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Post Most-anticipated G-Day since…

Friday April 4, 2008

Mark Richt wants a lot of people at G-Day on Saturday. “I hope a lot of people show up so it will make it more and more exciting and more like a real game,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. Of course it’s left to the fans to make the spring scrimmage seem “more like a real game” because it’s doubtful that the action on the field will resemble one.

Richt’s priorities for the day are “a crisp game without a lot of penalties and fumbles, probably without a lot of scoring and for everyone to come out healthy.” Sounds like big fun, right? You certainly can’t blame a coach for just wanting to get through the day – G-Day might be that day of spring practice where the least gets done, but it is still a chance for the team to have some fun and show off in front of the fans after weeks of hard work.

Players like early favorite Kalvin Daniels will battle it out for the Brown-Powell Award after Stafford and Moreno put in their couple of series, and fans will gauge the team’s worthiness for a national title run based on the outcome of a single scrimmage. We all know what G-Day is like, so I can’t really be down on Georgia fans if they have more options in life than Alabama fans and don’t pack Sanford Stadium. There’s a ton of anticipation around this year’s team though, so, weather permitting, Coach Richt will probably get his wish and have a decent crowd.

I like Ching’s take: we know that G-Day is a dawg-and-pony show for the fans that doesn’t mean much in the big picture, but I’m curious as anyone to see some of the names and groups that have been in the news.

One of the challenges for a fan looking to see how the Dawgs are doing is not reading too much into each bit of news that comes out of spring and preseason practices. We should know by now that certain statements in the press and even depth chart decisions at this time of the year can be as much motivational tactic as they are real news. As we sift through all of that, we’re left with a few main storylines going into G-Day:

  • Everyone in the world wants to see Caleb King, but the other newcomers at tailback might be as intriguing. Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson would be the center of attention on a team that didn’t already have players with the hype of Moreno and King.
  • I questioned myself for pointing to the offensive line as a possible weakness for this team, but it has been a big story so far in the spring. Clint Boling has been sidelined with mono, Ben Jones has tweaked his ankle, and the battle for the center position will continue on into the summer. I think the staff has a general idea of who they’d like to see on the starting line, but Boling’s illness and the unsettled center spot have meant that the ideal starting line hasn’t seen much work as a unit. With G-Day unlikely to settle much in this area, the line should be a focus well into August.
  • Injuries at some positions will peel back the layers of the depth chart. Receiver might be the one position where this is most noticed. Massaquoi, Wilson, and Harris are all injured. Young players like Israel Troupe, Walter Hill, Tavarres King, and even Aron White should benefit from extra playing time. I’d also like to see some of the veterans who have lurked down the depth chart – guys like Demiko Goodman and Michael Moore. At other positions, center Ben Jones has an ankle sprain, and defensive tackle Jeff Owens is out with a separated shoulder.
  • Is the defense really that good? Aside from Owens’ shoulder, there just hasn’t been much bad news from the defensive side this spring. The biggest question is at defensive end, and that seems to be more a case of seeing which promising player will win the job. We remember how bad the defense looked last year, so G-Day performance isn’t the best indicator of things, but I will be curious to see how things have changed and improved since the dominant performance in the Sugar Bowl.

We aint one-at-a-timin’ here, we’re mass communicatin’!

For those who aren’t making the trip to Athens, UGA is making G-Day available on television, radio, and online. It won’t quite rival the overexposure for Florida’s spring game (featuring Tebow healing Percy Harvin at halftime live on ESPN), but most Dawg fans who want to tune in should be able to find the game.


CSS will have the game live at 2:00. If you can’t catch it on Saturday or DVR it, one would expect CSS to replay this game a few dozen times in the next couple of weeks.


AM750 WSB will carry the game for the first time since 1993. The game will also be broadcast across the Bulldog Radio Network; check your local affiliate to make sure that they will have the broadcast. XM subscribers nationwide can find the game on channel 199. If you XM subscribers leave it on 199, you’ll get the LSU spring game at 6:00.


For the first time, UGA’s GXtra will stream a football game live. GXtra has had its shaky moments in the past few months (anyone else get that great mousepad?), but this is the best option for distant fans who want to watch the game.

Oh…and if you’re in Athens for the game, head over to Foley Field after the G-Day game.  There’s a big weekend series with South Carolina.  Georgia’s coming off of a nice two-game sweep of Clemson, and it would be huge for the Diamond Dawgs’ SEC chances if they can take another series from a Palmetto State team.

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