August 24, 2011

Final assessments

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Although Wednesday's "practice game" at Sanford Stadium wasn't a true contest in the literal sense of the word, it did provide head coach Mark Richt the opportunity to make some final assessments leading up to next week's season-opener against Boise State.

"I thought it was good. We got to put our guys in some good situations," Richt said. "There were a couple of long drives the offense had, where they had to get used to being out there a while. It was hot and I forced a few long drives for "Boise State" to force our guys to play defense and finish up with some red zone stuff."

For those keeping score, Georgia "won" the game 38-34 in what Richt described as "thrilling comeback" win as the Broncos were spotted a 31-0 lead before playing a full second half that resulted in the Bulldog first-teamers capturing the victory on a touchdown pass from Hutson Mason to Tavarres King.

There were several other items of note.

Ken Malcome led all rushers with 11 carries for 61 yards and score, followed by freshman Isaiah Crowell with six for 51 and a score, with Brandon Harton adding five rushes for 26 yards and a touchdown. All three running backs played on the "Georgia" squad.

Senior Richard Samuel (strained quad) did not play.

As for Crowell, Richt said the freshman's limited attempts was due simply to not pushing the Columbus native following the groin strain he suffered two weeks ago.

"Oh yeah, that was part of it, plus we still wanted to see what Harton would do and Ken would do," Richt said. "Right now, Harton I would say is still No. 3. We may, after today, look at the film and see if Ken made up some ground, but right now I'd still peg the running backs as Richard, Isaiah and Harton."

Quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Mason both enjoyed solid afternoons.

Murray completed 5 of 9 passes for 79 yards with Mason completing 7 of 9 for 98 and the game's only touchdown pass.

"Hutson and myself felt it was one of our best preseason scrimmages, or whatever, against an opponent. The offense looked good today," Murray said. "We just executed the plays. The offensive line did a great job, the wide receivers made plays, the tight ends, running backs, everyone.

"I think it goes back to the summer preparation. Guys have been watching film since June and July and have a pretty good grasp on Boise. Now, that coaches are implementing the game plan, guys know it pretty well and feel comfortable with what Boise's doing defensively with our game plan. With that combination and our hard work over the summer it's allowed us to get ahead of the game."

Tight end Orson Charles led all receivers with three catches for 31 yards, followed by King with 21. Aron White added a pair of grabs for 46 yards while Harton had the longest reception of the game, taking one for 49 yards.

Kicker Blair Walsh booted a 56-yard field goal.

Defensively, the Bulldogs forced the second unit into a number of turnovers, including what Richt guessed were six interceptions, including two by cornerback Brandon Boykin.

Sanders Commings and Shawn Williams also collected picks.

Defensive end Abry Jones had three sacks, with Jarvis Jones and Jordan Love one each. Love also forced a fumble in the game.
"Boise State" managed little against the Bulldogs No. 1 D as Michael Tamburo and Christian LeMay combined to complete just 4 of 7 passes for 27 yard and three interceptions. LeMay had two of the picks.

Richt said the second-team offensive line suffered its share of problems.

"They were not very good. The guys who played for Boise State, which was basically our No. 2 line, they didn't protect very well at all, which is one of the reasons there was so many picks," Richt said. "There really wasn't much that the Boise State offense did well because of what happened up front. There were a couple of times they protected and a couple of times they provided a little space to run. But in their defense, you're trying to run another team's offense, they're not trying to run Georgia's offense so by no means am I trying to beat them up, it's just today not a lot good happened up front, because basically they really weren't sure what to do."

NOTES: Along with Samuel, tight end Bruce Figgins (hamstring), nose Jonathan Jenkins (hamstring), wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (leg) and wide receiver Marlon Brown (ankle) did not play. However, when asked if any of Georgia's current injured risked not suiting up against Boise State. "There's not one guy right now that we think, that we've been repping, would have an injury that would keep them out." … Richt announced his first set of captains for Boise State. They include center Ben Jones, defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, Boykin and punter Drew Butler.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.