By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Demetris Robertson “ran out of gas” when he scored on a 72-yard run the first time he touched the ball in his Georgia debut.READ MORE: Celebrate The Tampa Bay Lightning And Independence Day With Fourth Of July Boat Parade
That was the report from Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
Smart’s claim couldn’t be confirmed by Austin Peay. No defender was close enough to Robertson to offer an expert opinion.
Robertson’s second-quarter scoring run was one example of No. 3 Georgia’s newly expanded options at wide receiver and running back during Saturday’s season-opening 45-0 win over the Governors.
Mecole Hardman scored on a 59-yard pass from Jake Fromm . Freshman James Cook had runs of 36 and 26 yards.
Robertson, a sophomore from Savannah, was granted immediate eligibility following his transfer from California. As a freshman at Cal, he had 50 catches for 767 yards and seven touchdowns and tied for fifth nationally with five receptions of 50-plus yards. He also ran sprints on Cal’s track team.
Robertson’s big run was his only chance to shine in Georgia’s debut. The Bulldogs open their Southeastern Conference schedule at South Carolina next week, and that may be Robertson’s chance to play a bigger role.
Against Austin Peay, Smart could afford to be patient. There was ample depth at wide receiver even with 2017 starter Terry Godwin sitting out with a knee injury.
Eleven receivers caught 21 passes from Fromm, freshman Justin Fields and Matthew Downing.
Georgia also showed depth at tailback even after losing Sony Michel and Nick Chubb to the NFL.
D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield and Cook had runs of at least 15 yards. Brian Herrien had only one carry for two yards, but he added three catches for 20 yards.READ MORE: Former HCSO Detective Arrested And Facing Charges Of Tampering And Misconduct With Evidence
“We can do a lot,” said Swift, who started at tailback and had a team-high eight carries for 43 yards and a touchdown, plus a team-high four catches for 33 yards.
“We have a lot of weapons on this offense,” Swift said. “That’s to our advantage this year.”
Smart said the depth at the skill positions means the competition extends to less glamorous parts of the game.
“They look at it as if they call on me to go block somebody, I better do it good or I might not be back in here,” Smart said. “The motivating factor is I’ve got to do great things without the ball, not necessarily great things with the ball.”
Riley Ridley had three catches, including a 10-yarder for Georgia’s first touchdown of the season. Smart said Ridley “was physical in his blocking.”
Swift was one of six players to score a touchdown.
“We’re just so deep on offense with everybody,” Swift said, adding, “We can use so many people on so many different things.”
Robertson didn’t have a pass thrown his way. Even so, he wasn’t complaining after taking a handoff from Fields, cutting between two defenders and sprinting to the end zone. He was all alone at the end of the run.
He said he told himself, “I’ve got to go! I’ve got to go!” when he saw open field.
Robertson wasn’t with Georgia for spring practice and is behind on his conditioning drills. Thus the reminder from Smart.MORE NEWS: Airbnb Makes A Permanent Ban On Parties
“In the SEC, that might not have been a touchdown,” Smart said. “So we want to encourage him to keep getting in shape so he can turn that into a touchdown against an SEC opponent.”