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August 22, 2012
One of Aaron Murray's biggest goals this entire off-season has centered about finding ways to improve upon last year's completion percentage of just over 59 percent.
If his performance during Wednesday's final full scrimmage at Sanford Stadium is any indication, he may be well on his way to doing exactly that.
Playing against a collection of scout team players used to simulate the Buffalo defense, Murray completed 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns, leading "Georgia" to a 49-48 overtime victory.
"There was really just one ball that he threw today that I felt should have been a completion," head coach Mark Richt said. "He missed a guy who was open, but that was the only one the whole day for him. "He's been very accurate."
Murray believes the offense is right on schedule.
"I think we've progressed the whole camp," he said. "I think we're really in sync right now, myself, the receivers and the running backs. The offensive line has done a really good job all camp of giving me time to throw where I haven't felt under pressure at all and I've been able to make some good throws."
Senior Marlon Brown led all receivers with seven catches for 98 yards.
"Aaron's really been precise," Brown said. "I can run my route and by the time I turn around, the ball is there."
Unlike the previous two scrimmages, Wednesday's "practice game" pitted the Bulldogs' first- and second-team units against members of the scout team. Typically, the No. 1 offense will face off against the No. 2 defense, with the No. 1 defense squaring off against the No. 2 offense. Richt spotted "Buffalo" a 35-0 halftime lead.
Freshman Faton Bauta quarterbacked the scout team for the entire game. The scout team's offense scored after Richt allowed the unit to start from the Bulldog 11. The other touchdown came in overtime after the scout team started from the 25. "We could have done better," said linebacker Amarlo Herrera, who intercepted Bauta for the game's only turnover, returning the ball 23 yards for a touchdown. "I just don't like they were spotted so many points."
For the third time in as many scrimmages, freshman Todd Gurley led all rushers, this time rushing six times for 54 yards and a touchdown.
In Georgia's three scrimmages, Gurley has rushed 19 times for 199 yards and scored four times, including one as a receiver.
Still, it appears that Malcome will get the start when the Bulldogs open against Buffalo on Sept. 1.
"I'm pretty sure Ken Malcome is going to start, although I guess something could change between now and then," said Richt, who declined to indicate what the pecking order after Malcome might be.
"I don't know. I haven't talked to the staff yet to see how we're going to do," Richt said. "It's still too early, but even when we do I doubt I'll announce anything, because I don't even want the guys to know. I want them to keep competing. We'll probably tell them the night before the game."
Bauta's interception was the only turnover of the game.
NOTES: Richt declined to comment specially on any injuries that might have occurred, but indicated there was nothing serious. ? Richt did not have stats for the scout team, but Bauta threw touchdown passes to freshman Kenneth Towns and sophomore Michael Erdman. ? The Bulldogs will hold a "situational scrimmage" Thursday at Sanford Stadium to cover any thing the team missed Wednesday. ... Georgia's post-practice injury report consisted of offensive guard Mark Beard (left knee sprain), walk-on running back Dominic Bryan (contusion), backup punter Cody Johnson (leg strain), offensive guard Hunter Long (left foot fracture), right end Jay Rome (right hamstring strain) and walk-on tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion).
Rushing - Gurley 6-54 TD, Malcome 6-50, Marshall 3-17, Samuel 3-10. Passing - Murray 20-25-0-2 253, LeMay 3-5-0-0 42, Mason 2-4-0-0 24. Receiving - Brown 7-98, Wooten 3-37, Lynch 2-36, Conley 3-29, Bennett 2-26 TD, King 2-24, McGowan 3-23 TD, Marshall 1-23 TD, Hall 1-5, Malcome 1-18. Defense: Gilliard 4 tackles, Mitchell three tackles, John Jenkins three tackles and a sack, Jones three tackles, Jordan Jenkins two tackles (one for loss), Washington two tackles (one for loss). Numerous other players with two and one apiece.
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