Georgia’s offense struggles at points during Friday’s scrimmage

Georgia’s often-considered better half — its offense — didn’t fare as well as one might expect during Friday night’s scrimmage. The defense won most battles on third-and-long in the team’s second scrimmage of training camp, something head coach Mark Richt considered “both good and bad,” the bad alluding to the trouble the offense had at converting.

The offense didn’t necessarily get off to a bad start. The first team worked its way down the field with what Richt said was an 11 or 12-play drive that allowed Hutson Mason to connect with Chris Conley for a red zone touchdown. Like last Saturday’s scrimmage, Friday night was void of any big plays offensively. Mason passed for 204 yards (22-for-31) and freshman Sony Michel led the rushing game with 39 yards in four attempts.

The offense’s performance became largely frustrating for Richt after “execution deteriorated” following the first team’s touchdown drive. Once the second team took the field, it began shooting itself in the foot.

“Way too many fumbled snaps or poor shotgun snaps,” Richt said. “Too many guys jumping off sides. Just too many guys having to be babysat out there as far as getting lined up right.”

Richt chose to describe the errors as more frustrating than concerning, as more occurred in Friday’s scrimmage than the team’s first. After 17 preseason practices, the second team offensive linemen are fighting for snaps as the two-week countdown to the Clemson game on Aug. 31 begins.

“Maybe there was too much pressure on this scrimmage, I don’t know,” Richt said. “Maybe they felt it more. I was making sure they knew how important it was in the deciding of everybody’s fate as far as playing time.”

That’s not to say the offense didn’t have an overall productive night. Four quarterbacks (Mason, Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park) threw to at least 15 receivers — Richt only provided receiving stats for 15 players — and Georgia’s quarterbacks combined for 709 passing yards in the process. That being said, only Bauta played as a live quarterback, which he also did on Saturday.

The ever-scrutinized secondary made some highlights at the expense of Georgia’s quarterbacks. Freshmen Rico Johnson and Dominick Sanders picked off Ramsey and Mason, respectively. Johnson impressively pulled down a ball that Richt assumed Ramsey meant to sail out of bounds, while Sanders took his back for a 54-yard touchdown.

Both Sanders and Johnson tacked on four tackles apiece to the defensive stat line, while Jordan Jenkins led with nine tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss.

As should be expected, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall didn’t get a ton of snaps, each carrying the ball four times for 11 yards a pop.

“We didn’t need to see much with them,” Richt said. “We want to see the younger backs perform and they did a nice job.”

Those younger tailbacks are freshmen Michel and Nick Chubb, the latter recording the only rushing touchdown of the evening.

“From what I could see, they ran the ball well, they secured the ball well, they pass protected,” Richt said of Michel and Chubb. “I say they did — I saw just a couple that I was impressed with.”