Athens – Sounds as if the Bulldogs have more work to do before they’re ready for the trip to Stillwater.
“Overall, my feeling was we weren’t quite ready to beat Oklahoma State,” Mark Richt said after a practice game Wednesday in Sanford Stadium. “I’m glad we have 10 more days to prepare.”
Georgia played its scout team, which was emulating Oklahoma State, and Richt found some faults:
– “A few too many penalties.” Two key infractions by the offense — holding and illegal formation — stopped one drive and forced a field goal (rather than a possible touchdown) on another. (While unhappy about the penalties, Richt cited a mitigating factor: liberal substitutions that put a lot of young players on the field.)
– “Just an erratic day offensively.” While the offense put up 27 points in one half of football against the scout team, Richt said it sputtered at times. “It just was not sharp,” he said. “It was not awful, but when you have almost your entire first and second team vs. the rest, you’d think you’d be a little more explosive.”
Defensive tackle Jeff Owens concurred there’s work to do. “It’s just a stepping stone for us to get better,” Owens said of Wednesday’s scrimmage. “We had an opportunity to see where we’re at right now. But we’ve got a lot of room to improve.”
Granted, I’ve probably made too much already of an August scrimmage against the scout team. But here’s a bit more detail passed along by Richt and players (the scrimmage was closed to the media):
Tavarres King, redshirt freshman WR, caught a touchdown pass from backup QB Logan Gray. The Bulldogs expect — and need — much from King this fall.
A.J. Green caught a TD pass from No. 1 QB Joe Cox. About a 40-yard play, Cox said. Cox was “sharp running the system” and “accurate throwing the ball,” Richt said.
The defense made some good plays, including interceptions by Makiri Pugh and Brandon Boykin, and tackled well.
Richard Samuel, recently declared No. 1 tailback, had a good/not great day. “It wasn’t spectacular,” Richt said. “But a good day. Solid.” (Speaking of Samuel: Being the No. 1 tailback doesn’t preclude him from returning kickoffs, Richt said Wednesday. The coach named Samuel, Boykin and freshman Branden Smith as the top three candidates for kickoff returns, not necessarily in that order, but added that Carlton Thomas and Bryan Evans also are in the mix.)
Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger, freshman quarterbacks, got turns as the scout-team QB. (No firm decision yet — and no reason to make one yet — on whether they will be redshirted this season. “I don’t think we’re there yet,” Richt said. “We’ve still got some time, and we’ve got some games to play. I don’t want either one of those guys thinking they’re redshirting right this minute.”
Geno Atkins played great “as usual,” his fellow DT Owens said.
Blair Walsh kicked two field goals. (Walsh, as expected, has retained his job as placekicker, although coaches won’t say whether Walsh or Brandon Bogotay will kick off.)
Caleb King didn’t participate because of his lingering hamstring injury, but Richt said he expects King will be back at practice on Monday, if not before.