Georgia’s second scrimmage of the spring season was even on both sides.
Following the 12th practice of the spring, head coach Kirby Smart said it was a “balanced” session from the offense and defense. A week ago in the first scrimmage, it appeared the offense had the upper hand, based on what Smart had to say. This time, the defense put in a better performance, particularly when it came to going against the rushing attack.
“We tried to run the ball some more trying to test the defense, and I thought the defense had one of their better practices when it comes to being able to stopping the run,” Smart said.
Georgia, however, did not have running back D’Andre Swift during the full-contact scrimmage. Swift has been dealing with a groin injury which has limited him throughout the spring. Smart said he is unsure whether Swift will be able to participate in next Saturday’s G-Day spring game.
“He went some during the warmups and some during the seven-on-seven stuff but didn’t go in the scrimmage much,” Smart said. “He’s been practicing every day. When he goes out there he does pass (protection), some routes, he does as much as he can do. He just hasn’t been doing it full live-tackle.”
While the defense slowed down the run, it wasn’t as successful when it came to third-down opportunities. Smart said the defense has previously gotten the better of the offense on third down.
“The offense kind of dominated the third-down period, and the defense had been dominating that, so it was almost a see-saw effect of some of the periods with the defense winning the offensive periods and vice-versa,” Smart said. “It was very competitive, and I thought the guys played very hard.”
Smart said no injuries occurred during the scrimmage. However, safety Jarvis Wilson sprained his foot during Thursday’s practice and could not participate Saturday. Smart said he is unsure how long Wilson will be out. Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick joined practice late as he had to attend a funeral earlier in the day.
One player Smart commended was outside linebacker Keyon Brown, who has been in the two-deep at the position throughout the spring. Smart has been pleased with Brown on defense and special teams.
“He knows what to do now so he understands the defense. He’s helping on special teams,” Smart said. “He’s a specialty player who can set the edge or rush the passer. He’s been working hard for three or four years to get his turn, and this is his turn.”
Smart also spoke about safety Richard LeCounte just two days after offering some critical words about his approach this spring. Smart said he saw an improved LeCounte on the field Saturday and gave a nod to those who wrote about the rising sophomore safety Thursday night.
“He did better,” Smart said. “Maybe you guys helped him.”