In this file photo, freshman running back Isaiah Crowell runs the ball during Georgia's first NCAA college football practice of the season Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 in Athens, Ga. Crowell had six carries for 54 yards Wednesday night as the Bulldogs held a simulated half inside Sanford Stadium. (AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, David Manning)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Georgia defeated a fake Boise State during Wednesday night's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium, but Bulldogs coach Mark Richt is glad to have several more days to prepare for the real Broncos.
"We wouldn't have been ready today," Richt said. "Even our pregame warmup left a little to be desired."
Richt spotted his scout team, which portrayed Boise State, a 31-0 lead and started the game at halftime, but Georgia's first-team players and prominent backups roared back for a 38-34 win. The simulated second half, which was closed to the media, was decided on a 4-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Hutson Mason to top receiver Tavarres King with 11 seconds remaining.
Freshman Isaiah Crowell had six carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, while fellow tailbacks Ken Malcome and former walk-on Brandon Harton also scored. Malcome led all tailbacks with 61 yards on 11 rushes, but Richt said afterward that his pecking order is Richard Samuel, Crowell and Harton.
Samuel, a redshirt junior, sat out the simulated half with a strained quad.
The top performance was turned in by senior cornerback Brandon Boykin, who would have been credited with two interceptions for touchdowns had Richt not blown the whistle to allow time for more plays. Boykin also was tabbed one of the captains for the Sept. 3 opener, along with senior center Ben Jones, senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and senior punter Drew Butler.
"It means a lot to me, especially opening up in the Georgia Dome, in my hometown," Boykin said. "We're getting ready for Boise State, and it's starting to hit us. It's really here."
Starting quarterback Aaron Murray completed 5 of 9 passes for 79 yards, while Mason was 7 of 9 for 98 with the score to King. Starting tight end Orson Charles had three catches for 31 yards, while King had three for 21 and backup tight end Aron White had two for 46.
Junior defensive end Abry Jones had two sacks, while junior safeties Sanders Commings and Shawn Williams each had interceptions as Georgia's first-team offense and defense played together for the first time since last season's Liberty Bowl loss to Central Florida.
"I thought we had a really good scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Murray said. "Coach Richt moved the ball around, and we had to drive the field a few times and the defense created some turnovers."
Said Jones: "We really played fast today. Boise State's front seven is supposed to be one of the best, and it makes us work that much harder."
Samuel, fullback Bruce Figgins and receivers Marlon Brown and Malcolm Mitchell were among the more notable players who sat out, but Richt said none of those are expected out for the opener. The Bulldogs will hold a special teams practice today.
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 ...