August 15, 2009

Thomas, Samuel continue to impress

Quarterback Joe Cox isn't about to proclaim Georgia's offense in mid-season form. But so far, he likes what he sees.

"I think we did a lot better job today of staying focused and not having any dumb mishaps that happened to us the last time," Cox said following Saturday night's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. "Everybody was a lot more focused and we had good energy. I thought we ran the ball well and threw the ball well. We did have one ball go on the ground on a fumble and that's definitely something we have to correct, but overall we're starting to take some positive steps."

Running backs Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas are making headlines as well.

The duo continues to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack at running back after Thomas led all ball carriers with six carries for 90 yards, followed by Samuel, who picked up 55 yards on 13 attempts and a touchdown.

With Caleb King (hamstring) and Dontavius Jackson (knee) currently unable to practice, the pair continues to look like they'll be topping the depth chart when Georgia opens its season Sept. 5 at Oklahoma State.

"They didn't hurt their cause today," Richt said. "They both got to go with the No. 1 unit, although Richard didn't have as much space as he did the first scrimmage. He (Samuel) had to work for everything. Carlton was provided a little more room and he took advantage of it. Both those guys did well."

Quarterback Logan Gray appears closer to locking up the No. 2 quarterback spot as well.

Gray completed 6 of 8 passes for 91 yards, while backups Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger also saw extensive time with the No. 1 unit.

"Here's what I'll say about this. Logan has had a good camp. He has done nothing to lose any ground, but both those young guys are progressing," Richt said. "We'll meet Monday and kind of see where we are but I think Logan had another fine outing today. I would say right now he's still No. 2 but we'll discuss that (Monday) and see."

Both Murray and Mettenberger were impressive.

Murray completed 5 of 9 passes for 95 yards while Mettenberger completed 4 of 7 for 29. Cox played just briefly and completed 3 of 6 passes for 35 yards.

"We just wanted to see those young kids get more reps with ones to see if they could move the ball," Richt said. "(Cox) handled the third-situations and the overtime."

Israel Troupe led all receivers with three catches for 37 yards, followed by Orson Charles with two for 49 and Marlon Brown two for 23.

Cox had plenty of kind words for the first-team offensive line.

"Those guys are looking good. I'm having all kind of time to throw the ball," Cox said. "They're picking up the blitz real well. It's a big confidence booster when you know you can stand back there and make a throw without having to worry about getting hit."

That wasn't the case for the No. 2 offensive line.

Six of defense's seven sacks came against the No. 2 unit, with defensive end Rod Battle leading the way with 2 1/2, followed by freshman Montez Robinson with two.

"Our No. 1 defense came pretty close to mauling the No. 2 offensive line," Richt said. "I don't want to say they were totally whipped. There were a few victories for the second team offensive front, but for the most part the defense dominated up front."

The No. 2 offense did manage to score three touchdowns against the No. 1 defense when the Bulldogs went goalline, but Richt was not concerned.

""That (three touchdowns against the No. 1 defense) was a very rare thing," Richt said. "There was a little deception that was called, so it wasn't like they knocked them back. But you've still got to play everything."

Justin Houston also contributed a sack with Kwame Geathers, Demarcus Dobbs, Reuben Faloughi and Darryl Gamble getting credit for sack each.

Cornerback Vance Cuff picked off a pass while Geathers recovered a fumble.

Georgia will take Monday off for the beginning of classes before returning to the practice field Tuesday afternoon.

Statistics

Rushing: Thomas 6-90, Samuel 13-55 TD, Ealey 3-4, Daniels 4-10, Munzenmaier 2-3.

Passing: Murray 5- 9 for 95 yards, Gray 6- 8 for 91 yards, Mettenberger 4- 7 for 29 yards, Cox 3- 6 for 35 yards.

Receiving: Troupe 3-37, Marlon Brown 2-23, Charles 2-49, Chapas 2-12, Marquis Brown 2-22, T. King 2-21, Ealey 1-3, Thomas 1-5.

Tackles: Pugh 7, Gloer 5, S. Williams 4, Gamble 3, Battle 3, Cuff 3, Rambo 2, M. Robinson 2, Houston 1, Geathers 1.

Interception: Cuff

Sacks: Gamble , Battle 2, Houston 1, M. Robinson 2, Geathers, , Dobbs , Faloughi .

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