October 27, 2012

Mitchell comes through

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell sees himself as a competitor and a team player.

After playing cornerback out of necessity earlier this fall, Mitchell has been handed a great deal of responsibility as a kick returner, punt returner, and wide receiver.

In Saturday's 17-9 win over Florida, Mitchell was far from perfect, but the former Rivals100 recruit kept competing and plugging away until the big play came.

That big play was a 45-yard catch and run with seven minutes and 11 seconds left in the game.

Despite a number of errors throughout the game, that big play made any wrongdoing a distant memory.

"Yeah that was a huge play for me," said Mitchell. "The cornerback was in tight coverage, and I could feel him on me. I knew I would have to run full speed and stop. That is what I did, and the ball was right there. When I caught it, all I could think was; run! I hadn't scored a touchdown in so long I knew I just wanted to get in there."

Earlier in the game, Mitchell had returned a couple of kickoffs from his own end zone when it would have been more beneficial to take a knee, but according to the Valdosta native, those mistakes stem from a burning desire to make a play.

"That is why we play this game. I have a hard time just sitting and watching. I want to make a play," he said. "It isn't selfish. It is selfless. I want to help my team win, so I give it all I have."

Two players prior to his huge fourth quarter score, Mitchell was flagged for a personal foul penalty that looked like it might put the brakes on a big fourth quarter drive.

While Mitchell knows he let his emotions get the best of him, he can't really share what his thoughts were at the time.

"You know, after I did that, I can't really even say it out loud," laughed Mitchell. "I knew I had messed up and Coach (Mark) Richt was upset. I thought I was done for the game, but he grabbed me and sent me back in."

One aspect of the game that had the Bulldog Faithful worried for the entire first half was the poor play of junior quarterback Aaron Murray.

Murray threw three interceptions in the first two periods, but Mitchell and his position mates were, in no way, down on their trigger man.

They knew it would come through.

"Aaron never got down. He never gave up. He is such a warrior and we knew that," said Mitchell. "We could have helped him more too. When he throws and interception, we always come in and talk about it. When we drop one, we always come in and talk about it. That is how we do it. We knew he would bounce back."

When asked if there has or will ever be a point when Mitchell and his fellow receivers doubt their quarterback's ability to make the play to help them win, Mitchell was quick to respond.

"None," said Mitchell. "I never doubt what he can do."

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