April 7, 2012

Defense remains stout



Georgia's offense was able to make a little headway in Saturday's second spring scrimmage at the Woodruff Practice Facility, but from an overall standpoint it's the Bulldog defense which continues to impress.

Still, quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason enjoyed better days.

Murray completed 8 of 13 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, with Mason completing 12 of 19 for 151 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Parker Welch chipped in by completing 5 of 10 for 56, with Christian LeMay completing 3 of 6 for 28 yards and a pick.

But head coach Mark Richt said don't let the yardage numbers fool you.

"I thought we threw and caught it a lot better. It started out not very good at all, but as the scrimmage went on more plays were made," Richt said. "But the other thing, too, you're trying to make a judgment on if a play would have been a sack or not. We tried to err on the side of letting a ball get thrown so there were probably a few of those big plays might have been a sack in a real game or a quarterback knocked down. It's a little bit skewed, but overall it was better throwing and catching."

Marlon Brown led the receivers with five catches for 90 yards and a score, with Taylor Bradberry grabbing five for 72 and a score with Justin Scott-Wesley catching five passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jay Rome caught two passes for 50 yards.

The offense gained little on the ground however, as Ken Malcome rushed five times for 29 yards, followed by Isaiah Crowell with six for 23.

Jamie Lindley added a 32-yard field goal.

"The offensive line is getting challenged every day, as you can see, there was not a whole lot of room to run the football. Through the air we moved some but our O-line has definitely got a ways to go; there's no doubt," Richt said. "But the thing about spring too is you're trying to play two teams on each side of the ball, three teams on each side of the ball, it's just hard to get total continuity. But guys are getting reps, guys are getting better and we've got a lot of film that we're going to be able to study to see who is getting closer to proving they can play for Georgia."

Defensively, safety Corey Moore led the way with nine tackles and an interception, with linebacker Ramik Wilson collecting seven tackles to go along with a sack and a pass breakup.

"(Moore) he's coming. He's a very aggressive football player when it comes to coming up and making a tackle; he's a good athlete," Richt said. "He's learning a lot, he's getting better. He's going to have to play for us. He'll be able to function for us."

The defense also received strong play from defensive end Ray Drew with five tackles and a sack, while linebacker Chase Vasser finished with six tackles.

Interceptions were recorded by safeties Connor Norman and Shawn Williams, who left later on with a knee injury (see details below).

Nose guard Kwame Geathers collected a pair of sacks.

"(Geathers and John Jenkins) are two of the biggest nose guards around, maybe two of the better ones around and they're making it tough on our centers," Richt said. "Even when our centers do everything right, they're such big guys who know what they're doing; just penetrating into the backfield. Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Rodney) Garner have a couple of looks when they get in there at the same time; they've just been really outstanding."

Injuries mounting for Dawgs

Already down several players to injury, Richt revealed that Georgia's already thin secondary took another hit Saturday when starting safety Shawn Williams suffered a knee injury.

Richt said he does not know Williams' status for Saturday's G-Day game, although it does not appear that the injury will require surgery. That is certainly good news as the Bulldogs will already be without cornerback Sanders Commings (two-game suspension) and stand to be without defensive backs Branden Smith and Bacarri Rambo once Richt decides their punishment, Smith following his arrest for misdemeanor drug possession and Rambo for allegedly failing a recent drug test. Linebacker Alec Ogletree is also facing a suspension for allegedly failing a drug test.

Ironically, Rambo missed his third straight practice Saturday while he recovers from a hamstring injury. Both Rambo and Williams are questionable for G-Day.

Also, Richt revealed that running back Richard Samuel is questionable for G-Day due to a concussion while freshman running back Keith Marshall is doubtful while he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Cornerback Devin Bowman according to Richt had the "wind knocked out of him" Saturday, but is expected to be OK.

This and that

Offensive lineman Zach DeBell was able to practice for the first time since spring since undergoing off-season ankle surgery. … Redshirt sophomore Kolton Houston saw some practice time at right tackle. Houston had been seeing time at left guard. … Georgia returns to practice Tuesday in preparation for next Saturday's G-Day game (3 p.m.).