Following an abbreviated practice that lasted 90 minutes, the Bulldogs ran 81 plays under scrimmage-like conditions, while more than 20 Southeastern Conference officials rotated in and out of the action getting some pre-season work as well.
The first-unit offense showed some promise on its initial possession, moving the chains on a 12-yard pass from Wesley Carroll to Jamayel Smith and connecting on a Carroll-to-CoEric Riley 11 yard pickup. But the first drive stalled when Anthony Dixon was stopped on 4th-and-1.
The first unit later returned to the field, and spurred by a Carroll-to-Smith 36-yard strike, moved down to the two yardline before again being turned away on fourth down.
“I wasn’t pleased with the way the first unit came out,” assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Woody McCorvey said. “We didn’t convert on fourth down to keep drives alive and stay on the field.”
In contrast to their counterparts on the top unit, the second offense was able to sustain drives and put the ball in the endzone. On its first possession, the group went 65 yards on 12 plays, sparked by Robert Elliott’s 40 yards on six rushes. After a pass interference call moved the ball to the three yard line, Chris Relf found Marcus Green in the middle of the endzone for the first score of the day.
Taking over the second unit, quarterback Tyson Lee led his group on a scoring drive as well. Lee completed three passes for 33 yards – all to Brandon McRae – while converted defensive back Wade Bonner rushed for 30 yards on two carries, including a five-yard touchdown run.
The second team also scored on a Kaleon Mayfield rushing touchdown after Lee hit O’Neal Wilder inside the five yardline, and the unit closed the scrimmage with a 65-yard strike from Relf to Wilder.
“Our first team made plays and kept them out of the endzone,” defensive coordinator Charlie Harbison said. “Overall we played with good effort, but that second group gave up too many touchdowns.”
The Bulldogs will return the practice fields on Monday to begin their second week of spring work. Practices are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday before the first full scrimmage set for next Friday.