Thus, Thursday's closed game-type run through at Sanford Stadium was a good practice for Georgia as it prepares for the Aug. 30 season-opener at Clemson.
"It was a short and sweet half of football," coach Mark Richt said. "It was good tempo, not unbelievably strong tempo. This was supposed to be a scrimmage. We did less than what we've ever done."
The point was to give the Bulldogs a chance to experience more of the game-day routine and game situations.
"I don't even know if we had one substitution issue," Richt said. "Had one delay of game. Everybody caught the ball. I don't believe we had one fumbled center exchange."
Georgia continued to implement the game plan for the visit to Memorial Stadium. Joe Tereshinki III served as the Clemson quarterback for part, and Richt said Georgia's third-string quarterback did the job.
"He played well for Clemson the first quarter (of the scrimmage)," Richt said. "He had a bunch of beautiful throws."
Starting quarterback David Greene played only a series. Richt said the race for a backup to tailback Tony Milton is still on.
Richt said nobody was hurt, and no previously injured players suited up. The scrimmage wasn't full contact, and Richt said Wednesday's news that defensive end Will Thompson was done for the year (ankle, leg) as well as wideout Cedric Haywood's torn anterior cruciate ligament in a knee played a little role in him deciding on no major contact.
"We're really at a critical point," Richt said. "We didn't feel we should block below the waist or tackle today."
Of course, that doesn't mean somebody can't get hurt. Thompson went down in a contact drill but Haywood's ACL went during a non-contact play. The "thud" level of contact doesn't assure an injury-free day.
"(Safety) Greg Blue, we were in shorts, non-contact pass skeleton drill, he steps under the guy's foot," Richt noted. "Haywood, non-contact drill. Thompson, it was a contact drill, but there was no contact. All he did was change direction."
Richt said the perception of Georgia's injury problems is worse than reality, for only two players are done for the year.
"Everybody else should return in a matter of two weeks, three weeks, four weeks," he said. "It's not a catastrophic thing."
BULLDOGS BARK: The race for the spot behind Milton remains too close to call.
"We have guys missing practice for whatever reason. Guys haven't had enough work, in my opinion, to feel 100 percent comfortable."
He expects somebody to make a move soon.
"As the game gets closer, guys tend to start feeling it," he said of the pressure to make an impression. "Maybe it'll the guy who makes the least amount of mistakes."
Gordon Ely-Kelso has taken a solid lead at punter, with Billy Bennett and Andy Bailey competing for the kickoff job. Bennett will handle extra points and field goals.
Richt hasn't seen anything in the last day or two - other than injuries - that will change the depth chart overall, but he did say Sean Bailey has looked good at wideout. Bailey, a true freshman, will get more quality snaps with the departure of Haywood. The coach said swelling in Haywood's knee would prevent any surgery until next week.
Richt said the team may practice a little less today and meet a little more. They'll have a morning go-round Saturday before Fan Picture Day at the Classic Center in downtown Athens.
Dawgs Scrimmaging for Clemson
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