Weather wilts Dog defense in scrimmage

ATHENS — Before Boise State shows up, Georgia — like the rest of the teams in the South — must battle the heat.

And if Saturday afternoon's scrimmage is an indication, the Bulldogs continue to hold their own.

"It's just so, so tough to fight the heat and humidity," coach Mark Richt said. "But we did."

The format of the scrimmage: eight-play possessions of any length for the first half, and situations for the second.

Richt said Thomas Brown got things going with an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the day. Georgia worked more on its running game than anything else. The defense was sharper in the first half, but that changed after the break.

"The defense seemed to lose their edge a little bit mentally, and then the offense began to break off some big plays passing and running the ball. The defense just struggled, giving them too many big plays."

Richt noted, though, that Georgia is so shorthanded on defense — especially at linebacker — and that probably had something to do with the sluggishness.

Andy Bailey missed a field goal of about 20 yards, Richt said, but Brandon Coutu made a medium-range kick. Paul Oliver had a touchdown-saving interception, and Richt said Chris Burgett is making an impression at running back.

He said the offense in the red zone was effective, and that the offensive line had a good day blocking for both the run and pass. Richt estimated that D.J. Shockley completed about 50 percent of his passes in the long-drive part and 90 percent in the situational drills.

"Every tailback had a couple nice runs," Richt said. Thomas (Brown) and Danny (Ware) I thought played exceptionally well.

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