2008 Spring Practice: 1st Scrimmage Recap

ATHENS – Sophomore Knowshon Moreno still had plenty of energy after Saturday's first scrimmage of spring practice.

Moreno had only a handful of carries, only one according to starting defensive tackle Jeff Owens.

"Yeah, they held him out. They knew I was going to hit him," Owens said with Moreno in earshot.

Georgia is keeping a tight rein on its starting tailback this spring to limit the chance of injury and to give its young tailbacks more work, but the inactivity, combined with Owens' playful needling, clearly chaps the ultra-competitive Moreno.

"I don't know how many plays they gave me," he said. "I just hate sitting out there, but I guess I have to do it a little bit."

Georgia's young running backs – redshirt freshman Caleb King, and true freshmen Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson – took advantage of their opportunity, Moreno said.

"The boys did a good job running the rock," Moreno said. "They had a good day today."

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive coordinator Willie Martinez backed up the assessment of the young runners, but Georgia does not provide full statistics for its scrimmages, which are closed to the media.

Caleb King had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown, and Jackson had a touchdown, according to Martinez. Stafford had three touchdown passes.

Kenneth Harris continued a hot spring with two touchdown catches from Stafford, Stafford said. Mohamed Massaquoi also had a touchdown catch.

"Like most cases in this time of spring, there was some good and some bad," Martinez said.

Head coach Mark Richt didn't talk to the media after practice because he was spending time with the dozens of recruits who came out for the team's "junior day."

The offense wasn't the only side of the ball to hold out a player. Starting linebacker Dannell Ellerbe sat out most of the scrimmage, and fellow starter Rennie Curran missed the practice due to a funeral.

Linebacker Darryl Gamble took advantage of his snaps with six tackles and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.

"He showed up throughout the scrimmage so that was very, very encouraging," Martinez said.

Overall, the defense started the day strong and tailed off at the end and the offense started slow and came on at the end, Martinez said.

"Two different stories there," he said.

Georgia will hold seven more spring practices, including the G-Day Game on April 5.

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