Georgia held a dress rehearsal for its season-opening football game against Buffalo on Wednesday in Sanford Stadium.
Like its last real game, a triple-overtime loss to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl, the scrimmage burned through regulation in a tie.
The starters and top reserves represented Georgia. The scout-teamers were simulating Buffalo.
“We had a barn-burner today, a 49-48 overtime victory by Georgia,” coach Mark Richt revealed after the closed third and final preseason scrimmage.
It was close only because the “Buffalo” squad was spotted a 35-0 halftime lead.
That was about right considering Georgia is a 37 ½-point favorite.
“We had a rousing halftime speech by me and it worked,” Richt joked.
Georgia was down late in the fourth quarter and came back and scored a touchdown to force overtime.
A 57-yard field goal try with a few seconds left in regulation “didn’t quite make it,” Richt said.
Aaron Murray’s quarterback sneak and the extra point put Georgia ahead in overtime, and Buffalo scored and went for two.
“Thankfully we got a stop on the two-point conversion,” Richt said.
All of that, of course, matters little.
The takeaways were:
• Murray continues to be accurate this preseason. He completed 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
“He threw one ball today that I can remember that should have been a completion,” Richt said. “It just missed a guy open, but I think there was only one the whole day for him. He’s been very accurate.”
After a turnover-filled scrimmage the last time out, Georgia’s top quarterbacks didn’t throw one Wednesday and there were no fumbles by the Georgia team.
“We definitely as an offense are in synch right now,” Murray said.
—Freshman Todd Gurley continues to pile up yards. He was the top rusher in each of the three scrimmages. He rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
Richt, however, said the nod to start the opener probably will go to redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome.
“I’m pretty sure that Ken Malcome is going to start, but something could change between now and then,” Richt said.
—Georgia appeared to avoid any major injury.
“I don’t think anything serious happened,” Richt said. “I know there was like a charley horse. I don’t know if that’s a medical term. …One guy had a bruised thigh or something.”
The teams warmed-up and returned to the locker room just like on game days.
“It was fun, I thought it was a great day,” Murray said. “It’s nice when you put 49 points on the board, too. That helps.”
The defensive highlight was a 23-yard interception return for touchdown by Amarlo Herrera off a Faton Bauta pass.
Herrera said the defense was getting “a lot of three and outs.”
Buffalo got help from Richt, who said he gave it a 67-yard gain to the 11-yard line.
“We could have stopped them and forced a field goal, but they did score a touchdown,” Richt said. “The overtime, they legitimately scored and went for two and Georgia stopped it.”
Bauta hit walk-on Michael Erdman for the overtime score.
There isn’t the hype this year for the opener as there was for Boise State last year.
“When it comes to playing game one, it’s the same story every year,” Richt said. “Everybody in the nation is saying we’re tired of hitting each other, we want to hit somebody (else). It’s true. Everybody’s excited about playing Game 1 all over America and we’re one of them.”