August 21, 2013

One final tuneup


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Saturday night's closed dress rehearsal at Sanford Stadium gave head coach Mark Richt and his assistants one final opportunity to gauge what they have going into next week's season-opener at Clemson.

As they say, the hay is now in the proverbial barn.

"We got done what we wanted to get done," Richt said. "We had a lot of live kicking situations. We had a lot of situations that we needed to see, the transition from a kicking play to a scrimmage play and back to a kicking play. I thought we did a pretty good job, really."

Unlike the previous two scrimmages, the one Wednesday night was orchestrated a bit different, to have the feel of a real game.

In fact, Richt spotted "Clemson" (Georgia's scout team) a 28-0 halftime lead before the Bulldog regulars stormed back to take a 42-41 win with quarterback Aaron Murray leading the offense on a one-minute drive for the victory on a touchdown pass to tight end Arthur Lynch.

Murray, who Richt said played all of the third quarter and part of the fourth, completed 11 of 14 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Freshman J.J. Green led all rushers with 12 carries for 62 yards, while fullback Quayvon Hicks scored a pair of touchdowns.

Keith Marshall only had two receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown, while Todd Gurley was held out.

"We've seen enough of him," Richt said of Gurley. "We needed to see some other guys."

Besides Lynch, Malcolm Mitchell also caught a touchdown pass for the Bulldog offense, which only punted twice.

Defensively, Richt said the first-team unit only allowed one "legitimate" drive.

"We gave 'Clemson' a bunch of first downs to help move the offense into field-goal range," Richt explained. "I gave them a long bomb to get them in field goal range another time, and both times the defense forced the field goal. The one touchdown that 'Clemson' scored was legitimate."

Jordan Jenkins led the defense with four tackles, including a sack, while freshmen Brendan Langley and Shaq Wiggins both intercepted passes, with Wiggins returning his for a 17-yard score. Langley's interception was his third in two scrimmages now for the Bulldogs.

Richt said he and his coaches will now make their final evaluations before turning their full attention to Clemson and the Aug. 31 season-opener against the Tigers (8 p.m., ABC).

"We have had a preliminary list of who's going to Clemson, but we need to evaluate it again in the next day or two," Richt said. "(Thursday) we'll have a situational scrimmage, especially in the kicking game with what we were not able to get in(Wednesday). We kind of played it as it came along for the most part. (Thursday)."

NOTES: Georgia's post-practice injury report consisted of 14 players - Paris Bostick (left foot surgery, out), Devin Bowman (left hamstring strain), Sheldon Dawson (left shoulder sprain), Brendan Douglas (MCL sprain), Shaquille Fluker (illness), Tray Matthews (left hamstring strain), Rhett McGowan (right ankle sprain), Corey Moore (right knee sprain), Dillard Pinkson (illness), Jonathon Rumph (left hamstring strain), A.J. Turman (right knee sprain/right ankle sprain), Chase Vasser (left ankle sprain), Reggie Wilkerson (ACL) and Rantavious Wooten (right hamstring strain). None of the players participated in Wednesday's scrimmage. … Richt announced that Murray, Lynch, Garrison Smith and Connor Norman will be the captains for the game against Clemson. … Richt would not say who kicked the game-winning extra point Wednesday. "I can't tell you," Richt said. "That's a secret stat." Richt also declined to say who returned kicks. … Richt said he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo have not determined who will be the third-team quarterback. Christian LeMay, Parker Welch and Faton Bauta continue to battle for the job. … With Douglas out with an MCL sprain, Green will be the team's third-team running back, Richt said.

Statistics

Rushing: Green 12-62, Harton 2-11, Mitchell 1-11, Hicks 2-7 2 TD. Passing: Murray 11-14-0-3 194, Mason 2-5-0-0 33, Ramsey 1-2-0-0 NA. Receiving: Davis 2-29, Green 2-23, Lynch 2-16, Marshall 2-46, Mitchell 1-25, Scott-Wesley 1-18, Conley 1-15, Rome 1-27, Hall 1-9, Bennett 1-28. Defense: Jenkins 4 tackles and one sack, Wilson four tackles and one tackle for loss, Carter three tackles, Herrera three tackles and tackle for loss, Sailors two tackles, Mauger two tackles. Campbell two tackles, Swann one tackle and pass breakup, Dawson tackle for loss, Langley interception, Wiggins interception TD.

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