Scrimmage Day: The Rundown

ATHENS - Take a look at Dawg Post's rundown of Saturday's Spring football scrimmage.

1. Weather conditions for Georgia's first scrimmage of the Spring didn't favor the offense on Saturday. Perhaps that's why it got off to such a slow start in the team's intrasquad matchup.

While the scrimmage was closed, comments from a few of the defensive players led me to believe it had all the momentum to open the scrimmage.

"(The) defense always wins," Ray Drew said.

Reggie Carter led the defensive surge with seven tackles, a pass deflection and a tackle for a loss. Tailback turned corner J.J. Green also had a big day on the defensive side with seven tackles. One of the more memorable tackles, in Green's opinion, came against Brendan Douglas, a former counterpart of Green's while playing at the tailback position.

"I like hitting people," Green said. "I got to hit Douglas today. He can tell you about it if y'all interview him. It felt pretty good just hitting the other team."

Douglas wasn't available for interviews today so we'll just have to take Green's word for it.

"It wasn't one of those hits where he seen me," Green joked. "I'll tell you that right now. He didn't see me."

Among other defensive standouts was Shaq Wiggins who grabbed an interception followed by a 19 yard return.

Drew finished with three tackles, two tackles for a loss and one quarterback sack. Damian Swann had two tackles, one tackle for a loss and two pass breakups. James Deloach finished with four tackles, two tackles for a loss, one pass breakup and two sacks.

2. The offense didn't start the game strong, but turned it around near the middle of the game. While Mark Richt said the rainy conditions led to quite a few dropped balls, first-team quarterback Hutson Mason was still able to finish the scrimmage with two passing touchdowns, hitting on 12 of his 18 attempts for 152 yards. Faton Bauta completed two of 11 pass attempts for 20 yards and an interception. Brice Ramsey hit on two of his 11 attempts as well, but threw for 41 yards with no picks.

"For the first part of the practice I think the defense had all the momentum, and then around halftime it kind of swung back to the offense a little bit and we had to try to regroup and all," Drew said. "It was a fairly even battle throughout the day, but being a defensive guy I'm always going to say the defense won."

Both of Mason's touchdowns were caught by Chris Conley. The senior flanker finished the scrimmage with two receptions for 54 yards and two scores.

Todd Gurley, who faced no limitations in Saturday's scrimmage, did most of his work catching the ball out of the backfield. He carried the ball three times for a total of 14 yards, but caught two passes for 28 yards.

"He busted a couple; just a couple on screens," Green said. "On the run we was stopping him."

Green didn't get a chance to tackle Gurley today, but wouldn't turn the opportunity down.

"I'm not going to back down from anybody. It's just competing," Green said.

While Gurley didn't have a big day on the ground, Kyle Karempelis finished with 15 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. Mason carried the ball three times for a total of 15 yards as well. A.J. Turman chipped in with 20 yards on 10 carries, while Douglas finished with 36 yards on eight carries.

3. These coaches weren't messing around today. If you think Jeremy Pruitt is intense in practice, just imagine him between the hedges.

"We saw a little bit of a different side of the coaches, especially in the stadium; it's a different setting," Drew said. "A little bit more intense than it normally is, but it's still a little too early to get a true, true vibe of what a game day will be like."

Tracy Rocker proved he meant business.

"When we went over there and stared doing drills and it wasn't up to par he made us start over," Drew said. "He was like 'I told you. I don't care today. Today is a work day (and) we're gonna get it done.' When he sent us back through the drill it kind of clicked with everybody that we've got to get our mind right. We've got to step it up a notch."

There's no room for complacency amongst this group of players. With new coaches and plenty of time remaining before the season starts positions are far from sealed away.

Green says he enjoys the competition - especially when he's matched up against the guy who had two touchdowns Saturday.

"Playing the slot you guard the best wide receiver, so I guess guarding Conley's just going to make me even better; just get ready for the other wide receivers in the SEC," Green said. "You know, Conley's one of the best so at practice he just makes me better."

4. The first group of offensive linemen is shaping up, per David Andrews. According to the senior center, he was joined by John Theus, Zach DeBell, Greg Pyke and Kolton Houston on the line today. That group stayed together for the larger part of the day.

"I thought we had a pretty good day. The good thing is there's a lot to work on," Andrews said. "It's day seven and we've still got eight more practices and then all summer so we've got to keep getting better every day."

5. Finally, the best news of the day for Georgia came from Ron Courson. Richt said his report was a 'good report,' and there were no injuries that led to a stoppage in play.

"Guys played hard," Richt said. "Guys did good."


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