Georgia pitted its first-team offense against its first-team defense during Saturday night's first preseason scrimmage at Sanford Stadium, and coach Mark Richt found positives on both sides of the ball.
"It was not a scoring fest, but I thought both groups did a nice job," Richt said. "We wanted to see the matchups today, going best on best. We think it's a pretty good matchup. We're not sure what we'll do in the next scrimmage, but we wanted to go ahead and put the best on the best tonight."
Starting quarterback Hutson Mason completed 10 of 13 passes for 104 yards, according to statistics kept by the coaches. Faton Bauta completed 7 of 12 for 102 yards, while Brice Ramsey completed 8 of 16 for 134.
Early enrollee Jacob Park completed 6 of 10 for 44 yards, and nobody threw a touchdown or an interception.
"It felt good to be back playing in Sanford Stadium." Mason said. "You get a different excitement and a different atmosphere as opposed to the practice fields and the Butts-Mehre building in the background. I thought the scrimmage was kind of a draw. The offense did good things, and the defense did some good things."
It was the first scrimmage for touted freshman tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, with Chubb rushing seven times for 52 yards and Michel five times for 21. Chubb had a long run of 19 yards.
Junior Todd Gurley carried five times for 13 yards, while fellow junior Keith Marshall got his most extensive action since tearing his ACL last October, rushing five times for 23 yards. Marshall also had a team-high 56 receiving yards on three catches.
Blake Tibbs led the receivers with four catches for 44 yards, while Kenny Towns added three for 42 and tight end Jay Rome added three for 39.
"There was a lot of execution offensively," Richt said, "but there weren't a lot of points to show for it. We had to kick field goals, and Marshall [Morgan] struck it well."
Junior defensive end Sterling Bailey and junior outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins led the defensive efforts, with Bailey recording eight tackles and a tackle for loss and Jenkins making five tackles and three sacks. Sophomore inside linebacker Tim Kimbrough tallied three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, while freshman outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, junior defensive end Josh Dawson, senior nose tackle Mike Thornton and freshman defensive back Malkom Parrish also had sacks.
Parrish recovered a fumble as well, and fellow freshman defensive back Shaq Jones had five tackles.
"We had some success, and that was good," Dawson said. "Competition always brings out the best in everybody. Overall, I think we did pretty well."
Odds and ends
The Bulldogs will take today off and resume workouts Monday. ... Bob Taylor, the starting tailback in 1965 who caught the winning touchdown on a flea-flicker in that season's 18-17 upset of Alabama, died this past week at his home in LaGrange at the age of 70.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-767-6524.