Oct. 14, 2013
Head coach Gary Pinkel
"Florida is a really good football team. I thought since they lost a lot of defensive players, that they may not play as great defensively, but there has been no drop-off so far. He (Head Coach Will Muschamp) has done a great job. They are a very well coached football team on both sides of the ball. They lost their starting quarterback a couple weeks ago, and anybody in our business knows the impact that has on a team. Their quarterback in now is playing really well for them. They have great receivers, and the offensive line plays well. They will be a great challenge for us, and it is exciting for us to be back at the "ZOU" and back home. With our fan base wearing their black and gold and being the great fans that they are, we are really excited about that and having the chance to be playing back in front of them."
On how valuable it was for Maty (Mauk) to get that kind of time in the Georgia game before going into this week...
"He just got thrown into the fire pretty quickly there. It's a pretty hostile environment (in Athens, Ga.), and it takes a lot of team communication. I think he did a good job. He is a pretty poised guy. He is thoroughly excited about this opportunity at hand. He is surrounded by an experienced offensive line, and receiving core. He has a lot of good people around him, that will step up their game and that will help him out."
On what you told Mauk on his first start of the season...
"Just to trust your preparation, that you have good people around you and to just go play. In high school, he was the guy that played at the really high level for a lot of people and had lots of success. This is certainly a lot different. Quarterbacks have success for certain reasons. Some of the things that is important to them to have poise, and poise under pressure. He is going to be nervous but he will do fine."
On the wide receivers' improvement in the blocking game...
"We probably did not get the ball outside much last year, so we did not have a lot to compare it too. We have very solid and big receivers. People point that out to me, like our opponents' media for example. They take a lot of pride, and I think they understand the importance of it. It is difficult with the amount of space out there. It doesn't work all the time. If you get the right blocks at the right time you can spring the ball forward. Some of our guys can turn a 6-yard gain into a 25-yard gain. Coach Washington is doing a real good job with that."
On wide receiver L'Damian Washington's play-making abilities...
"He is such a talented guy, and is such a verbal leader on this team. He leads by example. The players have so much respect for him. His background and all that he has been through means a lot. He possesses great maturity, and strength as a leader. He is such a positive person, and such a determined individual. We are getting good leadership from a lot of people on this team. The senior class as a whole stands out, but certainly L'Damian and will always stand out. He is going to be so successful just because of who he is, and the players are starting to recognize that."
On working against a strong Florida defense...
"They are really good. I expected not necessarily a big drop off from last year, but maybe a little drop off because the players they lost. They have a system in place, and a great defensive scheme. They are very well coached, and very disciplined. He (Florida Head Coach, Will Muschamp) does a great job with that program."
Senior Quarterback, James Franklin
On realizing what had happened after being injured...
"I shook my shoulder and I thought it was a stinger. Then it didn't really feel like a stinger so that's why I came off the field."
On staying positive despite the injury...
"Really, there is no reason to get frustrated or sad about it. That is not really going to change anything. It definitely stinks being my senior year, but there's nothing I can do about it. I can only help my teammates out. They did a really great job the rest of the way (at Georgia) and the defense did a great job as well. The guys on offense have a lot of playmakers, and they still put up points even after I went out. I know they can do it. I would love to be able to help them out on the field, but they can still win."
Sophomore Offensive Lineman, Evan Boehm
On the feelings towards QB Franklin's injury...
"You hate seeing James go down. With the season he was having and the numbers he was putting up, that was something special. But you know, things like that happens and you can't really dwell upon that. When it happens though, you feel really bad for the guy. We had no idea what was going on. You see James with a wide-open field and two defenders in front of him, and he sprinted towards the sideline. We were kind of drawn back like there is something wrong with James. Then we saw him run to the sideline and take his helmet off and we knew it's time for Maty (Mauk) to come in. Maty had to step up and do what he's capable of, and he did just that. We are very proud of Maty. We are very confident with him and we have been since day one."
On the comparison of Franklin's and Mauk's football style...
"James is just more confident with what he does because he has been around the program so long. With Maty, you can see his confidence is building with each and every practice every day. That is exciting to see. Maty could be a little bit faster but James likes to lower his shoulder and bulldoze some people. They are two great quarterbacks with two great arms, and we are excited to go out there and be a part of it and block for him."
Sophomore Wide Receiver, Dorial Green-Beckham
On how many reps players get with the backup quarterback each week...
"When we are at practice, all of the quarterbacks go one-on-one and all the quarterbacks get a chance to throw, so it is just something that we have to get used to. Maty came out after James got hurt and he played well. That is what we got to have each and every week. Now that he (Mauk) is in the spotlight, he just has to go out there, play hard and focus."
On what his favorite aspects of Mauk's game...
"Maty can throw the deep ball real well, and he can also run. All of those threats like that are big for us as an offense. We know what he is capable of doing. We just have to see it from him when we go out there. We know that he is going to be motivated, and he is going to feed off the rest of our energy."
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