Athens The Georgia Bulldogs held a two-hour scrimmage -- their first of the season -- in full pads Wednesday morning at Sanford Stadium as they continue preparations for the 2011 season.
"In the first half, the offense had very little success as we defended well," Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt said. "In the second half, we ran more situational plays, and the offense had more success, like in the red zone. However, the number one defense had a very good goal-line stand at the end."
On offense, the statistical leaders included freshman running back Isaiah Crowell (13 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD) and junior Richard Samuel (11 carries, 82 yards) while the leading receivers were senior tight end Aron White (3 receptions, 47 yards) junior split end Marlon Brown (2 receptions, 46 yards) and Samuel (3 receptions for 32 yards). The lone touchdown reception was made by junior flanker Taylor Bradberry covering 20 yards from sophomore Hutson Mason (5-for-19, 59 yards). Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray was 9-for-15 for 100 yards, including a 35-yard strike to Brown.
"I thought the running backs ran well," Richt said. "They have a physical edge to them, and it was good to get out there in the scrimmage and see that. I feel better about how we will be able to run the football after seeing our backs today and how the offensive line and tight ends blocked."
"It was a little warm out there, and that was a bit of a change because we've been going outside at 8:30 every morning," said senior center Ben Jones. "In the second half we really turned it on as an offense. The defense played well all day. They were going against our No. 2 offense, and they took it to them. Overall it was a great day. It's always a great experience to be in Sanford Stadium."
On defense, sophomore inside linebacker Alec Ogletree posted a team-high eight stops followed by seven each by junior linebacker Michael Gilliard and freshman linebacker Amarlo Herrera. Sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones tallied six tackles, including a team-best three sacks. Herrera earned praise for the defensive highlight of the day by registering a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
"Every time I step on the field, I try to make myself better and try to make my team better," Jones said after the scrimmage. "That's what we did today. I also just had fun today. The scrimmage was good, and we learned a lot. It was hot out there, and we got a little tired, but it was our first time to really be in the stadium. We had fun running around, and we definitely got better running the ball. We were just learning and having fun."
Senior place-kicker Blair Walsh finished the day 7-for-8 in field goal attempts, including making a 58-yarder. Senior Brandon Bogotay was 1-for-2, and he turned heads when he booted a 68-yarder in pregame warm-ups.
"There was no rush on Brandon's kick, but we thought that was cool when he made it," Richt added.
Finally, another positive from Wednesday's scrimmage was that there were no injuries.