August 8, 2012

First team units shine

When you're a member of the first team - be it the offensive or defensive side - there's no room for any messing around.

At least that's the way senior John Jenkins views the situation for Georgia, which held its initial scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday morning at Sanford Stadium.

"We've got to strive for greatness - the first team offense and the first team defense - because we are the FIRST team," Jenkins said. "If we're not having a good day, it's a problem."

There apparently were few issues for either of the first units to worry about in what the first of four scrimmages before the Sept. 1 opener against Buffalo.

Offensively, quarterback Aaron Murray posted some impressive numbers against the second-team defense, completing 12 of 17 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, as the first-team offense scored on its first three drives.

Meanwhile, backup Hutson Mason completed 9 of 13 passes for 86 yards with Christian LeMay completing 3 of 6 for 44 yards and an interception.

By comparison, the first-team defense only gave up one first down during the second-team offense's first three drives and collected seven sacks.

"Overall, the No. 1 units played really well," Richt said. "Both units were pretty dominant, which I like this kind of year."

According to Richt, the first-team offensive line which consisted mostly of Kenarious Gates at left tackle, Dallas Lee at left guard, David Andrews at center, Chris Burnette at right guard and John Theus at right tackle, did not allow a single sack.

The line also apparently did a nice job opening some holes for the backs, including freshman Todd Gurley who led all rushers with six carries for 58 yards and a touchdown.

He was followed by Ken Malcome with five for 32, Brandon Harton seven for 25. Freshman Keith Marshall rushed seven times for 11 yards.

"Todd ran the ball well, I'll say that, but he had some good space provided for him when some other guys didn't. Marshall had a great three-yard run, which I know doesn't impress anyone unless you see it in person," Richt said. "I thought the backs ran well, personally. There were a couple of times where they didn't hit it right where they should have or could have, but it wasn't bad."

Marlon Brown - who led all receivers with six catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns - was impressed with what he saw from Gurley.

"Todd Gurley had some beast runs," Brown said. "I'm like 'is that a freshman running the ball?' With Keith and Todd, along with Ken and Richard, we're going to be fine in the running back area."

Brown was followed by Tavarres King with four catches for 66 yards, Rantavious Wooten 2 for 45, Justin Scott-Wesley 3 for 43, Michael Bennett 2 for 26 and tight end Arthur Lynch 2 for 21.

The Bulldogs attempted only one field goal, with freshman Marshall Morgan missing his lone red-zone opportunity. All extra points were made.

"Marlon had the most opportunities today, and he took advantage of it," Richt added. "He's been hot all camp, and I hope he stays healthy."

Defensively, senior defensive end Cornelius Washington was credited with three of the seven sacks, with others coming from linebacker Alex Ogletree, Bacarri Rambo, Jordan Jenkins and John Jenkins accounting for the other four against the second-team offense.

"I like it when my No. 1 defense is getting sacks. It doesn't really bother me. You've got guys like Rambo, Ogletree, John Jenkins, Jarvis Jones, Cornelius Washington - you hope to get some sacks by those guys," Richt said. "If it's your first unit getting beat you might be concerned, but I'm not too concerned about that No. 2 group because they are going against some pretty good guys."

Safety Connor Norman and Washington made the most stops on the day with six apiece, with cornerback Devin Bowman, Ogletree, safety Shawn Williams and freshman linebacker James DeLoach each chipping in with fourth. Linebacker Amarlo Herrera recovered a fumble while cornerback Sanders Commings intercepted a pass.

NOTES:Marc Deas (hamstring), Ray Drew (concussion), Dexter Morant (right shoulder sprain), Damien Swann (cervical sprain) and Hugh Williams (hand) did not participate. … The Bulldogs hit the practice field again Thursday morning.