Playing for Real (Or Close to It)

ATHENS – Georgia's football staff is doing all it can to simulate a real game on Wednesday. (Other than allowing the media or public to watch it.)

The simulation will be to almost the full extent: Coaches in headsets and in their game position (the sideline or the box), a kickoff, a coin toss and normal pregame warm-ups.

The Georgia players will go up against the scout team simulating Louisiana-Lafayette, the Bulldogs' opening opponent on Sept. 4. So if "Georgia" wins the toss, it could elect to receive and quarterback Aaron Murray and company will go against the scout team. (Murray and Hutson Mason will work with Georgia, and the walk-on quarterbacks will play for Louisiana-Lafayette).

"The coaches are putting together the Georgia units that we think would play in the first half, basically," head coach Mark Richt said. "And then everybody else goes to (simulate) Louisiana-Lafayette. In some cases it could be two or three deep, in some cases it might just be two deep."

Richt said the scrimmage will be more about getting ready for the opener, rather than deciding any starting jobs.

The Bulldogs will also hold a "situational" scrimmage on Friday. But Wednesday's will be full-tilt game simulation for 30 minutes.

"We don't get preseason games," Richt said. "This is about as close as we're gonna get to a preseason game."

Punt return

Asked to name his punt returners, Richt named five players: AJ Green, Branden Smith, Carlton Thomas, Bacarri Rambo and Logan Gray.

Smith and fellow cornerback Brandon Boykin each said they have also been working on kick return.

Smith said he hasn't been worked on offense yet.

"You got to talk to coach Bobo about that," Smith said, referring to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

Football or hoops

Boykin was wearing a "Beat LSU" T-shirt after Tuesday's practice, but it wasn't from last year's football game. Boykin said he got it while attending a men's basketball game.

Boykin played on the same AAU basketball team as Trey Thompkins, the star forward for Georgia's men's basketball team.

"I call him Howard, since I knew him," Boykin said of Thompkins. "I've played with him since I was 10. He told the coach I could play and stuff like that. But I don't think I have a future in college basketball."

Boykin said he did dunk on Bulldog guard Gerald Robinson Jr., a 6-foot-1 transfer from Tennessee State, at the Ramsey Center this summer.

"Nobody saw it," Boykin added.

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