August 27, 2009

Cox said scrimmage taught offense some lessons

If one thing is obvious from Wednesday's practice game at Sanford Stadium, it's that head coach Mark Richt is not willing to settle for his team "just being Ok" as it continues preparing for next week's opener at Oklahoma State.

"We just weren't as sharp as we need to be," Richt said. "They've (Oklahoma State) got nine starters on defense and an offensive team that is nothing short of spectacular. Their special teams are fantastic. We've got to be sharp but we were not sharp enough (Wednesday)."

Richt was speaking largely about the penalties that stymied several would-be drives, forcing the offense to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

Fortunately for Richt, starting quarterback Joe Cox did not seem to be part of the problem.

Cox, who will be under center when the Bulldogs take the field against the Cowboys, saw most of the action with the first team, although backup Logan Gray also got the chance to show what he can do.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo[]/db] has hinted that Gray could be used in certain situations and Wednesday's scrimmage was a final opportunity for the redshirt sophomore to try and impress.

"I thought Joe was sharp running the system and accurate throwing the ball," Richt said. "Logan got some reps with the first unit and also did some good things."

Both Cox and Gray each threw for a touchdown, one to [db]A.J. Green and Tavarres King, respectively. Cox said he estimated his pass to Green went for 40 yards in the game, which was a simulated half of football which began with the offense already down in a "21-0" hole. Cox and company came back to win 27-24 as the No. 1 defense held the scout team to a lone field goal by Blair Walsh, one of two by the sophomore on the evening.

"It wasn't Oklahoma State so I really don't know what to take from it," Cox said. "We got some good looks from the scouts and we did some good things. We ended up coming back, but in the end it was just another scrimmage, although it was a lot more structured."

Like Richt, Cox admits he's happy there's still over a week to go before the Bulldogs have to take the field for real.

"I think it was a good day. We definitely did a lot of things well that can solidify our game plan and maybe tweak a little bit but there were also some things we ran (Wednesday) that maybe we don't want to run," Cox said. "It was just good to have a scrimmage like this and still have time to make some last-minute changes to the game-plan going into the game."

Georgia won't have to wait much longer.

The Bulldogs took Thursday off as coaches poured over the film and finalized the game-plan for the Cowboys in the game (3:30) which will be televised nationally by ABC.

Georgia will return to the practice field Friday afternoon and again Saturday morning before its final full-pad practice Monday afternoon.

"We've just got over a week to go," Richt said. "There's still a lot of work we need to get done."

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