If there's been one discernable difference between this year's spring practice compared to that of last season it's that workouts seem to be a bit more "chippy."
Such was apparently the case Saturday as Georgia held its second scrimmage at Sanford Stadium in preparation for next week's G-Day game (April 6, 1 p.m.).
"I thought they competed well. I think we're still a little bit undisciplined with a little of the extra-curricular activity after a couple of plays when things get heated up, guys get after it a little bit after the whistle blows," Richt said. "But I'd rather them have a heartbeat than try to get them ready to go. I'm not necessarily mad at it, but we've got to correct that."
There have definitely been some interesting moments thus far.
On Tuesday, a goal-line session was highlighted by some on-field barking between linebacker Amarlo Herrera and quarterback Hutson Mason.
Saturday, apparently some aggression was carried out onto the field.
According to linebacker Jordan Jenkins, safety Tray Matthews accidently slammed into cornerback Reggie Wilkerson who was attempting to make a play on wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley.
Scott-Wesley later paid a price of his own.
"Everybody was talking a little bit of trash from the earlier practice we had this week; tempers got a little high," Jenkins said. "It was a post route, Tray came down and knocked the crap out of Scott-Wesley. It was borderline in the chest; they (officials) called a personal foul."
Georgia sports information personnel said Scott-Wesley was able to return to the field.
Jenkins said it was just that kind of morning.
"When I fight I just do it to have fun. With Todd (Gurley), we just like to tick each other off, and have a little bit of fun. When punches get thrown that's when you break it up," Jenkins said. "When it's one-on-one, you let it ride out for a little bit. You don't want to take it to the locker room, so we try to get it done on the field where it's all good. But when you're competing that hard, you got to have a little fight every once in a while."
Quarterback Aaron Murray has noticed the change.
After not playing in Tuesday's scrimmage while he attended an awards banquet in Atlanta, Murray returned Saturday and completed 13 of 21 passes for 159 yard, while Mason was 8 of 14 for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Both quarterbacks were intercepted once each.
"Offensively I thought we did a great job, running the ball and throwing the ball. We had a lot of fun out there today. I think we scored every possession," Murray said. "I thought we dominated today - don't write that too much. I don't want them to be mad at me, but the offense kicked butt today."
However, not all went right in Murray's world.
The interception he threw to cornerback Sheldon Dawson on a ball intended for Chris Conley stood out most in his mind.
"(Dawson) ripped him back, then ran and caught the ball. They didn't call a penalty. It was nonsense," Murray said tongue in cheek. "It should have been defensive holding
everyone saw it
I was not happy. I saw him yank Conley."
Or did he?
"Well, the ref didn't see it," mused Dawson. "(Murray) threw a pick."
Murray even took a good-natured shot at Jenkins, claiming he was never actually sacked during on a play the quarterback felt was about to break for a long run.
"I was taking off, I was at the 30. I took off and our defensive guy (Jenkins) is getting blocked. He sticks out his arm, he taps me and they call it down. There's no way he could have tackled me," Murray said. "They were in Cover 2 with split safeties, I took off and ran but he touched me and they called me down. Obviously, if it was real football I would have got 15 yards."
Jenkins - good naturedly - laughed off Murray's allegations."That's the whole little thing between the quarterbacks and us if it's borderline," Jenkins smiled. "But if it's (Jadeveon) Clowney or somebody like that, however many passes they got, they wouldn't have got that many if it had been a real game."
Keith Marshall led all rushers with four carries for 25 yards, while Gurley added 3 for 14, although he did score a touchdown on a 3-yard catch.
Conley had six catches for 99 yards and a score, followed by Malcolm Mitchell with two for 52 and a touchdown.
Rantavious Wooten also returned after missing the last two practices with an undisclosed illness and caught three passes for 50 yards.
Defensively, Dawson and Ramik Wilson both had interceptions, while freshman linebacker Reggie Carter had five tackles, recovered a fumble and picked off a pass.
Kicker Marshall Morgan converted two of three fields goals, coming up short on a 55-yarder.
Rushing: Marshall 4-25, Gurley 3-14, Green 12-13, Harton 5-6, Karempelis 4-8, LeMay 2-19. Passing: Murray 13-21-1-1 159, Mason 8-14-1-2 154, Welch 3-8-1-0 38, LeMay 5-11-0-1 31, Ramsey 1-7-1-0 11. Receiving: Mitchell 2-52 (TD) , Conley 6-99 (TD), Wooten 3-50, McGowan 4-54, Rome 2-29, Lynch 1-3, Gurley 1-3 (TD), Marshall 2-24, Harton 2-9, Tibbs 3-31 (TD). Tackles: Norman 7, Harvey-Clemson 4, Vavlas 6, Wilkerson 3 (interception), Smith 2, Taylor 4 (sack), Dawson 3 (interception), Stripling (forced fumble), DeLoach 3, Jenkins 2, Matthews 2, Swann 4, Moore 3 (and a tackle for loss), Carter 5 (fumble recovery and an interception), Mayes 3 (and a tackle for loss), Herrera 3, Mauger 2, Bailey 3 (and a tackle for loss).
Long undergoes surgery
Senior offensive guard Austin Long underwent outpatient surgery at St. Mary's Hospital on Friday for a fractured right hand. He suffered a fracture of the same hand last December.
Long, a 6-foot-5, 304-pound native of native of Memphis, Tenn., fractured his hand during practice Thursday. According to UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson, Long will miss the remainder of spring drills but is expected to make a full recovery.
Long appeared in 13 games this season for the Bulldogs last season.
Dawson pulls hamstring
Cornerback Sheldon Dawson's spring has apparently come to an end after he pulled a hamstring during Saturday's scrimmage.
"I was covering Conley on a post-corner and I was with him and opened up, but as soon as I opened up and accelerated something snapped," Dawson said. "I was in some pain."
The injury couldn't have come at worse time for Dawson, who intercepted three passes in Georgia's two scrimmages thus far.
"I feel I had a good camp," Dawson said. "I did pretty well but there are still some mental errors that I need to correct."
This and that
Richt revealed that sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is running with the first team at strong safety.
Although Richt did not mention when asked about players working at left tackle, a video released by UGA Saturday clearly showed sophomore John Theus getting reps at the position during Saturday's scrimmage.
Fullback Quayvon Hicks received high praise from Richt. ""Quayvon picked up a blitz on Friday with enthusiasm and had a hard short run today," said Richt. "He is playing faster than last year and is blocking extremely well. He is someone with good ball skills and he is looking like he will become a heckuva fullback."