The good news for Aaron Murray is it was only a scrimmage.
Still, three interceptions for Georgia’s starting quarterback against a watered-down second-team defense on Wednesday isn’t the kind of momentum you want heading into a new season.
“We had a couple of picks that were thrown to guys that looked like they were wide open down the sideline, but safeties covered a lot of ground,” coach Mark Richt said. “I thought the ball hung in the air too long. A couple of those picks were probably thrown to the right guy and the guy was open, but because the ball hung in the air long enough safeties reacted and ran them down.”
Murray, a fifth-year senior who is considered a Heisman Trophy candidate, had just one interception in two spring scrimmages (including G-Day) against the first-team defense. He was excused from the other for an awards ceremony.
Two of his interceptions Wednesday came on fades, Richt said.
Cornerback Sheldon Dawson snagged one of them.
Tight end Arthur Lynch said Murray was “perfect” in the red zone and on third down conversions.
“He’s watching film right now of the scrimmage,” Lynch said afterwards. “It was one of those things that was just miscommunication of the route on one of the picks and it was just a jump ball on an end zone,” on a pass intended for Malcolm Mitchell that Brendan Langley picked off.
WR Rumph shows more progress
Jonathan Rumph has picked up from where he left off on G-Day.
The junior college transfer receiver had a quiet spring before accounting for 98 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the spring game.
The 6-foot-5, 208-pounder from Cayce, S.C., had four catches for 53 yards on Wednesday.
“Rumph looks so much more comfortable now then he did in spring,” Richt said. “He just was really finding his way. Now he’s much more sure of himself. He looks confident. He’s practicing with confidence. I don’t think we would be afraid to have Rumph get in the ballgame. We’ve just got to make sure he knows what to do in every situation.”
Speedster Reggie Davis had two catches for 23 yards.
“I don’t know what his role is going to be, but I would say he’s definitely in the race for playing time,” Richt said. “We’re not thinking redshirt for either one of those two right now.”
Rumph tied for the lead in catches on the day with Malcolm Mitchell (4-64), Justin Scott-Wesley (4-53) and Arthur Lynch (4-91 TD).
Defense holds up despite injuries
An injury-filled defense held up relatively well in Georgia’s first preseason scrimmage.
“We were thin, but we still came out there and made plays,” outside linebacker/defensive end Josh Dawson said. “(Coach) Todd Grantham did a great job of rotating us so we weren’t deadbeat tired. I was proud of the guys we had out there.”
Freshman inside linebacker Reggie Carter and outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins led all tacklers with six. Jenkins was credited with three sacks.
Outside linebacker T.J. Stripling had five tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss. The outside linebackers have been hit particularly hard with injuries this preseason.
This and that
A.J. Turman led all three of the freshmen tailbacks in rushing with 36 yards on five carries. Richt said he had a run of at least 10 yards against the No. 1 defense.
“That was pretty impressive. Bounced it outside and had a good stiff arm and used his speed to dive (near) the pylon.”
…J.J. Green had 21 yards rushing on eight carries and three catches for 20 yards and Brendan Douglas had five yards on six carries.
…Starting offensive guard Chris Burnette continues to be held out after offseason shoulder surgery. “He’s just recovering,” Richt said.
“You don’t want to go in there and beat a guy down right off the get-go. We’re trying to be wise.”
…Safety Corey Moore (sprained knee) is the latest member of the secondary sideline with an injury this preseason.