Special to the Journal
ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 6-ranked Georgia Bulldogs held their second full scrimmage of the fall on Wednesday, spending approximately two hours at Sanford Stadium. Head coach Mark Richt was not overly pleased with his team’s performance.
“I saw some good things,” Richt said. “Some good things happened, but I saw a lot of bad things. I saw three pics…bad interceptions, although Corey Moore made a great play on one. Every time the quarterback got touched, they fumbled. We weren’t tackling the quarterback, but you’re not supposed to fumble every time you’re touched. I’m not too happy about that. Our No. 2 offense drove the field on our No. 1 defense and scored. Brandon Harton broke a tackle in the backfield for a first down that got them going. The No. 1 offense started out great, but after the No. 2 offense scored it must’ve inspired the No. 2 defense because they stoned the No. 1 offense on the next three drives and during a one-minute drive. The No. 1 defense got scored on on the goal line, and I didn’t like that. The No. 1 offense scored on one of two tries from the 2-yard line and the 1-yard line, which is not too impressive.
“We made some nice plays,” Richt continued. “I think all the running backs ran well. Like I told the team, I thought we looked like a pretty good team. But pretty good is about 8-4, maybe 9-3 if you’re lucky. We’d like to be better than 8-4, but that’s about how we played today. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. Did we have great effort on every play? No. Was every guy busting his tail on every play? No. Was there great effort on some of the plays? Yes. I didn’t see a team that was ready to be great. I saw a team that was still pretty good, and I’m not that thrilled about it. I might feel better after watching the film.”
Starting quarterback Aaron Murray completed 8 of 14 passing attempts for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while back-up Hutson Mason connected on 8 of 18 throws for 67 yards, a TD and an interception. Chris Conley was the leading receiver, hauling in four catches for 114 yards including a 70-yard touchdown, while Blake Tibbs had three catches for 32 yards and a TD and Jay Rome had two receptions for 32 yards.
“We ran some play action today,” Conley said. “The defense bit on it and Aaron made some great throws. I had the opportunity to make some of those catches and make some big plays. I guess the biggest one of those was a deep play. The corner bit, I gave him a good move and Aaron made a great pass.”
Georgia’s rushing attack was well balanced. Freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall both averaged 12.4 yards per carry. Gurley gained 87 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns, and Marshall had 62 yards on five rushes. Richard Samuel gained 40 yards on six attempts with a touchdown, Ken Malcome notched 35 yards on five attempts and Harton had 31 yards on seven rushes.
Defensively, Chase Vasser posted a team-best six tackles, with four TFLs and three sacks. Five players posted four tackles – Josh Harvey-Clemons, Alex Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams. In addition, Harvey-Clemons had an interception, a TFL and a sack for -9 yards, Ogletree had two TFLs and two sacks for -13 yards, Rambo forced a fumble and Williams posted an interception and a PBU.
The defensive play of the scrimmage was Moore’s interception.
“We were doing a two-minute drill and I could tell they were going to do a double move,” Moore said. “I read the wide receiver, Michael Bennett, and his route and waited for him to come back towards me and laid out and picked it off. I felt like it was the play I needed to make for the defense so we could get off the field.”
On special teams, Mashall Morgan connected on his only field goal attempt, a 42-yarder, and made all four extra points. Collin Barber averaged 49.5 yards on two punts.
“I’m not ready to name them starters yet, but they were impressive,” Richt said. “Collin punted the ball very well. I think Marshall made 6-of-8 field goals before the scrimmage started. He missed a 40-something yarder and missed a short range one, which he should not miss, but he did make a 52-yarder. He made a 42-yarder during the scrimmage. All the extra points were very clean.”
On the injury front, Richt said the Bulldogs completed the session relatively unscathed.
“There was nothing earth-shattering,” he said. “Usually you find out the next day, but I don’t think anyone will miss practice from anything that happened today. Someone might show up in a green jersey tomorrow, but I saw nothing that would keep a guy from practicing.”
Georgia will play host to Buffalo in the season opener Sept. 1 at 12:21 p.m., and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
The annual Fans Picture Day will be held this Saturday in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players will be on hand for photos and autographs from 3-5 p.m. between Gates 2 and 4. Richt also will be available from 3-5 p.m. for those with ticket coupons. Other UGA athletic teams will be on hand for Picture Day from 1-3 p.m.
Tickets to the home football games against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic (Sept. 15) are on sale to the general public and can be purchased online at http://gado.gs/4a or by calling the UGA Athletic Association ticket office at 1-877-542-1231.