"There was a 10 percent chance of rain and we got every bit of it," a drenched Mark Richt said. "It's funny. In the staff meeting this morning, I looked at the weather and the 10 percent chance today was the highest of about the next 10 days. I said that again to the players right before practice this afternoon, but I'm not that good of a weather man.
"It rained hard, but there was not lightning so we worked in it," Richt continued. "You never know when we might have to play in the rain. It was certainly reminiscent of Arizona State last season. I think we handled it pretty good. There were very few fumbles. There were a couple of bobbles and maybe one ended up on the ground. Overall, we handled it pretty good. We actually completed a couple of balls. The defense usually has a good day when it rains like that and they did well, too."
Richt was pleased with the performances of his specials teams in the morning.
"I liked it a lot," Richt said. "As it was happening, I saw some very good kick returns and our kick coverage team did an outstanding job. I was kind of wondering if our scout team was giving a good enough look and laying fast and hard enough. When I watched the film, I realized that the scouts were doing a pretty good job. Our punt return and block teams worked against each other most of the time, and they got some good quality work. There are a lot of veterans on our punt teams. It was a good start but we've got a ways to go."
On Tuesday, the team will return to full pads for the second time this fall during an afternoon scrimmage.
"I think the guys are interested and excited about scrimmaging and tackling," Richt said. "We haven't tackled a lot to this point so this will be a good test. Everything will be live but the quarterback. We'll hit a lot of situations with a few drives also. We'll have some third and short situations, third and medium, some red zone situations, two-minute drill and try to come out deep in our own territory."
Richt said his expectations are the same for every initial preseason scrimmage.
"I'd like for it to played cleanly," he said. "I'd like for our No. 1 units to perform extremely well. At this time of year, our No. 1 units are going against our No. 2s. I hope our No. 1 offense plays great, and I hope our No. 1 defense plays great. When it comes to turnovers, you want to get them defensively. I hope the No. 1 defense does get them and the No. 1 offense does a good job protecting the ball. I'd like for it to be played cleanly as far as penalties are concerned. I'm hoping for a fast-paced, high-energy scrimmage where guys are competing against each other and competing for playing time with their own position players."
Richt also was asked about the absence of cornerback Branden Smith from practice. Richt reported that Smith "is working through some academic issues right now" and stated he hopes they will be resolved by the end of this week.
Fall Semester classes begin at UGA next Monday, Aug. 16. The annual Fans' Picture Day is slated for Saturday, Aug. 21 at Sanford Stadium. Interim mascot "Russ" will be available for photos from 1-3 p.m., while the 2010 Bulldogs will be at the stadium from 3-5 p.m.
Georgia, which was ranked No. 21 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches poll, will begin the 2010 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Lafayette at Sanford Stadium. Kickoff for the opener against the Ragin' Cajuns is set for 12:21 p.m., and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network nationwide.