ATHENS, Ga.—Georgia conducted its third scrimmage of the preseason this afternoon at Sanford Stadium, working out for 90 minutes in full pads. The scrimmage, the final one of fall camp, reportedly featured plenty of competition and was not a “dress rehearsal” as has been the case in past years.
Although the media was not allowed to view the scrimmage, head coach Mark Richt, linebacker Jake Ganus, and tailback Brendan Douglas provided the following details/quotes regarding today’s “Georgia” vs. “Louisiana-Monroe” affair:
MATCHUP: The Bulldogs’ No. 1 unit was designated as “Georgia,” whereas the No. 2 unit, which also consisted of third-string players, was “Louisiana-Monroe.” The scrimmage was played as the third and fourth quarters of a game, and “Louisiana-Monroe” was spotted a 24-0 lead over “Georgia.”
BRENDAN DOUGLAS on makeup of teams: “I did a little bit of both (playing with the No. 1 and No. 2 teams)—I started off with the TWOs a lot, and then rotated with the ONEs towards the end. … A lot of the ONEs just [played with] the ONEs, I think, but a lot of the TWOs rotated among [both teams].”
PREGAME: The Bulldogs went through their routine pregame warm-up, which included a countdown from the 65-minute mark, and reentering then exiting their locker room onto the field.
THE GAME: Spotted a 24-0 halftime lead, “Louisiana-Monroe” won the game, 31-24. In other words, “Georgia” outscored the No. 2 unit 24-7 in the two quarters of play. The No. 1 unit’s three touchdowns were scored by Sony Michel on a touchdown run of at least 50 yards, according to Richt, an interception return for a score by Dominick Sanders, and what Richt believed was a touchdown pass.
JAKE GANUS on how this scrimmage differed from previous two: “It was more game-like. We went through our pregame warm-ups, back into the locker room, and all that. But, once we teed it off, it was pretty similar: live tackle, getting off blocks…”
QB COMPETITION: Quarterbacking the first unit, sophomore Brice Ramsey played the entire third quarter, and Greyson Lambert the fourth. For the TWOs, junior Faton Bauta played the entire third quarter and into the fourth, and freshmen Nick Robinson and Sam Vaughn followed, each playing a series under center.
When Richt was asked if what team the quarterbacks played on, and when they appeared during the scrimmage, was any indication of their pecking order, Richtly promptly and adamantly declared, “No, nope.”
FIRST OBERVATION: After detailing the scrimmage, Richt revealed some of his observations, the first being the play of senior punter Collin Barber:
“I thought Collin was really sharp today,” Richt said. “He hit some good bombs. He [also] hit a ball that should have been downed on the one-inch line. He was punting for both teams, basically.”
O-LINE: As concerned Richt was regarding the Bulldogs’ second-team offensive line less than two weeks ago, he thought the second-string group had improved more so than any other unit on the entire squad. Of course, as the head coach pointed out, the second-team offensive line had the “longest (furthest) to go” in improving.
D-LINE: If Richt displayed concern over any particular position unit following the scrimmage, it was for the defensive line. He indicated Georgia’s d-line had little depth, and no three guys would be playing at a “high percentage” [of plays in a game], but “absolutely by committee.”
INJURIES: Fortunately, no significant injuries were suffered during the scrimmage. In fact, according to Richt, not once did play have to be stopped because of an ailing player.
TAILBACK pecking order: Although the entire team has been tight-lipped on the order of Georgia’s quarterbacks, Richt revealed the current pecking order at the team’s tailback position: 1) sophomore Nick Chubb; 2) sophomore Sony Michel; 3) junior Keith Marshall; and junior Brendan Douglas at a close 4th behind Marshall.
QB RACE going forward: “We’ll [first] watch what happened today,” Richt said regarding what he and his coaching staff were going to do in finding their starting quarterback. “And, then I think we’ll have to look at the total body of work from the beginning of camp, and probably put a little more [emphasis] on what has happened of late. And, then try to decide if it’s time to nail it down [a starter], or let’s keep [the competition] going.”
CAPTAINS: Following the scrimmage, the captains for the first game against the real Louisiana-Monroe nine days from now were named: senior linemen John Theus and Kolton Houston for the offense, senior linebacker Jordan Jenkins and junior linebacker Leonard Floyd for the defense.