ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs held a two-hour scrimmage 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," said Bulldog head coach Mark Richt. "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," said Richt. "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 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," said sophomore Jarvis Jones. "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.
Georgia, ranked No. 22 in the preseason USA Today coaches' poll, opens the 2011 campaign against No. 7 Boise State on Sept. 3. The Bulldogs and Broncos will clash in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in the Georgia Dome at 8 p.m. ET.
The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 20 in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players and coaches will be available for autographs from 3-5 p.m.
Auburn Holds First Fall Scrimmage on Wednesday
AUBURN, Ala. - The 19th-ranked Auburn football team went through its first scrimmage of preseason camp Wednesday inside Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The team began the day in position work, then touched on special teams drills before beginning the 70-plus play scrimmage.
"We did some good things today on both sides of the football," head coach Gene Chizik said. "The offense was able to generate a few explosive plays and conversely, the defense was able to force some turnovers and do some good things."
Working in temperatures that topped 90 degrees, Chizik noted the team's energy throughout the scrimmage.
"Today was fast and it was physical and it was hot," Chizik said. "I thought they handled it well. Overall the effort was good. It will be our first good evaluation with good, live reps. This will be a good teaching tape."
Junior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen was pleased with the offense's mental focus during the scrimmage.
"We made some progress today," Lutzenkirchen said. "There were fewer alignment errors and a lot less penalties. It's always good that you can get that done in the first scrimmage and move on from that."
Sophomore defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker said the defense was able to stick to its goal of proper fundamentals.
"I think we got a lot of good work done," Whitaker said. "(Being) fundamentally sound, that was our goal, and I think we did a good job. It's full speed, live action so the young guys are picking up on it. It was a good day."
Auburn will take Thursday off and return to the practice fields Friday with a pair of practices. The Tigers begin the day with a 10 a.m. CT practice and conclude with a 5:40 p.m. session.
The Tigers will open the 2011 season Sept. 3 vs. Utah State at Jordan-Hare Stadium, with kickoff set for 11 a.m. CT.
Tide Suits Up for First Two-a-Day Practice of Fall Camp
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team took to the field twice on Wednesday for its first two-a-day of fall camp. The Crimson Tide got after it in the morning in full pads and returned to the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility for an evening session.
"Camp has been a lot more intense," junior defensive back Will Lowry said. "I feel like we our out to prove something this year. We have been really grounded and working hard this camp."
The first two-a-day practice comes on the sixth workout of the fall. Alabama will suit up 22 more times, which includes two scrimmages, before facing Kent State in the season opener on Sept. 3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium at 11:21 a.m. on the SEC Network, shown in Columbus on WXTX Fox 54.
"It has been challenging with the heat and humidity to practice twice in the same day," junior defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick said. "You just have to get going and find something that will motivate you."
UA will hold a single practice on Thursday before conducting the week's final two-a-day practice on Friday. Alabama will then hold the fall's first scrimmage on Saturday. All practices are closed to the public.