Georgia coach Mark Richt watches over practice Wednesday in Athens. The Bulldogs are making progress as a Sept. 3 season-opening showdown looms with Boise State.
ATHENS -- The Georgia Bulldogs conducted their second preseason scrimmage of the fall Wednesday afternoon, working out for a little more than two hours at Sanford Stadium.
Head coach Mark Richt was pleased with his team's performance and with the fact that the Bulldogs suffered no significant injuries.
"We didn't have any injuries, which is always good," Richt said. "We did have a little cramping going on from the heat afterwards with Ben Jones. It's nothing too serious. Ben had an hour aerobics class today, and he probably didn't do a good job of hydrating. After aerobics and scrimmaging and running wind sprints, it got to him."
Starting quarterback Aaron Murray connected on 11 of 16 passing attempts for 108 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while back-up Hutson Mason completed 13 of 27 passes for 125 yards.
"I thought it was a pretty good scrimmage," Murray said. "The offense made a lot of plays here and there. There were some lulls, but that's going to happen. I'm very proud of both sides of the ball and how they played today."
Rantavious Wooten caught five passes for 61 yards, including a 20-yard TD. Tift County native Israel Troupe also had five receptions for 50 yards.
Brandon Harton, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship last Thursday, was the top rusher with 51 yards on 12 carries. Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell, Georgia's top-two rushers in the first scrimmage, missed the session due to slight injuries.
"I do think Isaiah is a little closer than Richard (to returning)," Richt said. "We have a kicking practice (today) and a regular practice on Friday. I'm not going to say Isaiah will be ready for Friday but there's a chance. Richard would probably be more like early next week. As you watch them moving around, Isaiah looks closer."
Linebacker Alec Ogletree led the defense for the second consecutive scrimmage, with eight tackles, including a sack and tackle for loss. Safety Shawn Williams, a former Early County star, recorded seven tackles, and cornerback Bacarri Rambo, a former Seminole County star, notched six stops and an interception.
Ogeltree played safety last season as a true freshman before moving to linebacker in the spring.
"'Tree' is playing good," Richt said. "He's playing fast and physical. He likes football and has had a very good camp. I don't have any doubt it was the best move for him and for Georgia."
Linebacker Jarvis Jones also noticed Ogletree's improvement.
"'Tree' gets after it," Jones said. "He loves the game of football. He loves to work hard. He works hard every day. He would've been successful at safety, but I think moving him to linebacker is one of the best decisions our coaches could've made for the overall success of our defense and our team. He can get off blocks. He can run sideline to sideline. He can make big plays. He's a high-energy guy and brings it every day."
Murray also complimented the defense and the progress it has made this fall.
"From day one to now they've made a lot of improvement," Murray said. "There are so many young guys, defensive backs, linebackers and linemen. They've learned so much and are starting to play faster and with more confidence. They're getting a lot better and giving us much better looks right now."
Placekicker Blair Walsh made 4 of 6 field goals, with a long of 49 yards.
Richt later announced that senior safety Jakar Hamilton had suffered a fracture that will likely keep him from playing this season.
"Jakar has a fracture that historically takes two or three months to heal," Richt said. "My guess is he won't play this year. He does have the opportunity to redshirt. That's my best guess on what will happen. It's in his leg down toward his ankle. It's something he's been having issues with but (the pain) was moving a little on a daily basis. A bone scan showed it. It was something we couldn't detect otherwise."
Richt said Hamilton will be missed, but that others will have to step up.
"Jakar is a very good special teams player and competing for downs as a safety," Richt added. "A young guy like Corey Moore will have a better opportunity to play on specials and is one step closer to the field as a safety. Maybe this will light a fire under him."
Georgia, which was ranked No. 22 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches' poll, will open the season against No. 7 Boise State on Sept. 3. The Bulldogs and Broncos will battle in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta's Georgia Dome at 8 p.m., and ESPN will televise the contest nationally.
The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday in the Reed Plaza area behind the north side of Sanford Stadium from 1-5 p.m. Members of Georgia teams other than football and interim mascot Russ will be available from 1-3, and the football players and coaches will be in attendance from 3-5 p.m.
Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The UGA Athletic Association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Richt. No other items will be permitted.
UGA SAYS CHARLES CLEARED BY NCAA AFTER BEING MENTIONED IN UM BOOSTER STORY:
Georgia tight end Orson Charles was mentioned in the Yahoo! Sports article published Tuesday regarding jailed Miami booster Nevin Shapiro saying he provided more than 70 college football players improper benefits during a span that stretched from 2002 to 2010, including many who ended up not signing with the Hurricanes.
On Wednesday, UGA released a statement on Charles' connection to Shapiro, saying Charles has been cleared by the NCAA of any wrongdoing.
"The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA. There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles. UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter."
Yahoo! Sports said Charles was among the players improperly brought to Shapiro while still in high school so the booster could try to persuade him to attend Miami. Charles wound up signing with the Bulldogs.
Former Miami tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Joe Pannunzio set up the meeting between Charles and Shapiro, according to the report. Pannunzio is now director of football operations at Alabama.
Shapiro is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme.
Charles, who played his high school football in Tampa, is going into his junior year at Georgia. Last season, he had 26 catches for 422 yards and two touchdowns.