Athens, GA – On Saturday afternoon, the University of Georgia football team held its 8th practice of Fall Camp 2019, a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. It was the Bulldawgs first scrimmage and to say it was hot and humid would be an understatement.
As I concentrated on the defense during the media viewing period, student intern Lance McCurley viewed the offense while Greg Poole was behind the camera; so make sure you look through his photos if you get the chance to do so. The offense was dressed out in red jerseys while the defense wore white. The quarterbacks were in black jerseys.
I was able to observe both the outside and inside linebackers on defense, but unfortunately, in the defensive line and the defensive backs were on the other side of the field and inaccessible.
Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning was working his OLBs running a lateral step over drill during warmups with Adam Anderson (19), Robert Beal, Jr. (33), Walter Grant (84), Jermaine Johnson (11), Azeez Ojulari (13), and Nolan Smith (4). Coach Lanning was very vocal and encouraging the linebackers to hustle through the drill.
Coach Glenn Schumann was working with his ILBs in a group next to Lanning’s. He was putting the backers through a type of “thud” drill where the players would attack and strike the ball carrier from just a few yards out. The players had to also wrap up but there was no tackling to the ground. Monty Rice (32) was doing the lion’s share of simulating the ball carrier.
Two of the freshmen ILBs stood out, Trezmen Marshall (15) and Nakobe Dean (17) both delivered big hits that received a resounding “(Heck) yeah! That’s the way to do it,” from Coach Schumann.
Nate McBride was absent from the ILB group during the media viewing period, and he was also absent during Thursday’s practice. Kirby Smart confirmed in the post-practice presser that the junior was dealing with an undisclosed injury and did not practice.
Kirby Smart says that junior ILB Nate McBride is dealing with an injury at this current time.— Bulldawg Illustrated (@BD_illustrated) August 10, 2019
While we didn’t get to see the 7-on-7 or scrimmage portion of the practice, Coach Smart did comment on the linebackers in his presser when asked about their performance.
“I’ll have to reserve judgment on that until I see the tape,” said Kirby Smart. “I don’t know everything, how every guy played. I know Nolan (Smith) made a couple of plays on the perimeter. We lost contain a couple of times with Walter (Grant) and Jermaine Johnson. They’ve got to do a little better job there. Those guys are really working hard. We’ve got some really good athletes in that group. I’ve been really pleased with the work ethic from that group thus far.”
Lance got a good luck at the running backs during warmups and drills as well as the quarterbacks. He was also fortunate enough to catch a play as we were walking out at the start of the 7-on-7’s.
“Coach Dell McGee had the running backs in the South Endzone working on their bubble routes. Junior tailback D’andre Swift (7) was first in the rotation while and redshirt freshman Zamir White (3) was fifth. White looked healthy, and from what I saw, he caught all of the passes thrown his way. Junior Prather Hudson (24) and walk-on freshman Sevaugn Clark (20) then stepped off to the side to on out routes by themselves.”
“Redshirt sophomore QB Stetson Bennett (13) practiced with the second-team, and before 7v7 he hit 4 out of 5 receivers on post routes. John Seter (16), also a redshirt sophomore, practiced as the 3rd-team quarterback and connected with freshman TE Ryland Goede (88) during drills.”
“We got to see the start of 7-vs-7, and Stetson Bennett (13) threw a touchdown to WR Trey Blount (14) over DB D.J. Daniels (14). DB coach Charlton Warren was not very happy about it.”
One spot of good news eight practices into fall camp and Saturday’s scrimmage is that although some of the players are “dinged-up,” the team has not suffered any serious or season-ending injuries. Here is a list of Georgia players currently dealing with injuries.
- Tyson Campbell (CB) reported to have a concussion.
- Ryland Goede (TE) received an undisclosed injury during the scrimmage and is expected out until Wednesday.
- David Marshall (DE) was on a limited snap count due to a foot injury.
- D’Wan Mathis (QB) has been cleared to participate with the team in practice but has not yet been cleared for contact.
- Nate McBride (ILB) has an undisclosed injury.
- Julian Rochester (DT) was on a limited snap count due to a knee injury.
- Eli Wolf (TE ) has an undisclosed injury and was wearing a green, non-contact jersey
While the players didn’t seem deterred by the heat as the coaches put them through their paces during the media viewing period, Head Coach Kirby Smart stated in the post-practice presser that the team’s first scrimmage wasn’t what he expected.
“We caught a little weather delay and had to go in for about 30 minutes because of lightning so it set us back a little,” said Kirby Smart. “It probably wasn’t the type scrimmage I was expecting to have. There wasn’t the temperament or enthusiasm that I expected. We’ve gotten after it pretty good over the last seven practices or so but I didn’t think we had the same juice today. Both (starting) units were a little lethargic and didn’t have their timing. We had some busts on defense. There are some things to clean up and the good news is we have time to clean them up.”
The keywords here are it is the team’s first scrimmage and the coaches have time to address the issues that came up. The Bulldawgs have an off day today (Sunday) and will resume practice on Monday.