Most questions have been answered as Georgia prepares for 2nd preseason scrimmage

ATHENS – Georgia will hold it’s second controlled scrimmage of the preseason this afternoon at Sanford Stadium. And for many of the Bulldogs, this will be their most important practice of the year.

After today, Georgia will pretty much settle in on organizing its game plan for the season opener against Buffalo. But the players who will figure into those plans will largely be decided on after today.

Most of the Bulldogs’ personnel decisions have been made. We all know who the quarterback will be and, even though there were three starters to replace, the offensive line was basically established in the first week of camp.

The only real questions on the offensive side of the ball is who will start at fullback and what will the tailback rotation look like. So this is an important day for tailbacks Ken Malcome, Richard Samuel, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, as it is for right tackles John Theus and Watts Dantzler. If Samuel or freshman Quayvon Hicks going to unseat Merritt Hall at fullback, they’ll need to prove they’re worthy of it today.

“I believe we’re ahead of last year and I think that’s due to a lot of guys coming back, one being our quarterback being a third-year starter and having more knowledge of the offense,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, refeering to junior quarterback Aaron Murray. “He’s getting us into better plays, getting our protections set better and that’s making the adjustments easier for our offensive line. We’ve just got to keep improving daily and throughout the season.”

Defensively, Georgia basically has nine starters returning, so there’s not a lot of mystery about who will be playing on that side of the ball (suspensions notwithstanding). It looks like senior Cornelius Washington has nailed down the defensive end spot opposite Abry Jones, with multi-game starter Garrison Smith filling in on either side. Ray Drew needs to prove he’s worthy of being in the rotation but remained in a non-contact status due to a concussion as of the last practice. Redshirt freshman Sterling Baileyis battling for snaps as well.

Your cornerbacks after Sanders Commings are  Branden Smith, Damian Swann and Malcolm Mitchell with Devin Bowman, Blake Sailors and Sheldon Dawson providing depth. Connor Norman and Corey Moore have to prove they’re dependable backups for Bacarri Rambo at free safety.

Whether or not Rambo or Alec Ogletree will be available for the first game — or any of the first four — is a question that remains unanswered and coach Mark Richt is still not ready to address it.

“I don’t know when we’ll let y’all know that,” Richt said this past weekend. “I don’t like talking about that.”

Of course, Georgia’s kicking game is the biggest unknown heading into the season. But we pretty much know who will be doing the work. Freshman place-kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber will be looking to instill confidence in the coaches — and their teammates.

Georgia’s scrimmage won’t get started until 5 o’clock this afternoon, so it will be later this evening before I’ll be able to share any stats or observations. In the meantime, what is your biggest concern with 17 days remaining before the season opener?

188 comments Add your comment

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
2:39 pm

Altamaha, So basically you are saying UGA doesn’t have a depth issue? I guess giving 7 walk-ons scholarships mean the roster management has been great. You can’t argue with someone who doesn’t believe they have a problem.

Mobile Dawg

August 15th, 2012
2:40 pm

With the inconsistency we’ve shown the last few years under Richt, I’m with Old Fan. I just can’t get a good feeling about the Dawgs under Richt. Every year I have looked for the positives and developed my own perspective as to how we should approach the season based on our personnel. What should be our strengths we play to, and our weaknesses. Seems to me the coaches haven’t geared a game plan, offensively, and special teams wise to play to our strengths, and avoid our weaknesses. I honestly believe Richt and Bobo are our weak links, I know they’ve been working to improve themselves, let’s hope it’s worked and we get back to form.

That said if we get on a roll we could be good, however, this is the SEC and during our recent history we’ve struggled against UK and Vandy. USC, UF, AU, UT aren’t going to roll over for sure. Mizzou is an unknown. One thing I know for sure, it will take a special effort to win them all. Let’s play them one at a time and hope for the best.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:41 pm

As I ask all the time, what sort of a damn fool would NOT play his favorites?

The idea that ANY coach would so “favor” a particular player that he ignores the 100 others, his staff, his emploter, his family, his own standard of living and livelihood..and play them irrespective of thinking they were not the best option……has always seemed to me to be the single most ridiculous meme out here.

And the folks who say that are never talking about a once in a lifetime player either. They are talking about one of the thousands of players that a coach has contact with over a career.

Bottom line: That is a just a cowards way of not saying, I know more about football players than (coach).

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
2:41 pm

I was only talking to rational dawg fans. Not super homers or Mark Richt apologists.

P_The_Ricker

August 15th, 2012
2:42 pm

Very curious to hear more about special teams, aside from the kickers.

- What’s the line-up for kick-offs and punting?
- Have they come any closer to naming a starter for return duties?

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:43 pm

Well, you are changing your point Bad Dawg. Are we talking about this new one, or the one that I responded to?

WDE

August 15th, 2012
2:46 pm

@The truth just to be crystal clear here…..myself and Bull Dog Nation are not your friend.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:47 pm

We could be rock solid at 3 deep and STILL give scholarship to previous walk-ons…………….OR…… we could busting at the seams with 85 “recruited” players, and not even have a solid starting line-up.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
2:48 pm

My point was and is that UGA doesn’t have quality depth to stack up against the elites. Case and point LSU last year. This year seems like UGA will have the same problem due to poor roster management. Best case scenario is a Capital One Bowl appearance after losing the SECCG. Not a bad spot but not quite where I would like to see this team. I think 12 wins is a reasonable goal this year.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:53 pm

My point is that of the 7, more are good enough to be regular players, and HAVE proven that………….so the award of thier scholarship does NOt prove a lack of depth. In fact, they contribute depth.

The other 3 and prove nothing about who is ahead of them in the line-up.

I’m saying, a team is judged by 70 best players, not the 10, 15 that are at the bottom of the list.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:56 pm

Absolutely agree that depth was the story of the LSU game. I happen to thing we are actually deeper than we were last year, but I wasn’t offering that point. I wasn’t stating a very specific flaw in your comment, IMO.

But do feel free to blast me some more with your hyperbole and insults.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
2:59 pm

Like I said earlier. I can’t argue with someone is stuck in their ways and doesn’t believe their is a depth problem with UGA football. If you truly believe walk-ons are better than players on scholarship then I have nothing left to say to you.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:59 pm

oops. “I WAS stating a very specific…………..”

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:01 pm

fair enough, you keep modifying what I say, so that probably a good idea.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:01 pm

My apologies, I did not know calling someone a super homer or a Mark Richt apologist was an insult.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:06 pm

You said 7 walk-ons were given scholarships because they proved it. How many contributed to the team last year when it counted? Sure they can make an impact against lesser opponents and in garbage time. Against the likes of LSU or Alabama they will get manhandled. Watch the replay of the honey badger returning punts versus UGA’s superb walk-ons in the SECCG for reference.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:06 pm

Actually I just rolled my eyes because its so cliche’ and trite, but nobody in here doesn’t think you meant that as in insult.

Old Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:07 pm

Concerns? Suspensions, kicking game and play selection.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:09 pm

The only reason those young men were awarded scholarships was because of poor roster management. When you have 20 plus spots open to give scholarships to walk-ons why not reward them? Its a feel good story but is not gonna help win any games or add quality depth. Notice the word quality. When I say that I mean highly regarded recruits who have some in game experience.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:12 pm

Nope, thats not what I said. And as far as this third new sidestreet you are taking this. I’ll pass.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:17 pm

Deflect all you want. That usually means you have lost. Nice debate though even if your point was ridiculous.

CHDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:18 pm

I think a couple of points are worth making: first, we haven’t had a dominant D in a long time. We were very good last year and dominant at times, but not dominant most of the time. This year I think we will be dominant a lot more of the time, and dominant defense is very hard to beat. Time will tell. It also helps the offense a lot by giving them the ball a lot. Second is that Malcome and Samuel are both going to be very tough backs. Maybe the toughest we have had in a while. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Malcome get 1000, even with the platoon system in full swing. Obviously, an injury or one of the youngsters turning out to be a prodigy might tone his numbers down. He is going to be good imo.

graphite

August 15th, 2012
3:20 pm

As I read all of your concerns,if I were you,I would be most concerned,if by some miracle,you have to play Bama.

BankerDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:22 pm

As a cautiously optimistic Dawg fan, I’m looking for drastic improvement in the running game, special teams, QB Play (ball protection), and game preparation. There isnt a game on the schedule that we shouldnt win. Richt knows this too. Lets hope we make it tothe SC game without significant injuries because thats the only thing I see from keeping us from having a very special season. Unless you want to count Bobo’s play calling at times….

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:23 pm

Great. Now I can stop chasing squirrels.

BankerDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:24 pm

Graphite – the almighty alabama has a completely depleted defense. I know you guys are high on Eddier Lacy too, but he has not proven himself to be a Ingram or a Richardson. You guys are going to have to depend more on the offense to score points this year versus the “shut down” D your used to playing. My point is, YOU should be grateful you dont see us during the regular season.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:25 pm

graphite, Those are my concerns exactly. The oppurtunity is certainly there to make it to the SECCG but once this team gets there I don’t like their chances to win the game. Which is why I predict the good old Capital One Bowl and maybe a top 15 finish if they win the game.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:28 pm

BankerDawg, You have to be foolish if you think Bama isn’t going to be a monster this year. Those guys reload unlike here at UGA. Saban will have his bunch ready to roll. I hope Richt does as well.

LakeDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:28 pm

My concern is Mark Richt. Can he improve his coaching?

CHDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:29 pm

Graphite, worrying about playing Bama or LSU is a good problem to have, and on the scholarships Bad Dawg, they are a little weird, but I think it is one of those–make lemonade out of lemons–moments. The other thing is that it might, in an unexpected consequence, drastically improve UGA’s walkons in the future. If you have a choice of a scholarship at some lower ranked D1 school, but Georgia is your dream, you might decide against the scholarship and walk on at Georgia, realizing the opportunities. A lot of pro players come from schools like that for one very good reason–picking players on their ratings out of high school doesn’t predict the future perfectly. Some kids really blossom after HS.

LakeDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:37 pm

Whether UGA has 70 or 85 scholarships is IRRELEVENT to THIS year. Where it becomes a problem is down the road, because future players are not being developed. However, these walk on scholly’s are for a single year and UGA is signing a big class to get the numbers back up. I have ZERO worries about the numbers.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:38 pm

Alabama’s starting line up would be superior on the whole that most anybody. But you folks are fooling yourself if you think they (or anybody else) is 3 deep with players that have game experience.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

Check Alabama’s depth chart for reference. When I checked UGA’s I found 15 walk-ons who are in the 3-4 deep at various positions. I’m no expert on Alabama football but I doubt they don’t have many walk-ons. Not to mention Alabama blew every team out of the water last year outside of LSU which allows them to get some of their younger guys game experience. UGA struggled to put away every solid opponent they faced so their younger guys didn’t get that experience.

WDE

August 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

My God can we just start the season already…some of you are about to bust a gasket….

Dawg Dawg Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

The coaches are my biggest concern.

CHDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

52 Arrests, there’s a reason why you are pathetic, too. Anybody that goes to an opposing fan blog to talk about nothing but the failures and problems either has mental problems, or he has such a low opinion of his school that he feels the need to attack others. It’s going to be OK, man. Tech has a fine program and there is more to life than being great in football, anyway. Just because you scored 1400 on your SAT, it doesn’t mean you are better than other people. Get over it. Suppose somebody posted the times you got beat up in school, or the nights you stayed home to work your slide rule. Normal people are too polite for that, and they realize everybody’s gifts are needed…even yours. So, take off those coke bottle glasses, get out of your lonely cesspool, and wish your fellow Georgians well! Hope Tech wins all but the last, btw!

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

Here’s the sixteen guys:
1. Parker Welch 4th string QB
2. Brandon Harton 3rd string RB
3. Merritt Hall 1st string FB
4. Dustin Royston 4th string FB
5. Ben Reynold 3rd string OG
6. Caleb Drake 3rd string OG
7. Hugh Williams 3rd string TE
8. Michael Erdman 3rd string WR
9. Rhett McGowan 4th string WR
10. Ricky Lowe 3rd string DE
11. Reuben Faloughi 3rd string OLB
12. Kosta Vavlas 3rd string MLB
13. A.J. McDonald 3rd string MLB
14. Luis Capella 4th string rCB
15. Blake Sailors 3rd string lCB
16. Connor Norman 2nd string SS

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:56 pm

And if we start bringing a bunch of 3-4th stringers on the Road , we are in serious trouble. So would to be Alabama, even thought they look a lot better stepping off the bus.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:59 pm

FOUR of those will ever matter in an actual football game. And they are capable of cracking a 3 deep chart on any team in the nation, IMO.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
4:00 pm

My point is you want find this many walk-ons at an elite program. UGA is not there and won’t be until the roster is managed much better than it has been. Even USC who is on sanctions has more players on scholarship than UGA. As a passionate fan that makes me angry with everyone who is helping run our football program.

Bad Dawg

August 15th, 2012
4:01 pm

Name the four. I need a good laugh before I get back to work.

Chip Towers

August 15th, 2012
4:04 pm

MattinAtlanta: Keith said last week that the brace is merely precautionary because of some tendinitis he had in it over the summer. He insist it doesn’t hurt or affect him, just there to protect against a recurrence. At the end of the day that’s all we really have to go on. But he doesn’t appear to limp when he walks or runs.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

Alt-

Your point about the team being judged by thr top 70 players not the bottom 10-15 is the end all to the roster argument. Great job!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 15th, 2012
4:09 pm

Bad Dawg keeps referencing Alabama and USC. He spends to much time watching ESPN. Leave him alone.

robodawg

August 15th, 2012
4:19 pm

Biggest concerns:
1. That we can block well enough to run the ball and protect Murray. This means being better than last year.
2. That our lack of depth doesn’t become an issue in 4th quarters of big games.
3. That we can avoid injuries.

I believe those will be the keys to a successful season.

DawginNash

August 15th, 2012
4:44 pm

My biggest concerns:
1) Our fans will continue to be vitriolic to one another and to other teams.
2) We will boo our own players and show them increased disrespect.
3) My beloved hometown of Athens will continue to be characterized by malicious, drunkard, ignorant bigots rather than the hospitable, intelligent, music-loving people whom I’m proud to say belong to Bulldawg Nation

Columbus

August 15th, 2012
4:54 pm

My concerns are productivity at tailback, the suspended and possibly suspended players, losing Mitchell at least partially at WR and the OL…..

That being said……who is going to play UGA in the SEC Championship this year? Once we take care of the Cocks in Columbia, there is no stopping us barring a significant injury or suspension and hopefully Crowell getting kicked off the team woke any slackers up….

It is going to be aGREAT season! It is going to be a GREAT 6 years….starting now!

Innocent bystander

August 15th, 2012
4:59 pm

UGA’s biggest worry should be Murray making dumb decisions when he plays against a quality defense. You guys seem to forget his bowl game last year and his 2nd half against LSU.

Alphare

August 15th, 2012
5:03 pm

also, I would like to add, UGA’s pre-season ranking, #6?, is as high as it can get.

Columbus

August 15th, 2012
5:08 pm

All you doubters are idiots and mobile dawg cant get a good “feeling” under richt. Get some balls you woman! And stop being so football ignorant! You people are still in the past and the rest of us and Richt have moved on to the future and it is blinding!!! You keep doubting while we enjoy the next 6 years and say we told you so. You gotta believe and if you dont see enough things to give you significant reasons to believe, you are looking too hard at the few negatives. The positives far outweigh any negatives. The defense might be the best EVER. Returning tons of starters on BOTH sides. 3rd year QB likely the best in the SEC and a team that has weathered adversity, made it to the SEC championship and will have that experience under their helmets this yeara nd they WILL be there this year. All you doubters, get some balls and get on the bandwagon. Richt is going to lead the team to great things the next few years and this year, THIS YEAR….UGA MIGHT NOT LOSE A

GAME, WIN THE SEC AND PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPPPPPP!!!!! A MILLION REASONS TO BE ECSTATIC AND PUMPED AND YOU DONT SUPPORT YOUR COACH OR THE TEAM. YOU PESSIMISTIC PEOPLE KILL ME!!!

THE GLASS IS HALF FULL LADIES. ACTUALLY ITS PRETTY DAMN FULL!! TRUST ME. I TOLD YOU THAT LAST YEAR MIGHT BE A DAMN GOOD ONE AND IT WAS. BEEN WATCHING THE DAWGS AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOR 32 YEARS….THIS IS GONNA BE A GREAT YEAR AND RICHT IS THE BEST COACH AT UGA IN THOSE 32 YEARS. BY FAR AND HE IS STILL YOUNG AS FAR AS HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE AND WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS GO. HE HAS AS GOOD OF A RESUME OF ANY COACH WITH 2 OR 3 EXCPETIONS IN NCAA HISTORY. MOST DONT WIN IT ALL UNTIL 15 YEARS OF COACHING…..RICHT IS HITTING HS PRIME AND ALREADY WON SEC CHAMPONSHIPS. ONLY 1 TEAM HAS BEEN TO AS MANY SEC CHAMPIONSHIPS AS UGA OVER THE LAST 10-12 YEARS…..LSU AND UGA BOTH WENT 4 TIMES. UGA WON 2 AND LSU WON 2. PRETTY DAMN GOOD FOR A COACH WITH 11 EARS EXPERIENCE! HE IS ABOUT TO WIN THE BIG ONE AND WIN THE SEC A COUPLE MORE TIMES AND HE WILL DOMINATE THE EAST FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS…..

UGA IS BLESSED TO HAVE RICHT AND YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHY THESE NEXT 5 YEARS….TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!