Special to the Journal
Athens, Ga – Sixth-ranked Georgia conducted its third scrimmage of the preseason Wednesday at Sanford Stadium, and the Bulldogs rallied past “Buffalo” in overtime.
“It was a barn burner; a 49-48 overtime victory for Georgia,” said Bulldog coach Mark Richt. “We were down late in the fourth quarter and scored to put it to overtime. Actually, we had a 57-yard field goal miss in regulation. Buffalo won the toss in overtime, went on defense and Georgia scored. Then, Buffalo scored and went for two. That was a good strategy, but thankfully we got the stop on the two-point conversion.”
The Bulldogs started the scrimmage in the third quarter with Buffalo leading 35-0, and Richt jokingly credited himself for a rousing halftime speech in rallying the Bulldogs.
Junior quarterback Aaron Murray enjoyed a productive day, completing 20-of-25 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile freshman Faton Bauta directed Buffalo’s attack and completed a touchdown pass in regulation to freshman Kenneth Towns and then another one to sophomore Michael Erdman in overtime. Freshman Todd Gurley led all running backs with 54 yards on six carries with one touchdown while sophomore Ken Malcome tallied 50 yards on six carries. Senior Marlon Brown was the leading receiver with seven catches for 98 yards. Sophomore Michael Bennett, junior Rhett McGowan and freshman Keith Marshall collected touchdown receptions.
Sophomore inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera provided a highlight for the defense with a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Michael Gilliard registered a team-high four tackles.
Overall, Richt praised the graduate assistants for getting the “Buffalo” team ready Wednesday.
“I have to give a hand to the graduate assistants because they did an outstanding job with Buffalo,” said Richt. “We had very few issues.”
On Thursday, Georgia has planned a “situational scrimmage” to include any scenarios that were not covered during Wednesday’s action.
Georgia will play host to the real Buffalo squad in its season opener Sept. 1 at 12:21 p.m., and the game will be televised live by the SEC Network.
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.