continue working hard and go out and make plays.

Q.テつ Aaron, you mentioned a couple times at the start of the season you all are a really young team.テつ Looking back on that first game in the Georgia Dome against Boise, how did you think the young team had all that big game atmosphere that night, and what did it learn from that experience?
AARON MURRAY:テつ I think we handled it pretty well, our young guys.テつ I think it was good to get it out of the way, get those jitters out, and I think it will be‑‑ I think those guys will UPDS the big atmosphere for games like that and the environment and how crazy it's going to be.テつ I think we'll be able to handle it a little bit better this time.
Those guys have matured all season long.テつ They've gotten better.テつ They understand our receivers‑‑ they're starting to understand the defenses better, understand the routes better, and I think they'll definitely be more equipped for the big game.

Q.テつ Is there an added dimension to this game because you are playing the No.1 team in the country?
AARON MURRAY:テつ Yes, it's a huge challenge.テつ This is something you want to be.テつ You want to be able to play in these big games and compete against the best.テつ That's the reason why the guys on this team committed to Georgia.テつ We want to be able to play in big games like this, and here's our opportunity.

Q.テつ Tim kind of stole my thunder asking about the big game atmosphere from the first game, but if you can put your finger on one or two reasons you feel like you all are much better since that opener last time you played in the Georgia Dome, what would it be?
AARON MURRAY:テつ Just few mistakes.テつ And the big thing also is turnovers.テつ We've done a great job all year of limiting the turnovers, and our defense has done an awesome job of giving us the ball back, giving us great field position all year.テつ Just those little mistakes here and there, I think we've cleaned up since those first two games.

Q.テつ At what point in this year did you guys felt like you had turned the corner and did you start telling yourselves you have a chance to be in the position you are now?
AARON MURRAY:テつ Definitely when we started winning.テつ I think after the South Carolina game, we saw the potential this team had.テつ Once we got a couple of wins under our belt.テつ And I think once we got to the Florida game‑‑ once again, we're down 17‑3 and able to mount a comeback and get some big, big plays and pull out a victory.テつ I think from there on out, we were a team that felt, hey, no matter what goes on, no matter what happens, we're going to keep fighting and win out.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Aaron, that's all the time today.テつ Thank you for being with us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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