Dogs have a lot of questions to answer at G-Day

Will the pressure be on Mike Bobo this season? (Associated Press)

Will the pressure be on Mike Bobo this season? (Associated Press)

This year’s G-Day game, set for April 10, should be one of the more interesting UGA intrasquad matches in a long time.

While some aspects of the 2010 Dogs at least appear to be pretty well established — the offensive line and the two top running backs — there are a lot of big question marks hovering over Mark Richt’s 10th team.

Will Logan Gray still be competing for the starting quarterback job by G-Day or will he be a receiver or in the secondary? Will forgotten running back Richard Samuel have taken his speed to the linebacking corps?

And the two most intriguing questions: The quarterback battle and the implementation of a different defensive alignment under new coordinator Todd Grantham.

About half the defensive starters from last season are gone, and the defensive players are a little nervous about the switch to a 3-4 scheme and where they’ll fit into it. Who’s going to play nose guard? Who will those blitzing outside linebackers be?

But at the same time they’re excited about Grantham’s preference for an aggressive, attacking defense.

As fans, we’re feeling the same way, but come G-Day it’s likely we won’t get a true picture of what kind of D the Dogs will field in the fall. Chances are the players will still be learning what they’re supposed to do and making a lot of mistakes. It’s likely to be a pretty sloppy game on the defensive side.

Which could give us a possibly misleading view of where our offense stands, particularly the play at quarterback. Still, it will be instructive to see how Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger have progressed since we last saw them play in the 2009 G-Day game. At that time, Murray definitely looked to be farther along and impressed with his ability to roll out, while Mettenberger still had a ways to go on his footwork and dialing back his cannon of an arm. We’re told both players have improved since then. It’ll be fun to see how much.

The spotlight obviously will be on Grantham since he was brought in to clean up Willie Martinez’s mess, but I’m thinking there actually may be more pressure this season on offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who’ll have two redshirt freshmen and a true freshman (incoming recruit Hutson Mason) taking snaps this fall if Gray does switch positions, and a pretty inexperienced quarterback even if Gray stays in the mix.

Some folks felt Bobo skated a bit in the blame game last season in that the embattled Martinez took the lion’s share of the heat for the Dogs’ troubles when in many cases the offense’s sputtering and turnovers left the defense with a short field to defend. This year, with the defense in a rebuilding mode, the onus is on the offense to lead the way. Is Bobo up to it?

What other G-Day story lines are you looking forward to seeing?

LADY DOGS MEET THE LADY IN ORANGE

Tonight’s game between Andy Landers’ 8th ranked Lady Dogs and the 3rd ranked Lady Vols at Stegeman Coliseum is a big one and I know at least one Georgia fan who’d sell his soul to see UGA beat the orange pants suit off Landers’ longtime nemesis, Pat Summitt. (Right, Steve?) Reserved seat tickets are still available for the 7 p.m. game and are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Tickets can be ordered online (using the print-at-home option only) until 3 p.m. today or can be bought by calling 1-877-542-1231 before 4 p.m. They’ll also be on sale at the Stegeman ticket booths starting at 5:30 p.m. Mastercard, VISA and cash are all accepted forms of payment at the Stegeman Coliseum ticket windows. UGA students get in free when presenting their valid UGA ID Card at Gate 4 of the Coliseum. The first 300 UGA Students will receive a “Beat Tennessee” T-shirt and free pizza. All UGA students can register to win a Nintendo Wii, iPod Touch and other gift cards during the game.

Go Lady Dogs!

160 comments Add your comment

Delbert D.

January 21st, 2010
11:08 am

Let’s get one thing straight: it was Mark Richt’s mess; Martinez was simply a dull tool.

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

January 21st, 2010
11:12 am

May the best 22 play. That in itself would be a surprise. I’m tired of upperclassmen playing in front of better frosh and sophomores just because they are Jr’s and Sr’s

1eyedJack

January 21st, 2010
11:16 am

Interested in the Samuel situation. What I like to see in the G-Day game is which players that heretofore have been relatively quiet or redshirted will step up. i.e. Geathers, Strickland, Pugh, Lott, Lynch, Love, Long, etc.

how2fish

January 21st, 2010
11:16 am

I think the number of freshmen coming in ready to play may have a bigger impact this year along the D line.

The Other Matty Ice

January 21st, 2010
11:17 am

I’d like to see that orange pant suit beat right off too. mmmmmmmhmmmm.

Mikey in the SAV

January 21st, 2010
11:20 am

The G Day game once again scheduled opposite Saturday at The Masters?
Come on, Damon…

L-Dawg

January 21st, 2010
11:28 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!

APRIL 1OTH CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH FOR THIS DAWG FAN! I AGREE MIKEY, WHY SCHEDULE THIS AGAINST MASTER’S SATURDAY. I IMAGINE THE TIGER WOODS SHOW WILL DRAW MORE ATTENTION THAN DESIRED AT AUGUSTA.

WHAT A GREAT OFFSEASON THIS SHOULD BE!

Dawg 3/20

January 21st, 2010
11:30 am

Yes you do, there will be a huge QB controversy going on up there in Athens. It will lead to one happy Dawg and three unhappy, angry Dawgs sitting on the bench for several years. Transfers could happen and questions about if the guy under center is the right guy for the job instead of one of the guys on the bench could happen. QB controversy hitting Athens theatres September 2010.

jack bull

January 21st, 2010
11:30 am

well, the first of the problem that needs to be fixed, TURNOVERS!!! funny how some folks keep forgetting that. without TO’s, we win UK and OSU easily and maybe LSU. question is, how do you go about fixing that problem(i’m sure many on here will have the answer to that). and with another inexperienced QB coming into the equation, it doesn’ look like an easy fix. man, i just hope the running game keeps progressing forward. as for the D, well, expect those first year mistakes under a new coach. you can also expect to give up the big play quite often also with the new scheme. last, find that 350 lb nose tackle(if you want this Defense to be successful).

dawgbone

January 21st, 2010
11:33 am

i just hope next fall we play with some fire and passion, we got smacked in the mouth at least 8 games, okstate, akry and usc, even though we won a couple, they were tougher man vs man, i wonder how up to date our training methods are, hopeful new coaches will bring new ideas

GeoffDawg

January 21st, 2010
11:38 am

Seems like the perfect time to move Samuel to LB. Everyone will be learning a new scheme anyway and now they suddenly have an increased need for players at the position. It’s a win-win.

Blindog

January 21st, 2010
11:40 am

With the talent stockpiled on both sides of the ball and the coaching changes that were made, the future really looks good!We only lose ONE starter on offence and with our excided defence,it spells trouble for ALL our opponents next season!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GeoffDawg

January 21st, 2010
11:41 am

Also, I agree that Bobo is at something of a crossroads in his OC career. People aren’t likely to give him the “growing into the position” benefit of the doubt any longer. Results or else is probably going to be the name of the game.

Buddy Curry made every tackle

January 21st, 2010
11:42 am

What is Mark Richt’s record when we rush for over 100? If we are ever going to win the national championship we have to be a consistant running team. King and Ealey are adequate, but they are only as good as our offensive line. Stacey Searles is on the hotseat as far as I’m concerned. Run the ball Bobo, use your fullbacks. Use your young QB’s to manage the game, use the running backs and OL to win it.

Tailback U

January 21st, 2010
11:42 am

QB will be the most intriguing of all. But besides that one of the
things less highlighted I will find entertaining to follow is the
continued development and competetion at the wideout positions.
I believe the biggest impact was felt from last years recruiting class
at wide reciever. Particularly interested in Marlon Brown as many
thought he would be a guy who emerged only to watch Wooten and T.King
develop more quickly. Of course as I said earlier the more important
is QB position because talented WR’s matter little if the QB position
is not secure.

eltrompoDAWGSfan

January 21st, 2010
11:51 am

I for one hate that Samuel isn’t being used as a RB. He seems to have a ton of potential but I guess it just wasn’t working out for whatever reason.
Hey Bill, (or anyone else for that matter) I’m hoping to attend this year’s G-Day game for the first time and have no idea when tickets will be on sale. Any suggestions?

wait!!!!!

January 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Isn’t cris durham coming back this year? he should be another threat at wr!

Hank Reardon

January 21st, 2010
11:53 am

I hope you’re right blindog. It will be very interesting to see how quickly Murray and the new D can get rolling. Murray will have the benefit of a strong running game to ease the pressure on him but the D might take a bit longer to implement.

The D

January 21st, 2010
12:05 pm

eltrompo-don’t worry about tickets, you can get them at the gate. They go on sale a month before the game on the UGA website. Go Dawgs! We have a solid new RB coming in out Dekalb, he might fight for some playing time, and add a spark. The competition at QB will only help this position in the long run, though we might struggle next year. Penalties and Turnovers kill us every game for the past two seasons-we need to fix this 1st

Buddy Curry made every tackle

January 21st, 2010
12:09 pm

Hank, will our QB have the benefit of a strong running game? Will our coaching staff fully commit to the run EVERY game? Richard Samuel should touch the ball 15-20 times a game.

L-Dawg

January 21st, 2010
12:10 pm

G-DAY IS ALWAYS FREE.

THEY JUST ASK YOU BRING SOME CANNED GOODS FOR A FOOD DRIVE THEY USUALLY PUT ON. GRAB SOMETHING OFF THE SHELF YOU WILL NEVER EAT ANYWAY, AND IT’S FREE, GENERAL ADMISSION TO THE EVENT. GREAT WAY TO SIT AT THE 50 YARD LINE FOR US RGULAR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD THE CRAZY CONTRIBUTIONS IN ORDER TO GET GOOD SEATS DURING THE SEASON.

JC in Powder Springs

January 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

Bobo only kept his job because he has 5 young kids. He’s a failure as an OC, and an average QB coach. He’s not a bad recruiter. If Dawgs rank in the top 40 in offense, they’ll definitely finish in the top 10 – that’s any year, not just next season.

Murray is the QB. If Samuel doesn’t shift to LB, he’ll spend the rest of his UGA career on the bench – Easley and King are just better RBs. Samuel is another of these weight room freaks Richt falls in love with (played Thomas Brown while Knowshon and Danny Ware sat the bench?!?!). Incoming Malcome might be a stud – that doesn’t mean coaches have enough sense to play him.

AceDawg

January 21st, 2010
12:20 pm

A million questions, but I think the UGA offense should be very good this year if Bobo is up to the task. Young QB or not, the QB winner will have a line that should block well, receivers and tight ends that can get open short and deep, and running backs that hit the hole and rake up yards. If penalties persist, or if the offense can’t show consistency, Bobo should rightfully be in deep trouble headed to the Fall, therefore putting Richt in deep trouble too, unless…

Grantham builds new momentum on defense by showing an aggressive pass rush and players that know how to take the ball away from their opponents. It seems like every aspect of UGA’s defense needs to improve, but I like the feel of where things are headed for now.

Old Dawg

January 21st, 2010
12:24 pm

I always go back to David Green’s performance as a red shirt freshman. He played well that year, even though it was transition season from Donnan to CMR, but I was impressed. Hopefully, one of them will step up and make a similar contribution. It certainly helps that there will be a solid offensive line, running backs, tight ends and AJ Green on the perimeter.

The biggest contributor to UGA’s struggle’s last season were turnovers. Once the team learned to cut those out, success came in bunches.

I actually excited about next year, especially the schedule. UGA’s playing a schedule similar to Florida and Alabama’s so maybe the Dawgs won’t be so beat up and stressed when they play their major rivals.

Worm

January 21st, 2010
12:25 pm

Bill, GET OFF Bobo’s back..What happened when the lights went on for our young rb’s..The offense flourished..We had questionable ability and an injured QB..AJ Green wasn’t healthy, we had fruit basket turnover amongst the OL..The D provided us with a minimal amount of turnovers..We just need solid QB play this year and we’ll be better than fine!

BigDawg

January 21st, 2010
12:34 pm

Still don’t understand why we didn’t use one of the freshman QB’s early on last year and get one of them some playing experience to build on for the next year. Logan Gray was a flop as a backup and Cox went from one extreme to the other as far as his ability to execute. Think I would have pulled a Terenshinski/Stafford on him and rotated Cox with one of the Freshman. What else did we have to lose last year? If we have another season like last year Bobo and Richt will use the excuse that the QB has no game experience.

Chris

January 21st, 2010
12:41 pm

I agree with the worm. Once we committed to the run, the offense was effective. Like Parcells has often said, it’s not how many running yards you get, it’s how often you attempt to run.
Bobo still displays some questionable play calling in the red zone more than anything but execution is everything. Murray looked fluid and accurate last year for the short time he was in there. I would expect him to be named starter by second/third week of camp.

And Mikey in the SAV…YES!!! Why schedule it on the Saturday of the Masters???? Some years, I’ve been fortunate to have tickets, even if I don’t, I want to see as much as I can of it on TV..pretty sure the spring game is not on ESPN this year

Saint Clarkston

January 21st, 2010
12:41 pm

What defensive player said he was nervous about the switch? I haven’t
read that or even seen it implied.

wait!!!!!

January 21st, 2010
12:48 pm

abry jones stated that he was nervous and excited at the same time

Da'Chris

January 21st, 2010
12:59 pm

I’m sure ESPN had something to do with the time and date of the G-day game. It is televised again this year, right?

Afternoon Grab Bag | MrSEC.com

January 21st, 2010
1:00 pm

[...] (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Georgia are represented.  LSU is not.)9.  Georgia will have a lot of questions to answer before 2010 kicks off.10.  What type of style should Vol fans expect from Derek Dooley?  Whatever [...]

hop

January 21st, 2010
1:07 pm

everybody is so worried about the qb’s,but some have forgotten the many turnovers that we had last year with joe cox.

these young qb’s could not be as bad as cox was in protecting the ball.
anyway, did not alabama win a championship with a freshman qb.

dawgs will be fine at qb and with quality players on both sides of the ball, dawgs will surprise the so-called experts at the ajc and yes we will finish much higher in the rankings than tech.

eltrompoDAWGSfan

January 21st, 2010
1:08 pm

The D- thanks for the info! I’m looking forward to it!

il5

January 21st, 2010
1:09 pm

Yes, Bobo is on the FIRE RED FLAMING HOT SEAT.

RB Rotation:
Coach Wooden said his team turned around when he stopped rotating players. He went on to win 10 Natl Champs after that. Georgia doesn’t play well that way. In 2007, Georgia went with Moreno and finished #3 in the country. Bobo needs to move to merit based model. Herschel didn’t rotate. Washaun Ealey is outrushing King, Walker or Moreno ypc and protects the ball far better than fumble prone King.

Pass-Heavy Play-Mix/High Risk Play Calls:
Bobo’s called a pass-heavy play mix when Georgia has struggled. This has led to problems like to’s & time of possession issues. Bobo overestimates the abilities of his QB’s and WR’s. And he calls too many high risk pass plays–throws into coverage or traffic—a lot.

TommyP

January 21st, 2010
1:11 pm

Quick question….which team led the conference in scoring in SEC games?

Georgia.

collegeballfan

January 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Bill King you are a primary reason UGA men’s basketball will always be a joke. The conference games are starting up and you write about football spring training! Great! Hire a new coach and stick a knife in his back.

Uncle Dad

January 21st, 2010
1:24 pm

FIRST!!! wait…

BigDawg

January 21st, 2010
1:25 pm

Tommy -Unfortunately is was mostly Blair Walsh who was the scoring points leader on the team with 102 points. 2nd was Caleb King with 48 pts.

Why are Georgia fans so dumb?

January 21st, 2010
1:33 pm

I’m not a Georgia fan. I’m from Nebraska and continue to support them. What amazes me is the large number of Georgia fans that wish Mark Richt were gone. Are you nuts? I wish Nebraska had a coach as good as Richt. I am thinking Bo Pelini will be some day, but before he got there, I would have given a lot to have a Mark Richt coaching Nebraska.

Even if you do make a good case for removing Richt, who do you replace him with? There are not a lot of top tier coaches looking for jobs. Before you get rid of Richt, you better make sure you have someone in place that you KNOW can and will do the job. You know Tennessee wishes they didn’t fire Fulmer……

gdawginkalamazoo

January 21st, 2010
1:51 pm

Get the running game established. Should not be a problem next year, all those guys are back. The QB changeover will work well if the running game is working. Give the young QB the chance to make the passing plays and if either of these kids are as good as billed we should be fine with the O. I agree with you guys who say that Bobo is no longer growing into the OC position. It is time for him to produce big time and I think he can do that.

On the defensive side I think a switch for Samuel to LB will be hugh. That kid will be all SEC. He was a monster at the position in HS. He has too much talent to rotate with King and Ealey. Put him where he can hit somebody. The new scheme will be tough to learn but at least the kids learning it will be failry new to it. I have a feeling that if Bobo and the O start putting Grantham and the D in tight spots with turnovers that Grantham will give Bobo a good kick in the a$$. I don’t think we will see anything like a “soft cover 2″ anymore at UGA. Agressive is the word.

Otto

January 21st, 2010
1:51 pm

JC in POwder Springs, agreed.

Worm and Chris, Who did UGA run on Vandy, GT? Please look at the yards Vandy and Miss St put on GT.

Bobo runs a stale offense and cost UGA more games than CWM over the past 4 years.

Tailback U

January 21st, 2010
1:51 pm

@ Why are Georgia fans so dumb ?

Who the hell are listening too ? CMR like any head coach is going

to catch some grief after failing to be as proactive enough after

the 2008 season regarding the defense. But by in large he is very

popular with the Georgia fan base. If you are a football fan and

sincere in the question you ought to know that college football fans

in general are very opinionated about the direction of their team.

But most posts here are happy with CMR especially after this DC hire.

Otto

January 21st, 2010
1:53 pm

Collegeballfan, All I care about Basketball is the players and program is not any trouble with the PD or NCAA and they are ~.500.

Smokewagon

January 21st, 2010
1:55 pm

Nebraska fan- Most of us really appreciate what CMR has done for the Georgia program but there are a few bandwagon fans that want him fired for some odd reason. I believe that most of them are Ga. Tech fans pretending to be Dawgs since he really owns them. I would not judge all Georgia fans by a few moonbats. BTW Nebraska was much improved this year. Congrats!

DawgFan24

January 21st, 2010
1:58 pm

G-Day Game on Saturday, then to the Masters on Sunday! Has been a tradition of mine for the past 9 years. Looking forward to it, wouldn’t change it!

Im predicting an even bigger breakout year for my hometown man Abry Jones. He’s the guy to watch for on the D Line. And I’m curious as to why most GA fans think this is Murray’s team to lose?

Otto

January 21st, 2010
2:00 pm

Nebraska fan,

Nebraska ran off Solich who had a Big 12 title in his 5 years. IMO Pelini is looking to be a very good coach. Time will tell.

2nd Most UT fans I know of are glad Fulmer is gone, they just wouldn’t have hired Lane to replace him.

3rd I don’t want to see CMR gone most UGA fans do not want him gone but more and more are questioning if he can get UGA on top, 9 years no titles, can not beat UF regularly or even .500, and uniform changes are used to motivate players for a big game?

eltrompoDAWGSfan

January 21st, 2010
2:06 pm

DawgFan24- On the QB question, it seems to me people are liking Murray’s mobility and ability to make a play when the pocket starts collapsing. I can see that being a big advantage. But I don’t know much about Zach….

ButlerDawg

January 21st, 2010
2:08 pm

I just have never gotten excited about women’s basketball, and have often questioned the masculinity of men who do.

Gooddawg

January 21st, 2010
2:08 pm

Hire David Pollack for defensive ends coach!! Three time all-american.

Hey CornChucker fan

January 21st, 2010
2:11 pm

Who said every UGA fan wanted Richt gone? Can’t blame an entire fanbase on a few blog jockeys.

What program has the longest streak of at least 8 win seasons? That’s right… DAWGS baby…

And, you guys got hosed in the BIG12 Champ game. Hosed…