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G-Day notebook: Dogs boast deep backfield

POSTED: April 14, 2012 10:24 p.m.

ATHENS — The numbers weren’t overly impressive.

Running backs Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome rushed for 39 and 32 yards, respectively, in the annual G-Day spring game. Malcome had two rushing touchdowns as well.

There were times, however, that Georgia fans were given a glimpse of the depth they hope to see in the backfield in 2012.

Malcome rushed for two tough touchdowns in the game, including a 6-yarder in the second quarter to give the Red Team a 7-3 lead. Crowell averaged less than four yards per carry, but coach Mark Richt was pleased with the burst he showed on a few runs, including on one that, it appeared, could go the distance.

“I thought they ran the ball well,” Richt said.

“There was one where I thought (Crowell) was going to go all the way, but he kind of stumbled once he hit the outside.”

Richard Samuel also performed well in the game. He ran eight times for 43 yards and a touchdown. Coupled with incoming freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who missed the game due to a strained hamstring, Richt said he felt like his backfield was in a good position.

“I don’t know how they’re going to finish,” he said. “But they’re on a good track right now.”

BACKUP QUARTERBACKS IMPRESS: Quarterbacks Christian LeMay and Hutson Mason showed why Georgia coaches are comfortable with their quarterback depth.

LeMay, a redshirt freshman, completed 7 of 10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. The score came on a 65-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jay Rome in the fourth quarter, showcasing LeMay’s strong arm.

“I feel calm,” LeMay said after the game.

“I’m just out there trying to continue to grow and get better. Aaron (Murray) is a great quarterback, but I’m just trying to get ready for anything.”

LeMay will be the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart in 2012, with last year’s backup Hutson Mason redshirting.
“I think he had a pretty good grasp of what was going on out there,” Richt said. “He made some good plays, like the one to Jay Rome at the end there.”

There were times in which the young quarterback struggled early in the game. He took three sacks in the first half and was pressured into an interception in the second quarter.

Mason finished 5 of 8 for 62 yards and a touchdown.

SURPRISE WIDE OUTS: For all the names the Bulldogs have among its deep receiving corps (Tavarres King, Marlon Brown, Michael Bennett, Rantavious Wooten), two young receivers made perhaps the biggest impacts in the G-Day game.

Redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley and redshirt sophomore Michael Erdman made names for themselves with a handful of impressive catches.

Scott-Wesley had two in the first half, totaling 41 yards by the break. He nearly had a third when Murray, facing pressure, passed the ball high and wide. Scott-Wesley quickly changed directions and dove to his left, getting two hands on the ball, but he wasn’t able to haul the pass in.

Erdman accounted for one of the game’s longest plays, a 53-yard pass down the sideline from Mason in the third quarter. Erdman nearly broke the play for a touchdown, but was brought down from behind.

TWO BULLDOGS HONORED: Jarvis Jones, Georgia’s defensive leader this past season, was honored at halftime of the game with the Elite National Linebacker trophy.

In 2011-12, Jones finished with 13 1/2 sacks, 1/2 sack behind David Pollack’s team-record 14. Jones also accounted for 49 quarterback pressures and was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top defender.

Legendary Bulldog Charley Trippi was also honored during the game, celebrating Friday, which was dubbed “Charley Trippi Day” for the University of Georgia.

The Bulldogs have named an award after Trippi, the Charley Trippi Most Versatile Player Award, which was awarded to former Bulldogs cornerback Brandon Boykin on Friday.

Trippi won the Maxwell Award in 1946 and is a member of the college football Hall of Fame.


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