Georgia football coach Mark Richt seemed to be in a pretty good mood after his team’s second spring scrimmage Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium.
“Beautiful day, beautiful weather,” Richt said. “The dogwoods are blooming, red buds. The sun is shining. The leaves are turning green. It was a good day.”
It was a good day for the offense, especially when you compare it to the mood offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was in after Thursday’s practice.
“The offense played way better than they did last scrimmage,” said defensive end Toby Johnson, who had three tackles.
Heavy rain hit during the first scrimmage a week earlier but this one was held under mostly sunny skies with temperatures hitting the lower 60s.
“We came out with a lot more passion and energy,” quarterback Hutson Mason said. “I don’t know if today the sun was out or what it was. Guys came ready to go and the offense definitely was much better than last Saturday.
Mason completed 12 of 16 passes for 136 yards and a 17-yard touchdown pass to Quayvon Hicks. With Michael Bennett out with a sprained ankle, Jonathon Rumph led all receivers with six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.
Richt said the offense had a “great” first half of the scrimmage but the defense turned it around some in the second half. Richt said Georgia ran and protected better.
Todd Gurley had 67 rushing yards on 10 carries and Brendan Douglas had 40 yards on 13 carries.
“There were a lot more plays made on the offensive side of the ball,” Mason said. “We were kind of limited at wideout, so we really had to kind of push tempo, tempo, tempo. … I felt sometimes we were going so fast that the defense was getting worn down.”
Morgan’s got leg
Kickers usually don’t make much noise in closed scrimmages, but Marshall Morgan did Saturday.
“Maybe the most impressive thing of the day was Marshall Morgan kicking,” Richt said.
The first-team All-SEC selection booted field goals of 59, 47, 47 and 22 yards. Well, Richt thinks he made the one from 59.
“That will be under a film review,” Richt said. “It was very close. … If he made it, it barely made it over.”
It was a good day for the punters, too. Collin Barber had a “couple of bombs,” with high-hang time.
“Just really laid it up there,” Richt said.
Adam Erickson had two punts that “were very typical for him. My guess is it was 40 yards and great hang-time. I think every single punt had to be fair caught today or one went out of bounds.”
And, Richt said, the punt protection was good.
Backup QB competition
Judging by the statistics, Brice Ramsey seems to have picked up momentum in the competition to be the No. 2 quarterback.
The redshirt freshman from Kingsland threw for 114 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on a day he completed 9 of 21 passes.
Faton Bauta, a redshirt sophomore, was 1 of 5 for a yard and an interception.
Richt said overall, Ramsey “threw the ball pretty good,” but he talked in detail about the interception on a deep ball that hung too high that safety Quincy Mauger picked off.
“You can’t just stare it down and sling it,” Richt said. “You’ve got to move the safety one way and then take your shot the other way.”
Richt was asked if a day like Saturday moves the needle in the quarterback race.
“That one’s kind of hard to judge because you have to try to factor in how much protection is this guy getting, how much time is he getting, to make this throw,” Richt said. “Are his guys dropping balls? Are the receivers he’s with knowing what to do or getting separation? I just don’t think it’s fair to start trying to do that.”
Bauta again asked to be “live” in the scrimmage, meaning he could be tackled.
“He feels like that helps his ability to show what he can do in a game,” Richt said. “So we’re OK with that.”
Bauta rushed for 11 yards on two carries.
This and that
Walk-on cornerback Aaron Davis from Locust Grove, Ga., remained with the starting unit for Saturday’s scrimmage, Mason said. “He knows how to line up,” Richt said. “He competes well and he made a couple of nice plays today. If you know what you’re doing and you play good technique, it gives you a chance.”
Davis was joined by cornerback Damian Swann, safeties Tray Matthews and Mauger and J.J. Green at the star nickel back. Matthews led all players with nine tackles. … Inside linebacker Reggie Carter had an interception and three tackles. … Offensive tackle Watts Dantzler (concussion) could return to practice Tuesday. … Redshirt freshman Josh Cardiello got some work as the No. 2 center Saturday in hopes of building depth. “It was a little bit of an adventure there.” Richt said of the shotgun snaps. … Brandon Kublanow and Zach DeBell worked at left guard.