ATHENS, Ga.— The Georgia football team conducted its first scrimmage of fall camp this afternoon at Sanford Stadium. According to head coach Mark Richt, the No. 1 and No. 2 units ran approximately 50 to 60 plays, while the third team managed to get in at least 32 plays. Apparently, the scrimmage’s uncommonly high number of plays was due to the team’s depth and relatively healthy roster.
Notably, following the first scrimmage of fall camp for three of the previous six years (2009, 2010, and 2012), Richt mentioned to the media there was some obvious disparity between the team’s No. 1 and No. 2 units during the initial scrimmage. The coach was asked if any disparity existed in today’s scrimmage, whereupon Richt didn’t mention the team, generally speaking, but a particular position group instead.
“The biggest disparity, or the level of readiness, is between the No. 1 offensive line and No. 2 offensive line—that’s the most glaring thing,” Richt said. “Our No. 2 [offensive line] is not ready to play winning football right now.”
Entering fall camp, Georgia’s No. 2 offensive line was listed as sophomore Aulden Bynum and redshirt freshman Kendall Baker at the tackles, redshirt freshman Lamont Gaillard and sophomore Thomas Swilley at the guards, and senior Hunter Long at center.
Richt was asked to go into detail regarding his comment: Was there disparity simply because the No. 2 offensive line was having difficulty playing as a unit, or can seemingly none of the second-stringers provide quality depth up front?
“I don’t know if there’s anybody on that unit ready to play winning football yet,” Richt replied with no hesitation. But, he did add the unit was getting better and, to their credit, they often faced during the scrimmage sophomore linebacker Lorenzo Carter—a formidable task for most any offensive line.
“The defense is good,” declared senior Kolton Houston, defending his fellow offensive linemen. “It’s hard for those young guys (the No. 2 offensive line) because [they] get switched around [between positions] a lot more than we do. They’ll get the hang of it.”
Houston and senior John Theus are Georgia’s starting tackles. Sophomore Isaiah Wynn and junior Greg Pyke are currently the No. 1 guards, and junior Brandon Kublanow is the starting center.
During his press conference, Richt also reiterated one of his “big things” was the concept of “team”—not individual players—whereupon he was asked why the change of attitude for this particular fall camp?
“Probably because of this quarterback thing (three-way competition to become starter)—I’m not saying much about that,” Richt answered.
It’s no secret one of the top storylines this preseason is the quarterback battle between junior Faton Bauta, junior Greyson Lambert, and redshirt sophomore Brice Ramsey. What has been a secret is if there’s any pecking order regarding where each of the three stand. Richt said all three quarterbacks had bright moments during the scrimmage.
“I’m not saying much about [individual players regardless of position] right now as far as who is doing this, and that,” Richt added, “because it really doesn’t matter until we start playing the games.”
Georgia starts playing only three weeks from tomorrow, when the Bulldogs host Louisiana-Monroe on September 5. Until then, where the quarterbacks stand is likely anyone’s guess. And, any uncertainty regarding the Bulldogs’ signal callers is just fine with one who’ll be blocking for them, as long as he’s blocking for Georgia’s Heisman Trophy-contending tailback, as well.
“No, not really,” Houston replied when asked if it was frustrating not knowing the positioning of the quarterbacks. “’27 (Nick Chubb’s jersey number) left,’ and ‘27 right,’ sounds pretty good to me.”