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Post G-Day First Thoughts

Saturday April 5, 2008

A better crowd than I expected turned out to see the Red beat the Black 17-3 at G-Day.  Though around 40,000 tickets were supposedly pre-ordered, an announced crowd of 19,874 braved the rain.

  • No real surprise to see the Red team with the first team offense come away with the win.  The shortened nature of the game made it tough to put up much in the way of gaudy stats or scoring.  Michael Moore was he star of the day with two touchdown receptions to account for all of the day’s touchdowns.
  • Matthew Stafford is aiming for a 62% completion average, and he came close with a 6-10 performance.  He did have one perfectly-placed touchdown pass and got lucky when Asher Allen dropped a sure interception.  Had Kris Durham not dropped a sharp pass, we’re looking at a 70% day, so it was a pretty fair day for the starting QB.
  • It was a ho-hum day for the running game.  No one looked awful, and several guys did well creating yards, but no one really ripped off a long run.  It says enough that Caleb King was the leading rusher with 6 carries and 31 yards.
  • An unexpected highlight of the day was placekicking.  Andrew Jensen nailed a 47-yard field goal, and Brian Behr hit one from 52 yards as the first half expired.  They weren’t being rushed, but it was good to see some distance on a wet field.  Punting was a different story…
  • Once they settled in after a touchdown on the opening drive, the first team defense held their own.  Curren, Atkins, and Allen all had nice games.
  • Two defensive newcomers had plays worthy of the highlight reel.  Akeem Hebron, who spent last season at GMC, had a key 40-yard fumble recovery after a botched snap.  He also had a game-high five tackles.  Safety John Knox looks like the next pain delivery specialist in the defensive backfield.
  • Caleb King showed plenty of the elusiveness that’s supposed to be his hallmark.  You’d like to see what he could do behind the starting line, and I’m sure we will get plenty of chances to see that this fall.  He definitely needs to work on his pass protection though. 
  • Logan Gray’s debut was impressive, and he showed off both the arm and the mobility that makes him a likely successor to Stafford.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees some real playing time this season.
  • It was hard to get a read on the offensive line.  The second team line got beat for five sacks, but the first team line “did well” according to Coach Richt. 
  • The only injury of the day was Vince Vance with about a minute remaining.  Coach Richt said postgame that it was an ankle sprain, so it looks as if the Dawgs dodged the injury bullet on a wet track.  That’s the best news of the day.

Now let’s hope that the traditional night on the town after the end of spring practice stays under control.  We only need to read about highlights in the papers tomorrow.

One other thing…nice job by Buck Belue of sneaking a Tommy Bowden reference in there. Well done.

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