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

NorthAugDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:43 am

NorthAugDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:43 am

Popcorn

August 15th, 2012
11:44 am

Newman

August 15th, 2012
11:45 am

Just block and tackle.

Top Dawg

August 15th, 2012
11:45 am

Thanks for the update Chip! Go DAWGS!!!!!!

AirForce1

August 15th, 2012
11:46 am

One of the biggest concerns…seems so lately is conservative play calling on offense. Hate to say it but Les Miles and Steve Spurrier take chances and gamble. You have to in order to make it to the big stage. We UGA does actually take a few risks, it seems the payout is huge. Just an observation.
Second concern would most likely be suspensions on D.

Jb

August 15th, 2012
11:47 am

Buffalo is so fast and so big. We have no chance.

August 15th, 2012
11:48 am

How can we stay on the field with these guys. We know nothing about them. They are an unknown. They come here to knock us off and we are just not ready. They are fast – we can’t keep up with their speed. They have a wall of a defense and we have no running backs. We can’t block and our kicking game is a mess. If we can just keep it close maybe we will have a chance for a long field goal. Hunker down, dawgs – you gotta hunker down……

new dawg

August 15th, 2012
11:48 am

biggest concern has to be the suspension( not against buffalo but going to mizzou with 2nd stringers in the secondary is scary) and the kicking game. blair walsh’s struggles really hurt us last year, and to start a true freshman is a major concern

Buffalo is so fast and so big. We have no chance.

August 15th, 2012
11:49 am

I miss Larry……..

LakeDawg

August 15th, 2012
11:49 am

Wish we knew the circumstances around Ogletree and Rambo.

And what has happened to Zander?

General Ledger

August 15th, 2012
11:51 am

Offensive Line, Offensive game planning and playcalling, tailback situation, suspensions and whether Murray can overcome some of his big game mistakes. Obviously pretty concerned with the offensive side of the ball. Feel really good about the defense and the coaching on that side.

AirForce1

August 15th, 2012
11:51 am

CMR is keeping suspensions under wraps…..he knows something we do not. Could be a good thing.

AirForce1

August 15th, 2012
11:52 am

CMR kept B. Smith’s suspension (lack of) quiet for a while.

DawgLink

August 15th, 2012
11:55 am

Offensive line and turnovers!

Jman

August 15th, 2012
11:58 am

I believe if we just (i) keep healthy (ii) return players from suspensions and (iii) keep players off of suspensions this will be an 11-1 or 12-0 season. Go DAWGS!!!

DAWGS RULE

August 15th, 2012
12:01 pm

O-Line and special team. It could really be a special year if those two things come together.GO DAWGS and spurrier still SUCKS

HABDAWG

August 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

12-0 all the way. The Dawgs have broke our hearts for way to long. This is the year!!!!!!!

WI Dawg

August 15th, 2012
12:03 pm

My biggest concern is how much money do I bet on how many yards we will hold Mizzou to?? Under a 100 yrds?? Under 150?? lol
oh and my other concern is what we’re going to do with the SEC trophy….will it sit on Richt’s desk for a while or will it make a tour of Gainsville, Columbia (SC), Tuscaloosa, etc??

HABDAWG

August 15th, 2012
12:05 pm

This blogs is broken.

HABDAWG

August 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

oops my bad..

DGD!

August 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

Chip,
Where is zander ogletree?

FaithfulDawg86

August 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

Kickers will be fine… most do start as true freshmen anyway (Rex Robinson, Kevin Butler, Blair Walsh ring a bell?). I am worried about suspensions, but I understand why Richt isn’t talking. I think fans forget that football players or not, these young men should have the right to some privacy. I think Murray is going to have a breakout year and that our stable of tailbacks, with Malcome and Samuel to give them maturity and Gurley and Marshall young talent, will be great. SEC CHAMPS!

CHDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

As great as Glenn and Anderson were last year, I wondered if both might have been natural guards who were moved to tackle. This year’s tackles sound like they are playing where they are most gifted, and where they want to be. Wouldn’t it be funny if this year’s line ends up being better than last year’s? Sounds like Malcome, Murray, and the receivers are all another year older and wiser–could be a great year coming Dawgs! Here is hoping we stay healthy.

1970 Dawg

August 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

Lake Dawg, I’m wondering if Zander is the Ogletree who may be suspended. Is that possible?

Dawg58

August 15th, 2012
12:10 pm

Biggest concern has to be Special Teams. It was by far the weakest part of the team last year. It was a big contributor in our losses to South Carolina, L.S.U. & Mich. St.

WDE

August 15th, 2012
12:11 pm

@Buffalo I miss Larry too and good post it sounded just like him…….

WDE

August 15th, 2012
12:15 pm

As for concerns my biggest is always the OL its performance means so much to the team and is so dependent on timing and team work. At the start of every year there is a certain amount of time needed to “jell” as a OL unit. Second biggest is injuries if we can stay healthy we could have a real good team this year. Go Dogs!

jaxdawg

August 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

to hell with the lizards go dawgs! my two best friends go to UF. im a fourth generation bulldawg and i hope to see them crying once again after the dawgs fry up some gator tail. go dawgs ! to hell with anyone who doesn’t wear the big G in red and black!

CHDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

I’m not that worried about the suspensions right now. I am more worried about the distraction factor, along with the repeated errors in judgment, and what that means. We are very deep on D, and the only area we are questionable is the secondary. Sometimes getting more people ready to play early helps depth over the course of the season because of the forced playing time for what would be backups. Starting in the top 10, but not too high is perfect–exactly where we want to be. When we were ranked #1 in ‘08 and we got all of the press, everybody marked the UGA game. This year they are not nearly as worried about us..Go Dawgs.

coastal dawg

August 15th, 2012
12:23 pm

Enter your comments here
It seems like every year we have the same concerns offensively: A questionable offensive line to support a pro-style offensive scheme, the consistent doubts about the line’s abilities to run block for power runs between tackles and the inability to sustain pass blocking long enough for the quarterback to wait in the pocket for long pass routes to develop (and a shorter quarterback than the prototypical pro-style). My dream is that Bobo recognizes all of the above and institutes, at least during various points of the game, a modified spread offense….We’ve got a QB who can move and release the ball, speed and sure handed receivers for those 5-15 yard possession receivers, a blocking tight end and some running backs with ability. A proper spread, used at varying times can allow for more lengthy and fruitful possessions and take pressure off an inexperienced offensive line. I’m not talking about all the time, but I think a few possessions would do wonders for the Dawgs.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

A freshman kicker(s) is always a cause for concern, but not sure it’s been an actual weakness in the past. As mentioned previously, the good ones come right in and start.

The coverage teams as a matter of better personel and added emphasis during the week. Sounds like they are addressing that. As Lilly pointed out the other day, nobody was complaining about that a few years ago when UGA was at the very top of those categories. I don’t think its a big mystery to any of them.

DostaDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

Don’t understand how murry could thank about goin pro early. He’s nowhere as good as Zeier was,and he was a backup at best in the pro’s. Dawg’s best Q.B. is H. Mason.

Truth hurts

August 15th, 2012
12:32 pm

Truth, actually we won the SECE last year, and most think we are much better this year. Stop looking in the mirror, and maybe you will be stop seeing “dumbasses” everywhere??

azdawg

August 15th, 2012
12:34 pm

Injuries, running game, OL, pass protection, special teams (all facets), back-ups play/performance, coaching, play calling. Whatever plagued them last season.

Big Albany Dawg

August 15th, 2012
12:37 pm

Hey, has anyone heard of a kid named, Rome? Jay Rome; 6-6, 265lbs at TE?

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:39 pm

What 5 games do you see UGA losing?

old dog

August 15th, 2012
12:42 pm

o-line plays good….we win. They don’t, we don’t. All the rest of the pieces are in place……..

WDE

August 15th, 2012
12:44 pm

@The truth when did you attend Tech? And we got caught in a beat down in the SECCG…we got there and every other team not named LSU didn’t..

WDE

August 15th, 2012
12:46 pm

@The truth give me a few good reasons we lose to AU a team we beat like a rented mule last year and who lost their best weapon when Dyer left?

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:48 pm

SC is a pretty decent team. UF obviously has some history. AU is an odd series. Scary. I can see any one of them being a pretty pedestrian “guess”. Predicting that we lose to every one of those is pretty hard to back up. And Why do you think Mizzou or tech will be beat UGA?

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
12:59 pm

I think it’s all up to you buddy. Please save us.

ARdawg

August 15th, 2012
1:00 pm

Great update Chip, you da’man

@DGD
Zander as I understand it has been a product of under performing falling way back on the depth. He is still with the team. Surprised me too. I thought he was a Hoss the few times I saw him last year

UGA is Vandy without the education

August 15th, 2012
1:01 pm

UGA will go 7-5 with losses to Mizzou, Vandy, SC, UF and the BARN. Real Q is, will Richt keep his job. I hope so.

ARdawg

August 15th, 2012
1:02 pm

If I were betting today on the Dawgs and Mizzou, I’d take Georgia and easily give up 8 points

WDE

August 15th, 2012
1:04 pm

@The truth your smart ? Yep just as much so as your a Dog fan…see I got Troll smart quite some time ago.

Senator Blutarski

August 15th, 2012
1:06 pm

–the Dogs have some talent…it’s not too outrageous for true Dog fans to have hope for a good season as we get closer to the opening game. Part of the fun in being a fan is getting excited and hopeful about a new season approaching.

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
1:08 pm

So, your plan is to come in here and take credit for your well thought out predictions based on “due”, “own us” “who knows”?

kmarshall4

August 15th, 2012
1:09 pm

would rather be drinking kool aid than what your drinking must be strong stuff the only game on uga schedule that will be close is the carolina game the rest will be blowouts book it!!!!

AltamahaDawg

August 15th, 2012
1:10 pm

I do fully believe that you would be in here taking great delight if Georgia were to lose a ball game though. I have no doubt about that.