March 30, 2009

Scrimmage reviews mixed

You want numbers? Georgia coach Mark Richt had some to share following the team's first official scrimmage Monday afternoon at Sanford Stadium.

The results were mixed, particularly when it came to the energy level that Richt wanted to see.

"I thought there were spurts. I just think when things were going well for one side of the ball there was enthusiasm and when things went bad they held their heads down a little bit," Richt said. "They've got to be able to recover from a bad play. That's the main thing I saw as a team. We've got to be able to handle a little bit of adversity."

For example:

Until quarterback Aaron Murray hooked up with Vernon Spellman for a 75-yard touchdown, the emotion he saw on the field left a lot to be desired.

"Early on the offense looked down then they got the big play and then got after it," Richt said. "Then the defense started feeling sorry for itself. We've just got to understand that things aren't always going to go our way that we've got to recover quickly, get back and play ball. I didn't see that today."

All the news wasn't bad.

Walk-on Kalvin Daniels led all rushers with nine carries for 45 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Carlton Thomas with 8 for 26 yards and a touchdown and Caleb King 6 for 32 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Shaun Chapas rushed for just seven yards on three carries but scored twice.

Murray and fellow quarterback Joe Cox enjoyed solid afternoons.

Murray completed 4-of-6 passes for 131 yards with his 75-yard touchdown pass to Spellman and had no interceptions, while Cox was 9-of-13 for 70 yards, no interceptions and one touchdown.

Logan Gray went 3-for-8 for 64 yards and an interception while Zach Mettenberger completed 1-of-10 for 4 yards and an interception, although Richt did say that the former Oconee County standout had a number of passes dropped.

Beside Spellman's 75-yard catch, A.J. Green caught five passes for 65 yards, followed by tight end Aron White with 2 for 57, Marquis Brown 3-for-24 and Michael Moore 2-for-14 and a touchdown.

Kicker Blair Walsh drilled a 47-yard field goal.

"I think we had a decent day," Cox said. "We scored on some good drives and controlled the ball well. But the defense still had a good day and stopped us on an eight-play drive early on. They looked good, too."

Linebacker Nick Williams and cornerback Brandon Boykin led the defense with six tackles each, followed by Darryl Gamble, Justin Houston and Marcus Dowtin with three each.

Dowtin also recovered a fumble while Sanders Commings and Bacarri Rambo had one interception each.

Geno Atkins added two sacks, followed by with Kade Weston and Ricardo Crawford with one each.

"I would say we've got a long way to go yet, I really would," Richt said. "But a lot of good things happened. We've got to learn to handle adversity on both sides of the ball a little bit better and we've got to handle the ball a little bit better. The couple of guys who had interceptions actually fumbled the ball because they didn't have good ball security. The backs did a good job but offensively there were two fumbles after interceptions and we've got to do a better job of that."

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