Senior quarterback Aaron Murray threw three interceptions and his backups combined for three more as Georgia’s explosive offense struggled during Wednesday morning’s first preseason scrimmage.
Murray completed 13 of 18 passes for 198 yards and had a touchdown according to statistics kept by Bulldogs coaches during the two-hour session that was closed to the media. Freshman Brice Ramsey was intercepted twice and redshirt sophomore Christian LeMay once, with Hutson Mason managing to avoid the turnover plague.
A redshirt junior who sat out last season, Mason completed 12 of 18 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown.
“We kind of lacked the enthusiasm and passion, and I don’t know if it was because it was day eight of camp,” Mason told reporters afterward. “I’m tired and everybody’s tired. Everyone is mentally and physically exhausted, but that’s no excuse.”
The scrimmage was held inside Sanford Stadium, and coach Mark Richt was hoping to see more energy.
“They were trying to fight, but for the first time this camp, I didn’t see as much juice,” Richt said. “I’m not saying they were dogging it, but it lacked enthusiasm. I did see a lot of good things, and there were some good plays in spurts. A few of the interceptions came not as a result of bad decisions, but throws where the ball placement and velocity were not good.
“The defenders were in a good position because the ball was in the air too long and they reacted, ran it down and caught it.”
Sophomore outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins and freshman inside linebacker Reggie Carter had six tackles apiece to lead the defensive charge, with Jenkins adding a team-high three sacks. Senior outside linebacker T.J. Stripling tallied five tackles and three tackles for loss, while sophomore outside linebacker Josh Dawson had two sacks.
The biggest beneficiary from the interceptions was sophomore cornerback Sheldon Dawson, who had two and returned one for a touchdown.
“It was just taking advantage of the opportunities I had,” Dawson said.
Keith Marshall had 80 yards on two carries, including a 75-yard touchdown, while Todd Gurley had 59 yards and a score on 12 carries. Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley, Jonathon Rumph and tight end Arthur Lynch each had four receptions, with Lynch amassing a team-high 91 yards and a touchdown.
Nearly 20 players sat out the scrimmage, with receiver Michael Bennett (hamstring) and safety Corey Moore (knee sprain) the latest to join the injury report. The Bulldogs will resume workouts this morning.
<em>Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.</em>