Brown moves to the starting spot

Thomas Brown

ATHENS – Senior Thomas Brown will start at tailback for Georgia when the Bulldogs open the season against Oklahoma State on Sept. 1, Kregg Lumpkin said Thursday night after the team's final scrimmage of the fall.

"Yeah, that's how it's going to be," Lumpkin said.

Brown, who had three carries for 14 yards Thursday, brings "energy, toughness" and "leadership" to the position, said Coach Mark Richt, who added that he didn't know if Brown's spot on the depth chart was official.

Brown, who has 1,847 career rushing yards, missed the final six games of 2006 after tearing his ACL and at one point was considered a redshirt candidate for this season.

"He's just an unbelievable person," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "He comes out every single day in practice and tears it up just like you need somebody to do. I'm just happy to have him standing next me. He does it all. He's what you want in a tailback."

That news might make Brown the only happy offensive player the Bulldogs have today. For the second time in three spring scrimmages, the offense had a poor effort, Stafford said.

"The thing that was missing was energy man," he said. "We just didn't have any. I don't know what it was but guys didn't come out with a whole lot of ready-to-go. Maybe it was guys being worn down, but there is no excuse. I don't know what it was man. People are going to find out quick, young guys, what it takes to win in this league. I just hope they realize before we go out there and play."

Stafford was 7-of-14 passing for 59 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown to Tony Wilson. Richt was less disappointed in the evening than his quarterback.

"It's hard to get too jacked about playing the scout team sometimes," he said. "You try to simulate the game. We did the pregame warm up like we normally would. We tried our best to simulate one half of football. We couldn't simulate a Dog Walk or the enthusiasm of the crowd and the reality of playing in front of 96,000 people and millions on TV. We couldn't simulate the energy, I guess."

The defense was led by Geno Atkins and Demarcus Dobbs, who had three tackles each and combined for three sacks, two by Atkins. Asher Allen had two tackles for loss.

The return teams were on their game, too. Knowshon Moreno had what would have been a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown if Richt hadn't blown the play dead, Richt said. Mikey Henderson would have scored on the punt return if Richt hadn't stopped the play, he said.

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