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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: GEORGIA v ALABAMA


November 26, 2012


Tavarres King


ATLANTA, GEORGIA

THE MODERATOR:  Could you talk about your team as you enter Saturday's game against Alabama?
TAVARRES KING:¬† We're very excited about the opportunity that we have playing such a great Alabama team.¬† To meet them where we've met them and the SEC Championship is going to be a very high energy game.¬† I think our focus this week is going to be keeping the main thing, and that is getting after it like we have week‑in and week‑out this season, in practice, and hopefully that correlates over to the game on Saturday.

Q.  Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown went down, both of them.  Did the receivers come together and have a meeting and rededicate themselves into stepping up?  It looks like they've done that down the stretch.  It seemed like a really good balance.  Maybe no superstar, but a great band of receivers working together.  Get your comments on that?
TAVARRES KING:¬† We know when those two guys went down and when Marlon went down, I sent Chris Conley and Justin Scott‑Wesley and Taylor Bradberry a text, and I said the time's now for you guys to step up.¬† I knew they were going to be getting more opportunities.¬† So I sent them a text, I said the time's now for you guys to shine.
They've done a great job thus far.  We've always prided ourselves on having depth at our position.  Any guy making a play at any time.  I still believe that holds to be true.

Q.  When you look back at last year's SEC Championship game, how much does that motivate you guys to be back on this big stage and approve you guys can have a running game like this?
TAVARRES KING:¬† It was very motivating.¬† You know, we were in that game last year.¬† We know what it takes to get there.¬† I feel like now we know what it takes to win.¬† That game last year was a tough one, still tough to swallow because we were playing so well for a half, and came out flat in the second half we know we can't do that.¬† We know it's going to be a 60‑minute fight, and we can't worry about it.

Q.  How long did you dwell on that loss?
TAVARRES KING:  For a while.  I know I personally did for a while.  Still a little bitter about it, but got another opportunity.  Glad to have another opportunity to play in an SEC Championship, and I'm going to try to make the most of it.

Q.¬† I don't know how much you've seen of Alabama's defense.¬† How much does their three‑four remind you of what you see in practice every day?¬† Are the two defenses pretty similar?
TAVARRES KING:  I think both defenses are great.  Alabama really gets after it.  I was watching film on them yesterday afternoon and it just seemed wherever the ball was, there were 11 hats flying to the ball.  They fly around the ball, and that's what you want in a defense.  As a defensive coordinator, I'm sure Coach Smart is extremely happy with his guys flying around the ball.  That's something they do is get to the ball.

Q.  As far as the receivers, when Marlon and Michael went down, obviously, those were two of the big receivers.  How do you think you guys have done these last few weeks from a physical standpoint?
TAVARRES KING:  I feel we held our own, really.  We've really held our own.  Blocking is something that we take very serious as a unit.  I feel like we've done a good job doing so, and, hopefully, we can continue to do that.

Q.  How much or in what way do you take the consequences of being in the national championship game if you win this week as motivation?
TAVARRES KING:  If you need any added motivation to be a champion in any way, shape or form something's wrong with you.  If we win this game, we're SEC champions.  That alone is enough motivation for us to get after it this Saturday.  We do know what lies ahead.  We win this one, and we'll have the opportunity to play Notre Dame.

Q.  Is the fact that there's a specific opponent out there and it's Notre Dame, does that add anything at this point?
TAVARRES KING:  It's too early.  It's way too early.  We're not even focused on that.  We know it's out there, but our main focus and objective is winning this game and winning the SEC Championship.  Our focus is all on the Crimson Tide right now.

Q.  When Aaron Murray first showed up in Athens, can you remember what struck you about him in the beginning, and after these years (Indiscernible)?
TAVARRES KING:¬† He's a hard‑working guy.¬† It's something I noticed from the git‑go when we got here.¬† He was picking everybody's brains.¬† He's always the first one in the meeting room.¬† It's been like that since he got here, and it's been like that now.
The way he prepares is crazy.  About six minutes ago I was in there with him watching film of Alabama.  We were talking about some things.  They did this.  What are you going to do if they did that?  The way he prepares is phenomenal.

Q.  Is this the kind of game he's lived his whole life waiting for?
TAVARRES KING:  I think so.  I think it's a game that we all want.  This is what you come here to this university to play.  You come here to play in big games.  What bigger stage is there than the SEC Championship right now?

Q.¬† I think this is the fifth or sixth straight year that this SEC Championship game has had going in.¬† You knew it had implications for the national championship.¬† When you play in this league at the start of the season and the off‑season, does it pretty much just entrenched in you guys that if you can get to the SEC Championship game, you're probably going to have a shot to play for the national title?
TAVARRES KING:  Oh, yeah.  That's pretty much the gist of things around here.  If you're in that game and you win that game, you're a national title contender, I think.

Q.¬† Along the same lines, could you talk about what it takes in this league to get to the grind?¬† It's not like one game in October.¬† You've got to win one game in November.¬† In a lot of cases, it's a two, three, four‑game stretch.¬† Just navigating your way through that grind, and what has to happen if you're going to do it successfully?
TAVARRES KING:¬† It's just what you said.¬† It's week‑in and week‑out.¬† It's a fight.¬† It's a battle.¬† Every Saturday you've got to put the pads on and go to work because it's a tough league.¬† Anybody can slip up and beat anybody.¬† So I think it's so rewarding to get to the SEC Championship because it's a hard road.¬† It really is.

Q.  What is unique about the Alabama secondary and the physical stature?
TAVARRES KING:  I think that those guys really get after it.  They're very physical.  I thought they were going to try to stay on top of you and not give up the big play.  I felt like the physicality of those guys out wide is just different from anybody we've played up until this point.

Q.  Do they compare to anything else you play during the season?
TAVARRES KING:  I don't make comparisons.  I don't think that you can make comparisons.  I don't think it's fair to any player because they play the game their own way.  I think they're just very physical.  I think that's what sets them apart from people.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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