August 12, 2009

Samuel shines in first scrimmage

Georgia won't be determining its pecking order at running back based on one scrimmage, but sophomore Richard Samuel certainly didn't hurt his chances during Wednesday morning at Sanford Stadium.

Sharing time on the first team along with Caleb King, Samuel rushed five times for 108 yards and two touchdowns, including a long run of 63 yards. Samuel also had one catch for 70 yards and a score to highlight what's expected to be the first of several scrimmages leading up to the Sept. 5 opener at Oklahoma State.

"Richard ran the ball well," Richt said. "He definitely had more space to run with than any other back, there's no question about that but he broke some tackles also and finished some runs strong."

The only negative for Samuel came when he fumbled at the end of one third-down run, a mistake Richt said the Cartersville native will need to correct if he hopes to take full advantage of his opportunity.

"Right now I would think the incentive of playing time would really help him hold onto the ball because that's probably the only thing that will keep him from getting a substantial amount of playing time," Richt said. "Hopefully, he'll learn from this."

But overall, Richt was pleased with what he saw from his first team offense.

Carlton Thomas chipped in with five carries for 60 yards while quarterback Joe Cox completed 9 of 13 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns with backup Logan Gray completing 6 of 12 for 93 yards and two scores. King - who Richt said was nursing a sore hamstring - finished with 18 yards on five attempts.

Meanwhile, sophomore A.J. Green led all receivers with four catches for 69 yards and a score with freshman tight end Orson Charles grabbing three passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

Overall, Georgia's offense tallied seven touchdowns, although Richt said most of the damage came against the second team, a fact that left him just a little bit perturbed.

"The scrimmage went about like we thought that it would. Our No. 1 offense did extremely well and our No. 1 defense did extremely well," he said. "But there is too much disparity in my mind right now between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams. There should be better competition when your 2s go against our 1s on both sides of the ball."

Samuel's fumble was one of two mistakes by the offense, although there were no interceptions.

"We still had too many penalties. We were jumping offside a little too much on offense. The defense might have had one, but we've done a better job on the defensive line of scrimmage than the offensive line of scrimmage aligning properly and not jumping off," Richt said. "The neutral zone penalties are really a little bit of a bother right now, but other than that it was a really well-played scrimmage."

Defensively, Roderick Battle had a fine day going against the No. 2 offense as the senior defensive end led the way with 3 sacks with Michael Gilliard, Demarcus Dobbs and Marcus Dowtin getting credit for one-half a sack each.

This and that: Marlon Brown (finger) did not participate in the scrimmage, linebacker Rennie Curran (hamstring), linebacker Akeem Dent (hamstring) and tight end Aron White (hamstring) did not participate. Richt said their respective hamstring issues are not considered serious. … Gillard saw considerable action with the first team at Sam along with Dowtin and Nick Williams at Mike and Will. "Coach (John) Jancek just wanted to get some of those young pups in and see what they could do. He already knows what Rennie, Darryl (Gamble) and Akeem can do." … Tavarres King sat out the scrimmage with a sore back. … Georgia was originally slated to scrimmage Wednesday afternoon but switched to the morning due to a forecast of severe thunderstorms. The team still hopes to practice later this evening if the weather allows.

Statistics

Rushing: Samuel 5-108 yards 2 TD, King 5-18, Thomas 5-60, Chapas 2-21, Ealey 5-13, Jackson - 4 minus 6, Daniels 3-6.

Passing: Cox 9-13-158 2 TD, Gray 6-12-93 2 TD, Murray 5-16-52 1 TD, Mettenberger 1-10-NA.

Receiving: Green 4-69 TD, Charles 3-55 2 TD, Wooten 3-14, Chapas 2-20, Lynch 2-19 1 TD, Samuel 1-70 TD.

Tackles: Dowtin 7, Commings 7, Robinson 6, Gilliard 5, Pugh 4, Battle 4, Love 3, DeGenova 3, Atkins 3.

Sacks: Battle 3.5, Dowtin , Gilliard , Dobbs .

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