2005 Fall Camp: Day 8 observations and opinions

ATHENS – Observations and opinions from Georgia's eighth day of practice.

Many people think the Bulldogs are going to run the ball down teams' throats – the first team offense tried to do just that today according to Head Coach Mark Richt.

"We were trying to run the ball and see what we could do," said Richt. Number one running back Thomas Brown took the first play of the scrimmage 80 yards for a touchdown on a sprint draw play. Richt said that Brown and Danny Ware, in particular, both had excellent performances for the Dawgs. Brown's 80-yard touchdown run was the only touchdown of the first half.

"Every running back had a couple of nice runs," Richt said. "Chris Burgett and Tyson Browning both had some good runs. We may have missed the boat on Chris – he's done a very good job for us. Thomas Brown and Danny Ware played extremely well today."

The head coach indicated that the Bulldogs ran on nearly every possession of the first half.

Richt said the defense played well in the first half, but that the second half belonged to the offense. Quarterback D.J. Shockley, according to Richt, completed about 50% of his passes in the first half, but was on fire in the 2nd completing almost 90%.

Paul Oliver had what Richt described as a "touchdown-saving" interception. Oliver really has been coming on this fall.

The place kicking battle seems all but over as Andy Bailey missed a 20-yard field goal while Brandon Coutu made his mid-range attempt.

Richt said the first team offense was successful on 80% of their third down and one, two, three, four and five yard situations, while the second team offense was successful about 60% of the time. The number one defense went against the number two defense and vice versa all day.

Richt said the offense did not "feature" Leonard Pope: "We know what he can do."

During the emotional and energetic goal line drills, Richt reported that the number one offense scored on three of four attempts, while the number twos were successful only twice in four attempts.

"It can get pretty comical out there," said Richt of the atmosphere surrounding the goal line drills. "Some of the coaches are worse than the players. It's kind of like a boxing match – you've got everyone crowded around. Half of the defense is in the end zone, and half the offense is in the backfield. Everyone huddles around and waits for something good to happen."

Georgia had a special teams practice this morning and a scrimmage this afternoon. The Bulldogs were under the watchful eye of the SEC's instant replay system – the first time such a system has been used.

Georgia's press box now has a brand new room added to it for the use of instant replay. Three SEC officials will operate the system in the booth – which is open to the stadium, but can not been seen from inside the press box. CBS, which has the exclusive rights to the SEC's game of the week, requested that the conference allow them to place cameras on the replay officials, but their request was denied (no surprise there).

The replay was used twice during the scrimmage and both times the officials got the call correct, according to Richt. A fumble in the end zone and an out of bounds call were both upheld, again according to the head coach.

"They got both calls right," Richt said. He went on to say that the time taken to review the play was not as long as he had expected. "It took a little bit of time, but it was not as long as a TV timeout."

Getting my first real good look inside Sanford for the first time in some time, I was able to see the mammoth scoreboard the Dawgs installed during the summer. The thing is big – as are the numbers that indicate the actual score. I think fans will enjoy it – it's quite an upgrade. However, I don't understand why Georgia spent the money to get a big-screen scoreboard and then did not place a high-definition monitor in it. Although the scoreboard is a huge improvement over the last one, in truth, it's already outdated.

The turf on the field looks very good – at the end of last season the thing looked like it was on its last legs thanks to the rain during the Georgia Tech game.

Several players sat out today's scrimmage including: Josh Brock, Michael Turner, Jarvis Jackson, Tony Taylor, Danny Verdun – Wheeler, Nick Jones, A.J. Bryant, Antonio Sims, Kade Weston, Mohamed Massaquoi, Greg Blue, Kregg Lumpkin and Gerald Anderson. Jackson, Bryant, Sims, Weston and Massaquoi are still hurt, while Lumpkin is going to sit out one of the two practices during two-a-days. Jones (ankle), Blue (hamstring), Verdun – Wheeler (ankle) and Anderson (knee) were held out, but will return on Monday. Brock (concussion) does not have a timeline yet on a return. Jemario Smith left during the scrimmage with cramps, leaving the linebackers very thin.


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