Friday, August 14, 2009

Counting Down To Kickoff


The 13th-ranked University of Georgia football team continued its preparation for the 2009 season with a two and a half hour workout at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday.

The Dawgs practiced in shells coming off of their second two-a-day practice, which included the first scrimmage of camp, yesterday. The team will have two more practice sessions on Friday before holding its second scrimmage this Saturday.

"I would say my overriding feeling of today's practice was that the practice beat us," coach Mark Richt said. "We didn't win the day. We made too many mistakes. They were hot and they were tired, and I thought they gave into that more so than any other day in camp. As a matter of fact, I don't think they had given into it until today actually, so I was a lot disappointed in that. But when you get knocked down you get back up, so we'll see how the leaders handle the adversity of the day and we'll see how we come back tomorrow."

Richt also noted that redshirt junior strong safety Quintin Banks has a knee injury and would miss approximately three weeks, and that the injury puts Banks as questionable for the first game. With injuries at the safety position currently including Banks and fellow redshirt junior Reshad Jones (hamstring), Richt indicated that sophomore Makiri Pugh would see time at the position.

"Reshad will back soon," Richt said. "Banks will be back relatively soon. It's not a situation where we are running into season-ending injuries, but we do need to practice and continue to train people. Makiri certainly has the ability to do both. He will still be working with the nickel, but more than likely he'll get work with the safeties now."

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at Sanford Stadium.

Dawg defensive tackle Geno Atkins, linebacker Rennie Curran and place-kicker Blair Walsh have been named to Preseason Watch Lists for national awards.

Atkins and Curran are being considered for the Chuck Bednarik Award, honoring the top defensive player in the nation, while Walsh is in contention for the Lou Groza Award, given to the finest place-kicker in college football’s FBS division (Division 1-A).

Atkins, who is also a candidate for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top interior lineman, started all 13 games last year posting 34 tackles, including 7.5 for 17 yards lost, and leading the Bulldogs with 32 quarterback pressures.

Curran, who was a Butkus Award finalist last season, led the team in tackles (115), tackles for a loss (10.0), sacks (3.0) and forced fumbles (2) and earned the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award.

In 2008, Walsh made his debut vs. Georgia Southern connecting for a 52-yard field goal on his first career attempt. He appeared in 13 games last season, connecting on 15-of-23 field goal attempts and recording 75 kickoffs for 4,499 yards. SEC coaches named Walsh Freshman All-SEC in 2008.

Most of the watch lists for national honors are being revealed on a daily basis on ESPN's College Football Live.

Last Thursday, junior safety Reshad Jones was named to the ledger for the Jim Thorpe Award for the nation's top defensive back, and Jeff Owens, senior defensive tackle, was also included on the watch list for the Outland Trophy.

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