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Post 10 notes from a 10-point win

Monday April 13, 2009

With G-Day in the books, how did the Dawgs look? 13-3: was it great defense or lousy offense? Did all of that leadership and focus we heard about over the past three months show up in the team’s first public performance since the bowl game? Your thoughts are welcome…here are a few of mine:

  • The absence of any major injuries makes G-Day a success in my eyes. The real work of spring is done away from our eyes, and this scrimmage is just a dawg-and-pony show for the fans (and, in this case, ESPN). Getting through it without any more players going down for the year is always a plus.
  • The crowd was better than I expected. I’m always skeptical about expectations for big G-Day crowds, and even the presence of ESPN didn’t lead me to expect much this year when the game coincided with Easter and the Masters. But the turnout was solid, and the crowd which spread out would have packed the north and south stands. I think about 35,000-40,000 people showed up, and it was a perfect day for football.
  • Unfortunately those who turned out didn’t get much of a show. ESPN producers were probably considering a switch over to highlights of the 2007 World Series of Poker to give viewers a relative shot of excitement. It looked as if we might be in for an interesting day after the flea-flicker on the first play, but when the red team could do little to capitalize on that one long gain it set the tone for a snoozefest.
  • You were especially disappointed if you came expecting to see a show from either of Georgia’s two legitimate stars. It’s not that A.J. Green or Rennie Curran played poorly; you just didn’t hear much from either. After a nice catch on the first play of the scrimmage, Green wasn’t heard from again. With the ESPN guys talking about how this broadcast was more of a "show" than a "game", Georgia left its best star largely out of the show. Ordinarily I wouldn’t care about a thing like that from G-Day, but the program invited ESPN and their national coverage. I think we owed them a little better show.
  • Injuries of course had already taken their toll on the team, and it was necessary to take the lineups and results we saw with a grain of salt. Just for an example as many as three offensive line starters (Sturdivant, Vance, and Davis) were all out, and the impact trickled down the depth chart. I was thrilled to see Marcus Washington back out there making plays, but I would hope that a senior could get past the true freshman offensive lineman in his way.
  • Logan Gray’s nice afternoon was a treat to see not because it creates a quarterback controversy but because it keeps us from doing the usual fan thing of overlooking the reserves in favor of the shiny new freshmen. It also serves to quiet, at least temporarily, those who would rather get Gray on the field at a position – any position – other than quarterback. The guy belongs under center (or in the shotgun, if you prefer). It’s up to the staff now to make creative use of Gray’s skills at quarterback.
  • The completed flea-flicker made the first play a success, but Caleb King appeared to make a huge mistake on the play. While King turned around after the pitch back to Cox, a defender shot through to King’s left and would have taken Cox’s head off if not for the no-contact rule. With other backs like Carlton Thomas (and let’s not forget Richard Samuel) showing ability, these are the kinds of things that will affect playing time during the season.
  • The play of the secondary – especially Commings and Boykin – made me feel a bit better about the departure of Asher Allen. How much did they have to do with the lack of production from the red team’s top receivers? If there were holes in the defense, they were underneath and in the areas covered by linebackers.
  • Though the drops were a big storyline, I’m not especially concerned. Only one drop was by a scholarship receiver, and Aron White hasn’t shown the tendency to drop in the past. If it were Green, Moore, and King littering the field with drops, that might be something. But most of the guys dropping passes aren’t going to be big contributors in the fall.
  • It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the tailback position is headed back in the direction of a RB-by-committee. As is usually the case, that says more about the absence of someone stepping up and claiming the position. At best, we’ll see the "three-headed monster" days of Brown, Lumpkin, and Ware. Hopefully it won’t head in the direction of 2003 where a committee of Cooper, Browning, and Lumpkin were far less effective. Carlton Thomas definitely had an exciting debut, but I’d fear for his longevity if he’s forced into an every down role. Used situationally and on returns he could be a very exciting player.

One Response to '10 notes from a 10-point win'

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  • Ubiquitous GA Alum

    April 14th, 2009
    9:51 am


    Rewatched the 1Q last night … on the half back pass it was King and it was called back for ineligible receiver down field.