Judging by Mark Richt's comments following Wednesday's second scrimmage of the preseason, the Georgia Bulldogs are about to be extended an invitation to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
"We looked like a pretty good team, but pretty good is about 8-4 or 9-3 if you're lucky." Richt said. "We'd like to be better than 8-4, and that's about how we looked today. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great."
There were some flashy unofficial numbers from the closed workout, most notably 114 receiving yards by Chris Conley and 12.4-yard rushing averages for freshman tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, but there were plenty of mistakes to go around. Richt said quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason combined for two interceptions and three fumbles.
The second-string offense drove the field on the starting defense, scoring on a pass from Mason to freshman Blake Tibbs, and Richt said the starting offense opened impressively against the backup defense but would get stuffed on three consecutive possessions.
"Every time a quarterback got touched, he fumbled the ball," Richt said. "They're not supposed to get tackled, but they will get touched, and any time they got touched a little bit, they fumbled the ball, and I wasn't happy about that."
Murray completed 8 of 14 passes for 158 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Mason went 8-of-18 for 67 yards with a score and a pick. Conley amassed his total on four receptions and scored, while Tibbs was next with three catches for 32 yards and his touchdown.
Gurley rushed seven times for 87 yards and a touchdown, with his total enhanced by a 66-yard run. Marshall gained 62 yards on five carries, with a 52-yarder accounting for the bulk of his total.
Richard Samuel and Ken Malcome also had productive showings, with Samuel amassing 40 yards on six carries and Malcome netting 35 on five.
"We ran some play-action today," Conley said. "The defense bit on it, and Aaron made some great throws. I had the opportunity to make some of those catches and make some big plays."
Leading the defensive statistics was outside linebacker Chase Vasser, who had six tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks. Safeties Shawn Williams and Josh Harvey-Clemons each had four tackles and an interception, while inside linebacker Alec Ogletree had four tackles and two tackles for loss.
Vasser is suspended for Georgia's first two games due to a DUI arrest that occurred in the spring.
Richt said freshman kicker Marshall Morgan made a 42-yard field goal and that freshman punter Collin Barber averaged 49.5 yards on two attempts. There were no "earth-shattering injuries," according to Richt.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...