Bulldog Bites: Spring to-do list for UGA quarterbacks

Buck Belue has advice for Zach Mettenberger and the other Georgia QBs. (Bob Andres / AJC)

Buck Belue has advice for Zach Mettenberger and the other Georgia QBs. (Bob Andres / AJC)

Georgia QB-turned-sportscaster Buck Belue looks at the Dogs’ three-way spring competition for the starting quarterback’s job in his latest blog entry. Belue believes Mike Bobo will be thinking more bootlegs and roll-outs this year, which should suit two of the candidates, redshirt junior Logan Gray and redshirt freshman Aaron Murray. The other redshirt freshman, Zach Mettenberger, is more of a pocket passer.

Buck assesses what each of the candidates needs to do this spring:

The big thing for Gray, he says, “is proving he can be successful in the pocket, working the short to intermediate passing game.”

Mettenberger, who had troubles with accuracy and footwork in last year’s spring game but has pronounced himself “10 times better” this year, “gets downfield in a hurry. There is some zip on it,” Belue says. His estimation of what Mettenberger needs to show this spring: accuracy and handling the pass rush. “But if he’s 10 times better than last year, this will be something to see.”

As for the popular favorite to win the starting job, Belue says Murray “showed me last spring that he can stand in the pocket and wing it around and escape out of the pocket and make plays on the run. Throws a catchable ball. The thing with Aaron is just staying healthy. The last two years he’s had a broken leg and a bum arm.”

Belue says the best advice he can give the two younger quaterbacks is: “1. Step into the huddle and take charge. Project confidence. 2. Execute the offense. Limit the mistakes. Show them you are serious about winning.”

It should be an interesting G-Day.

SENDING A MESSAGE … A BIT LATE

One of the proposals unveiled this week by the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee (which still must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel) would require players who wear eye black to use solid black, with no words, logos, numbers or other symbols. That hasn’t been a really big deal with the Dogs, though Washaun Ealey did sport “I run this state” eye blacks in the Tech game. But it would have limited the Rev. Tim Tebow’s on-field ministry considerably. Interesting, though, that they waited until Tebow was gone to make this proposal.

FANTASY CONFERENCES, ANYONE?

The unconfirmed report in a Kansas paper this past week that the Big 10 was talking to Texas about switching over from the Big 12 isn’t taken seriously by many college football observers, but it has provided another opportunity for bloggers to engage in various unlikely what-if scenarios.

Coaches Hot Seat doesn’t see Texas making the move to the Big 10 but proposes that the conference should expand to 14 teams and suggests it poach Kentucky from the SEC as one of them. (Kentucky??!!)  In the wake of that, the Hot Seat suggests that Georgia Tech could return to the SEC to take the Wildcats’ place, a move that the blog says might make it an even better conference “and add the Atlanta TV market, which they already have a sizable hold over.” (Understatement alert: UGA owns the Atlanta TV market.) With the loss of Tech, the Hot Seat proposes the ACC merge with the Big East to form an “uber” conference of 18 teams.

It’s all nonsense, but fun nonsense. So I’ll throw out this question: If the SEC were to lose a team, which school would you like to see take its place?

BACK ON TRACK

The ninth-ranked Gym Dogs posted a big win over over No. 3 Arkansas Friday night at a pinked-out Stegeman Coliseum. The win, Georgia’s second, makes them 3-0 at home this season and improves their record to 3-3 overall. The meet with the Hogettes will be televised on a tape-delay basis at 9 p.m. on Feb. 20 on Fox Sports Net.

UGA WINTER SPORTS DIVISION

They shut down classes early over in Athens on Friday because of the snow, which meant one thing, The Red and Black reports: The dining halls had to remove all their trays to keep students from taking them as makeshift sleds. I’m sure the kids still found ways to amuse themselves. I remember one ice storm a few years back where the students took over Baxter Street and refused to allow any cars up the hill, pushing them backwards down the slick road. Ah, college life!

184 comments Add your comment

58dawg

February 13th, 2010
11:31 am

I am looking forward to seeing how the QB battles come out. I have no favorites even though It seems like Murray is favored by most. It would be something if Logan stepped up and took charge.

FlaDawg

February 13th, 2010
11:33 am

Good memories of snow in Athens. In the early 80s we used the old fiberglass bench seats from Sanford Stadium. The cardboard replacement trays from Snelling Dining Hall ddn’t work so well! :o )

Dawg Tired

February 13th, 2010
11:44 am

Buck obviously is unaware that we need to hire BuLLdawg as offensive coordinator because Buck seems to think that Bobo actually knows what he’s doing. But what does Buck know? He only played QB for a NC team. Besides Bobo only played QB on a very good SEC team. How could either of these former SEC QBs possibly know as much about running an offense as BuLLdawg? What is CMR thinking? Could it be that he actually knows BuLLdawg’s qualifications?

Portland Dawg

February 13th, 2010
11:46 am

One team to poach from the ACC??? I’d say VT, Miami, or FSU. Heck, I’d even like to see Duke join to add some more academic prowess to the conference (UNC would fit the bill as well). But, becasue of Bball I seriously doubt we’d see either of them join.

Gatorbait 17-3

February 13th, 2010
11:49 am

The SEC should trade Vandy to the ACC for FSU—–that would definitely make us the strongest conference.

Edman

February 13th, 2010
11:50 am

One would have to think that with all the hype about our two young quarterbacks they would work very hard at beating the other out for the job and become an outstanding SEC quarterback. If one emerges as the obvious leader one would imagine a potentially impressive offense. Of course, Bobo will have to become less vanilla in his playcalling and create an offensive scheme which favors the style of whichever one ends up earning the starting job.

Either way, a confident leader on the field should bode well for our returning starters, assuming we can stay healthy. Looking forward to how this plays out.

1eyedJack

February 13th, 2010
11:57 am

Play both Murray and Mett and let each do what he does best.

Portland Dawg

February 13th, 2010
12:00 pm

I agree with you Jack….I dont generally like platooning QB’s but this season it looks like we should. Let them both play and she what shakes out.

Gratefuldawghead

February 13th, 2010
12:01 pm

Do what Buck did and hand the ball off! Gatorbait FSU was asked to come to the SEC and Bobby said “Dadburn No”! We are all ready the strongest confrence.

Gratefuldawghead

February 13th, 2010
12:03 pm

Yeah I like the idea of playing both QB’s and when one screws up …Bench him!

DawginOH

February 13th, 2010
12:05 pm

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the QB battle works out. Murray and Mettenberger seem like very gifted young men with diverse arrays of talent. Bill, have you heard any more about Gray possibly moving to WR? Based on what I’ve read, he doesn’t seem very receptive to the idea, but has the offensive coaching staff been trying to convince him otherwise?

Portland Dawg

February 13th, 2010
12:05 pm

benching a QB when he screws up? Now that’s a novel idea! I like it.

1eyedJack

February 13th, 2010
12:06 pm

When Goff was QB at UGA he was mostly a running QB. Dooley had another gunslinger he would bring in (Mixon Robinson?) when he needed to throw.

Blindog

February 13th, 2010
12:15 pm

For some reason,and I don’t know why,I think Mettenberger will end up being the better QB.Either way,may the best man win,and take the team to the SEC Championship!!!!!!!!!!

how2fish

February 13th, 2010
12:17 pm

1eyed it was Matt Robinson and yeah at the time it worked pretty well you just have to mix it up some..Matt would come in and the D’s would just pin their ears back…they knew he was passing!

YoungDawg

February 13th, 2010
12:19 pm

I’ve said for a long time there 2 SEC schools I’d trade for other schools.

1) Other than tradition Vanderbilt has no business being in the SEC!
2) Arkansas belongs in the BIG12.

Replace those 2 with Clemson, FSU, Miami, or maybe GT or VT. Clemson has the passion for football that goes with being an SEC team. Tech is a ACC school, they be better than Vandy but do not have the alumni & fan base to be in the SEC. VT is little to far north for an SEC school. The only way I can see keeping Arkansas would be if we added Texas. If you go the 14 team route how about: TX, FSU in the West, Miami, & Clemson in the East.

Stephen Harrison

February 13th, 2010
12:20 pm

I think Murray has a swagger about him that will really take notice with the offense & help him click. But dont count out Zach that boy can throw the football! His Release may not be quite as quick as Staffords but ball gets there bout the same! What I have seen really looks more like Ryan Mallet. I was excited when we signed Logan maybe he hasnt really had a chance to show me what I have expected & the situations he was put in didnt help He has a stronger arm than cox & should be more accurate & he is supposed to be one of the fastest players onthe team but havent got to see it on the field ( putting him in for 1 play or to & running a QB sweep was always obvious for opposing defenses) I’m expecting this tight competition to make these boys better last year they knew who the guy was & maybe they all didnt have a big fire lite under them well now they do! I expect Murray to win the job just a prediction I think he is the best College QB we have & can win games! Also throwing to AJ can make any QB look good he made cox look good a lot last year lol. With AJ Durahm coming back Wooten Charles White King Troupe & I really expect Marlon Brown to settle in this year & become a go to guy He has almost if not as much Talent as AJ just maybe not as much body control. All these recievers are good if not great! QB may just have to be good & not great with these recievers at least for this season

AltamahaDawg

February 13th, 2010
12:21 pm

FlaDawg, some of my earliest memories of college life was sledding down Finley in the snow. Laundry baskets man! Thats the ticket. Somebody opened the hydrant on Baxter and it was Russell VS Cre’wel in the downhill.

Athens finest let it go till the street signs started missing.

Might have been there? 1982.

1eyedJack

February 13th, 2010
12:37 pm

Agreed how2fish, but the thing about the Dooley years is that he didn’t get into that many 3rd & 16s. Even when he didn’t have the hosses he still knew that to win you had to run the damn ball. Running the ball successfully will take a big load off of an inexperienced defense, especially early in the season.

Dandy Dawg

February 13th, 2010
12:41 pm

1983 was a good one

1eyedJack

February 13th, 2010
12:43 pm

What Bobo needs to learn is that the draw play works better when it’s 3rd & 5 than when it’s 3rd & 20.

Dawg 39

February 13th, 2010
12:59 pm

How would the SEC East look if we replaced Vandy & Ky. with Clemson & Ga. Tech ? THe ACC could take Vandy & Ky. or even Louisville. That would work geographically & the Ga./GT game & the USC/ Clemson game would have even more importance. That would work for me.

ga gator

February 13th, 2010
12:59 pm

Trade Clemson for Vandy. It would make sense in Football and Basketball.

DirtyDawg

February 13th, 2010
1:00 pm

Actually, Ray Goff’s main job back then was to drag Matt’s drunk self out of the Clarke County bars before he got his butt whipped.

ga gator

February 13th, 2010
1:01 pm

YoungDawg, excellent ideas for a young dawg!

guy

February 13th, 2010
1:12 pm

why the hell would anyone think the ACC would just ‘trade’ their better teams for the bottom feeders of the SEC? what would the league possibly stand to gain from that?

shane#1

February 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

1- Murray seems to have “it”, whatever “it” is. IMO, he is the frontrunner, if he stays healthy. I am more worried about the tendonitis than the broken leg. Bones heal much easier than tendons. 2- As to the eye black, the NCAA seems to be going the way of the NFL. They want players to be cogs in the machine rather than individuals. Players graduate so you can just put a new cog in the machine without hurting the product. CFB is a product that makes billions for the NCAA management. 3- If I could rearrange the SEC I would let Arky go to the Big 12 since they were part of the old Southwest Conference, then Clemson could join the SEC. I miss that old rivalry. Some of the most memorable games that I have attended in Athen have featured the Dogs and Clemson.

RxDawg

February 13th, 2010
1:41 pm

I’d like to see Tech back in the SEC.

If not Tech, I’d love it if GSU (Southern) was ready, but alas they aren’t quite there yet.

Hmm after that, I imagine one of the Florida schools would be appropriate. FSU already declined (Bobby knew all those NC’s in the 90s wouldn’t come so easy in the SEC). Miami likes to hop, they certainly could fit the bill.

Also, North Carolina would be a great addition. Similar to Kentucky in a lot of ways. They have a nice inerconference rival in Duke though.

I suppose taking a Big 12 team could work and shifting one of the West SEC teams to the East (Auburn maybe?).

Bottom line is this though, Kentucky ain’t going anywhere. They’d be fools to do so. They get paid being in the SEC.

RxDawg

February 13th, 2010
1:49 pm

Clemson is a great call by the way. Can’t believe I forgot about them.

TommyP

February 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Aaron Murray will be the guy for the next 4 years, barring injury.

We’ll be laughing about this discussion in 1 year…just watch. Murray is going to be a star.

11Dawg

February 13th, 2010
2:24 pm

Two-quarterback systems rarely work (other than 3rd and Tebow), since they have a different rhythm that gets disrupted when they switch. Even if they both had different functions, defenses would know which QB was going to do what, especially with Bobo’s predictable play calling.

hop

February 13th, 2010
2:37 pm

take clemson,it is a natural choice for the sec.

georgia is very fortunate to have some very talented young qb’s, and it makes sense that their battles could last well into the coming season.

if alabama won a championship with a redshirt froshman qb, there is no reason uga could not do likewise.

the defense will be awesome as the new coaches cut loose the talented players the dawgs have now!

dwgsw will be the surprise of the SEC

Frank Lane

February 13th, 2010
2:39 pm

I would welcome Tech back in the SEC but they will never do it. The resulting schedule would be too tough.

Dawg Tired

February 13th, 2010
2:40 pm

How does a kid actually play QB for 4 years in high school and “have trouble with his footwork”? I played QB in high school and the first two weeks all you do is work on footwork drills, not to mention the off-season drills you are supposed to be doing. Spring practice was even more about such fundamentals. The QBs always stayed after regular practice to work on such things as well. Aren’t these kids getting coached in high school, especially at a high school in a state which claims to be one of the best high school football states in the country? Makes no sense to me.

Frank Lane

February 13th, 2010
2:46 pm

Here is an idea. Arkansas back to Big12. Auburn from east to west to replace Arkansas. that sets up the Ala-Aub game as even bigger, and replace Auburn in east with Clemson.

Tom

February 13th, 2010
2:47 pm

Buck doesn’t know squat. He didn’t do anything except hand it off to #34. Logan Gray has no business at QB. Gray could serve as Durham’s backup. Murray and Mettenburger should be battle for #1. Gray could and should be #3 on the chart, and Matson due to age will be our #4 QB.

Texas to the Big 10? What a joke. Texas would destroy anyone in that conference. As I recall, I think South Carolina was previously part of the ACC. Switch them out with GA Tech or Clemson.

NC Dawg

February 13th, 2010
2:52 pm

That’s illustrative. I remember back in ‘69, we actually helped cars get up Baxter after a significant snow storm. Made a few tips that day, as I recall.

chazzo

February 13th, 2010
2:56 pm

I would like to see FSU in the SEC. They lost stock with me when they went to ACC, anyway.

Camden Mark

February 13th, 2010
3:20 pm

Clemson,SEC team at heart anyway and better than the basketball players.

GT Dog

February 13th, 2010
3:29 pm

Who’s going to tell Frank that Auburn is already in the SEC East?

GT Dog

February 13th, 2010
3:30 pm

Oooops! I mean Auburn is already in the SEC West!

Dawg 39

February 13th, 2010
3:32 pm

Fantasy conferences: Ark.to the Big 12 replaced by FSU. KY.& Vandy to a basketball conference (the ACC)& replaced in the SEC by Clemson & Ga.Tech. Louisville replaces FSU in the ACC. That still works for me.

I am more concerned about lack of depth at CB than our QB. 2 spring practices and 2 fall camps s/b enough time to get a QB ready. Check out the “spring practice roster by class” site. Only 4 CB’s listed.

MauiDawg

February 13th, 2010
3:39 pm

If any team were to leave the SEC it would be Arkansas to Big 12 or Kentucky to Big 10.

hirsutedawg

February 13th, 2010
3:53 pm

Everybody settle down. Our offense is going to be just fine. IF CTG settles down the defense and we quit giving up 30, 35, 40 ppg we’ll be in the mix come December IMO.

PhilDawg

February 13th, 2010
3:57 pm

SEC
UGA LSU
UF Alabama
Clemson Auburn
Kentucy Ole Miss
UCF Miss State
UT Troy

ACC
UNC Va Tech
NC State UVA
Ga Tech Duke
FSU Miami
Vandy UCF
Wake South Carolina

Big 10 (Mid 12 – they will not chagne their name!)
OSU Penn State
Michigan Purdue
Mishigan State Norwhwestern
Iowa Wisconsin
Iowa State Louisville
Inidana Cincinnati

Big 12
Texas Oklahoma
Texas Tech Oklahoma State
Texas AM Arkansas
TCU Missouri
Kansas Houston
Kansas State SMU

PAC 10 (12)
USC Washington
UCLA Washington State
Arizona Oregaon
Arizona State Oregaon State
Fresno State California
Hawaii Stanford

Big East
U Conn West Virginia
Maryland Pittsburgh
Boston College Rutgers
Temple

Cmill

February 13th, 2010
4:35 pm

Add Clemson to the SEC!!!

Big Ten takes Mizzou, Big 12 takes Arkansas, we take clemson put them in the east and move Tennessee (or Kentucky) over to the West

BigGAdawg

February 13th, 2010
4:51 pm

Gatorbait 17-3, I agree with you on the Vandy for FSU–nothing against Vandy; I have alot of respect for them. They always play tougher than their record would indicate. If any team looks past them and shows up unprepared they may have their head handed to them. However, Vandy would be a dominant team in the ACC (as would SC or MS State) and that would make it a good move for them and would make the Mighty SEC even tougher as FSU rebuilds.

As for our QB situation–I only see upside to such an embarrassment of riches. We have nothing but excellent choices–even the most likely to be red-shirted Mason.

PhilDawg

February 13th, 2010
4:59 pm

Eight Conferences, Championsip Games, Playoffs, Natty Champ

Southeastern Conference 1
Clemson Alabama
Central Florida Auburn
Georgia LSU
Florida Mississippi State
Kentucky Ole Miss
Tennessee Troy
Florida Atlantic Florida International

Atlantic Coast Conference 2
North Carolina Virginia Tech
North Carolina State Georgia Tech
Wake Forest Vanderbilt
Duke Florida State
Virginia Miami
South Carolina South Florida

Big 10 (Iron Belt 12, they’ll never change) 3
Ohio State Penn State
Michigan Notre Dame
Michigan State Illinois
Indiana Wisconsin
Purdue Iowa
Northwestern Iowa State

Big East 4
U Conn Pittsburgh
Rutgers West Virginia
Maryland Army
Boston College Temple
Syracuse Cincinnati
Navy Louisville

Big 12 5
Texas Oklahoma
Texas A&M Oklahoma State
Texas Tech Nebraska
TCU Arkansas
Houston Kansas
SMU Kansas State

PAC 10 6
USC Oregon
UCLA Oregon State
Arizona Washington
Arizona State Washington State
Fresno State California
Hawaii Stanford

WAC 7
Boise State New Mexico
Idaho New Mexico State
BYU San Diego State
Utah San Jose State
Utah State Nevada
Wyoming UNLV

Mid West 8
Arkansas State Colorado
Louisiana – Lafeyette Colorado State
Louisiana – Monroe Missouri
Louisiana Tech Minnesota
Baylor Air Force
Middle Tennessee State Western Kentucy

Bill King

February 13th, 2010
6:12 pm

DawginOH:

Apparently the coaching staff left the decision on whether to switch positions up to Gray. He wants to give it another go, but if it looks like he’s not going to get any playing time at QB, it sounds like he’d consider shifting to WR or defense.

45ACP

February 13th, 2010
6:36 pm

Good story Bill. I just hate that we are going into another season with lack of experence at QB.
Wish some of these guys could have got some work last year.