ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia got an early taste of what’s in store when it opens the season against Oklahoma State when the Bulldogs held a practice game against the scout team Wednesday, and the results weren’t exactly encouraging.
“Overall, my feeling was that we weren’t quite ready to beat Oklahoma State, so I’m glad we have 10 more days to prepare,” coach Mark Richt said. “We’re playing the No. 9 team in the country, a team with (numerous) senior starters on defense, a team with an offense that is nothing short of spectacular. We’ve got to be sharp, and we weren’t sharp (Wednesday).”
The problems weren’t disastrous, Richt said, but they were numerous.
After finishing among the most penalized teams in the country a year ago, the Bulldogs’ penchant for drawing flags reared its head again Wednesday, although Richt cautioned the problems were mostly a result of playing a number of inexperienced players.
“We had a few too many penalties,” Richt said. “We were substituting pretty freely because it was warm, and some of our younger guys didn’t really handle it very well in my opinion.”
Richt said the first-team offense had a holding penalty and an illegal formation flag that each halted drives or forced field goals.
In addition to the flags, the offense simply wasn’t clicking on all cylinders, Richt said.
The unit posted 27 points in the 30-minute practice game, but it wasn’t the type of success he hoped for.
“It was just an erratic day,” Richt said. “It just was not sharp. It wasn’t awful, but when you’re playing this game, and you have almost your first and second team versus the rest, you would think we’d have been a little more explosive offensively against that group.”
While the offense seemed sluggish, Richt did have some kudos for his defensive unit.
The defensive front got significant pressure against the scout-team offensive line — a trend Richt admits isn’t likely to happen against the real Oklahoma State line.
Freshmen still active
Freshman quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger took turns playing the role of Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson during Wednesday’s practice game and only helped the scout team muster three points against Georgia’s first-team defense.
That has been indicative of the struggles both have endured at various points this preseason, but Richt said he’s still not close to deciding whether either or both will redshirt this season.
“I don’t think we’re there yet,” Richt said. “We’ve still got some time and we’ve got some games to play. I don’t want either one of those guys thinking they’re redshirting right this minute.”
Captain, my captain
Richt announced the captains for Georgia’s opener. Joe Cox will represent the offense, with Rennie Curran and Jeff Owens representing the defense and Demarcus Dobbs representing the special teams.
“A lot of guys to chose from,” he said. “It was not easy to decide on that. There were a lot of names that came up, a lot of names that crossed my mind that deserved it, which is good.”