Looking for progress at G-Day

Mark Richt’s Dogs open spring practice a week from today and the story line that’s naturally attracted the most fan and media attention is the battle between Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. And, certainly, one of the things I’m most looking forward to seeing at the April 10 G-Day game is how Murray and Mettenberger have progressed since last year’s spring game. Particularly Mettenberger. I’m hoping the receivers don’t drop as many balls as last spring so we get a fair look at the QBs.

Branden Smith attracted more attention on special teams and offense last year than in the secondary. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Branden Smith attracted more attention on special teams and offense last year than in the secondary. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

As for the defense, I’m figuring the installation of Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme will still be a work in progress by then, so we might not be able to get as good a feel for where they stand, but I’ll be particularly interested in the play at outside linebacker.

And I’m anxious to see who steps up big in the rebuilt secondary. It was at last year’s G-Day game that Bacarri Rambo first turned heads. He looks likely to have one of the safety positions locked up, but will junior college transfer and self-proclaimed “hit man” Jakar Hamilton lay a claim to the other spot? How much will Quintin Banks, Makiri Pugh and Shawn Williams have matured? Will Sanders Commings play safety or cornerback? And speaking of the CBs, the early favorite at one corner would seem to be Brandon Boykin, but will the other be the speedy Branden Smith, who was inconsistent as a freshman?  Where will Vance Cuff and Jordan Love be in the mix?

How about you? What positions besides quarterback are you most anxious to watch at G-Day?

TWO-MINUTE DRILL

The Dogs placed No. 9 in SouthernPigskin.com’s pre-spring Power Poll of SEC and ACC teams, behind Alabama, Virginia Tech, Florida, LSU, Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida State (??!!) and Arkansas, and ahead of Auburn, South Carolina and North Carolina. … Too much already has been made of the apparent altercation involving former Dog Knowshon Moreno in an Athens bar last weekend. And with the 18-year-old who told police he was punched out by Moreno being kind of fuzzy on the details, which his friends helped fill in for him, no one’s certain what really happened. But I like Dawgs Online’s take on it, which is that the headline could have been “Knowshon handles underage drunk.” … I’m glad sophomore Trey Thompkins hasn’t given much thought yet to leaving early for the NBA after this season, because he doesn’t appear quite ready for the pros. But I like his statement that the potential of Mark Fox’s program will be a factor in his thinking “because I want to be known as a guy who helped the program go from where it was to where it will be.” Sounds like Fox has made a definite impression on this young man. … Thompkins and his teammates travel to what they consider the most “weird” SEC basketball venue tonight to take on Vandy. But the unusual alignment at Vanderbilt’s gym, with the coaches on the baselines, isn’t likely to be as big a factor in the game as whether the Dogs keep the turnovers under control and get consistent play from their bench. … David Hale of Bulldogs Blog talked with Sonny Seiler, owner of the Uga mascots, about the progress in finding a successor for the short-lived Uga VII. Seiler says he’s awaiting two potential litters sired by good old Uga VI. (Since when did death ever stop a damn good Dawg?) But even if that works out, the pup likely won’t be old or big enough to take the field at the start of the season, so 5-year-old sub Russ, who’s too old to be the permanent mascot but did a terrific job in the last two games of 2009, likely will continue as the interim Georgia Bulldog. That’ll suit many fans who’ve already grown fond of the backup.

105 comments Add your comment

Daniels Dawgs

February 25th, 2010
11:50 am

Can’t Wait!!!!!

L-Dawg

February 25th, 2010
11:56 am

GLORY GLORY TO OLE’ GEORGIA!!!!

44 DAYS MY FRIENDS!!!

I LOOK FORWARD MOSTLY TO SEEING PROGRESS FROM WASHAUN EALY. I TRULY FEEL THIS KID IS GOING TO BE A VERY SPECIAL DAWG. THE QB BATTLE WILL BE FUN AS WELL. AND I WOULD SUPPORT BRANDEN SMITH TAKING A FULL TIME ROLL ON THE OFFENSE.

{{{{{30-24}}}}}
8-1
60-39-5
WE RUN THIS STATE

Russ

February 25th, 2010
11:59 am

That’s right Russ is making his return. Go dawgs can’t wait till G day.

441north

February 25th, 2010
12:18 pm

Smellin’ upset in Nashvegas tonight !

how2fish

February 25th, 2010
12:19 pm

Its a good thing Moreno’s attacker was a Dog..he might have killed a UT,Bama or Gator freshman…lol…and Bill your right I don’t think we will get a real good idea on the D during spring ball..but I hope we see improvement from the start and end of the Spring and of course improvement going into fall drills….GATA!

Glory Glory

February 25th, 2010
12:21 pm

is any of the early spring practice open to the public? or only G-Day??

mikie g.

February 25th, 2010
12:42 pm

Uga VIII should be named “Erk”

Russ the interim mascot

February 25th, 2010
12:49 pm

so they think they’re going to spray paint my A$$ again? I think not.

Dawg 39

February 25th, 2010
12:51 pm

Just agreeing with L_Dawg: except, since CB/DB is my biggest concern, I am not sure that leaving Branden Smith at CB is not the best option.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
12:52 pm

In terms of “BuLLdawg’s” comments, I say thank you. Thank you for your dedication and daily concern for UGA.
This guy wakes up every day thinking about UGA.
That is so funny to me.
What is more amazing to me is that you are only here in hopes of getting attention. that is pathetic. That obsessive behavior indicates just how superior you view UGA.
You attempt to distract people from the topic at hand.
Suggestion for “buLLdawgs” who blogs on a daily basis about UGA:
“Please Notice Me” would be a better name.
That would be a very fitting name because of your desperate need to get members of the CFB family to notice you.
Before you refute that statement, ask yourself why you are not blogging on any other subject at any other time except about UGA.
You are so unoriginal and pathetic you will probably copy and paste that comment and subtly change the content to make it appear as your own work.

jaglaw

February 25th, 2010
12:52 pm

LAW SUIT, LAW SUIT , LAW SUIT. Moreno’s alleged punch will never lead to criminal charges. Victim was underage drunk, facts are fuzzy, drunk friends plug in the holes. No case.
Civil Suit????? Different story. I know that the kid probably deserved gettin punched, but when it all settles, this could come as a very expensive lesson to Moreno that he is a financial target. Not that I agree, but we see this all the time….unfortunately.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
12:57 pm

UNDER RICHT

Vs. SEC foes: 43-22
.
Vs. Top 25 foes: 29-18
.
Vs. Top 25 foes away from home: 18-12
.
Vs. Top 10 foes: 8-6
.
In postseason games (bowls and championships): 9-3
.
In games decided by a touchdown or less: 34-14
.
Record at home: 47-9
.
Record on the road: 27-6
.
Losses to unranked teams: 6
.
Top 25 finishes: 8
.
Top 10 finishes: 6
.
Fact:………UGA was 12-1 in 2002 (prior to bowl selections)
.
Fact ………Fla was 12-1 in 2006 (prior to bowl selections)
.
Fact ………Not UGAs fault there were 2 unbeatens that year. “unlucky”
.
Fact……….Not Flas credit that there was only one unbeaten in 2006. “Lucky”
.
Fact:………Luck (not merit) had more to do with Fla getting an invite to the BCS not that Fla was more deserving to go to a NC than UGA with identical records.
.
Fact:………No SEC team has ever lost a BCSNC game and if UGA would have been invited nothing indicates that it would have been different
.
Fact……….UGA has 2 SEC titles..same as Fla in last 9 years and equal amount of total wins (90) over all.
.
Fact……….UGA has been ranked more times top ten in last 9 years than any SEC team at 6. Fla has only been ranked top ten 3 times in 9 years (real impressive).
.
Fact……….In 9 years under Richt no SEC team has more wins

Fact………..UGA has won 4 str8 bowls….more than any other SEC team.
.
Fact……..UGA has won 11 of last 13 bowls…Thats more than any team (tied with LSU and more than FLA)
.
Fact…… UGA has won 8 or more games in last 13 years…more than any other team in the nation including Fla.
.

Fact…….UGA is clearly as good or better than any SEC team over last 9 years. Only a fool or a fan of the mythical BCSNC selection process (non playoff) would think otherwise.
.
Fact…….UGA had same record when they won the SEC title in 2002 as Fla did in 2006/8 when they won the SEC title. But UGA had the misfortune (luck) to have that record in a year that had 2 other teams with undefeated records.
Hardly an indictment on UGA but rather on the NC selection process.
6 times finished in the top 10
2 times finished in the top 3
3 SEC Championship Appearances
2 SEC Titles
3 BCS Bowls
2 Sugar Bowl wins
90-27 record over 8 seasons – 79% winning percentage (one of only 7 in the history of college ball to have ever accomplished this)
4 str8 bowl wins
7-2 in bowls (big games)
Mark Richt coached QB coach for Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke = 2 Heismans; Head Coach for David Greene = all time winningest college QB until Colt McCoy this year); and coached Matthew Stafford = very rich #1 draft pick)
No Probations
He has my respect.
Period.

how2fish

February 25th, 2010
12:57 pm

jaglaw I think Moreno stil has the right to defend himself if in fact as he stated he was hit first..but time and lawyers will tell.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
12:58 pm

Saban first 8 years in D1A (SEC) football. ……….81 wins.
Richt first 8 years in the SEC……………………82 wins Richt has a better record

Meyers first 5 years in SEC ……2 SEC titles.
Richts first 5 years in SEC……..2 SEC titles ..richts record is as good.

Miles 8 years in SEC 79 wins 1 SEC title
Richts 8 years in SEC 82 wins 2 SEC titles. Richts records is better.

JB

February 25th, 2010
1:20 pm

pat is right………The ONLY problem with all your stats ( Ilove them by the way) is that all who cover the SEC….and I mean All love Meyer and Saban. Yes they win. Yes they get results.
But they are jerks. They think a lot of themselves. Good for them. The press can’t get enough of them. They also have two Crystal footballs in the case, which is everything in College football. Richt is low key, humble back of the room kind of guy. That’s OK. He hasn’t won the big one yet, so he kinda get’s looked over as only a guy who won 90 games in 9 years in the SEC. No title yet and getting waxed by UF every year has made it hard to toot the ole horn, not that he would. It’s hard to believe he’s a failure by some of the haters on these blogs. It took Joe pa at Penn St. 17 years to get his. Mark will to.

robodawg

February 25th, 2010
1:22 pm

To quote Vince, sounds like we’ve got good depth at dog.

Will

February 25th, 2010
1:22 pm

Looking forward to April10. Everyone needs to show up.

kydawg

February 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

Don’t forget how Richard Samuel will look at LB…that’s anothr story for the spring.

how2fish

February 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

JB great points…to my mind we are way ahead with CMR..and the NCAA is not sniffing around our door..hell BAMA still hasn’t heard the results of their last appeal to a NCAA ruling..

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
1:35 pm

JB……. the crystal would be pretty but hardly legit. Its an opinion based, luck needed, mythical NC at best. The NCAA does not even recognize D1A football NCs (they do for all other NCAA sports)it merely cites on its webpage that a school CLAIMS one. It is not legit if you can have 2 NCs in 1 year like 2003.

In 2002, Ohio State went 12-0 in the regular season with a paltry five-point win over Wisconsin, a miniscule six-point win over Penn State, and a pathetic 10-6 win over Purdue where Craig Krenzel threw a 37-yard touchdown pass on fourth down in the final two minutes.
Then the Buckeyes needed a sadly pathetic overtime to beat Illinois and beat Michigan 14-9 with a miracle touchdown with less than five minutes remaining. Ohio State could have seen its national championship dreams derailed several times but to the Buckeyes’ everlasting credit, they always found a way to win.
Mark Richt’s best team at Georgia (12-1 with a loss to Florida), which finished No. 3 in the BCS Standings, just needed for Ohio State to lose one of those games and the Bulldogs are in the Fiesta Bowl against Miami.
I guess in a playoff UGA could not have beaten the mighty Buckeye’s? And we still think the BCSNC is legit?

Gratefuldawghead

February 25th, 2010
1:37 pm

Haven’t been to a “G” Day game in years, but fired up to make the ride up from South Georgia! Damn Good Article.

GO DAWGS!

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
1:39 pm

Its interesting to note that UF and LSU have won national titles with the EXACT same record UGA had when it won its two SEC titles. Its not that UGA is not as good of a program as either of the two, they have just been luckier than UGA. And that’s the truth.

kydawg

February 25th, 2010
1:41 pm

Lucky is right…IF,,,Vandy makes their chip-shot field goal in ‘07 against UT, we go to the SECCG…IF…Ky scores on UT from the one yard line, we go to the SECCG. That team would have gone on to the NC. But “IF’S” don’t count…rats!!!

VolsRule

February 25th, 2010
1:51 pm

FACT – UGA is 10-10 in the SEC East last 4 seasons
FACT – UGA is 1-3 versus Tennessee in last 4 seasons
FACT – UGA is 2-2 versus KY in last 4 seasons
FACT – UGA is 1-3 vs Florida in last 4 seasons
FACT – UGA played in Shreveport, LA last season

With all that said – Richt confirmed to me that he is a top notch head coach by firing his defensive staff this year – that is the primary reason UGA has slipped back.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
1:52 pm

kydawg………or Tenn makes that chip shot Cody blocked and ALA is not even invited to play in this years BCSNC. Time for a playoff

VolsRule

February 25th, 2010
1:55 pm

Kydawg – will Richard Samual be REDSHIRTED?

The guy was a LB beast in HS – although he is a Junior – he is just turning 19 years old?

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
1:55 pm

Vols rule……..in last 4 years??? Well, lets look at that. 2007 is in that 4 year period. UGA finished number 2. Highest rankng in 30 years.

In 2008 UGA won 10 games a bowl and finished top ten all the while playing with 18 scholly players out by game 3 to season ending injuries. Name another coach with that record with those injuries. I will wait.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
1:55 pm

Hmmm looks like last 4 years was not all that bad after all.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
2:00 pm

in last 4 years UGA has won 4 bowls. Name another SEC coach with 4 in a row. hmmm last 4 years really sucked. LOL

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
2:01 pm

Volsrule???????????

Dawg 39

February 25th, 2010
2:02 pm

After we win a NC (& we will), I will still consider the BCS to be the same, that is the BSc. Winning the SEC is more important in my opinion.
Also,DB & Dl are my biggest concerns, Not QB or LB.

Vinny D

February 25th, 2010
2:14 pm

What I will be looking for this spring
1. QB Battle
2. #2 WR-who will step up alongside AJ? Marlon? King? Durham? who?
3. Will our Oline FINALLY be as dominant as we think they can be and how will we know till they play OTHER teams?
4. Richard Samuel at LB
5. Other than Rambo and Boykin, who else is starting at D? We know Houston will be somewhere but where? This is actually my number 1 question. The 3-4 D.
So Bill, I want constant updates on the D this year. That will make me a happy guy.

Otto

February 25th, 2010
2:15 pm

Yes the past 4 have sucked and if you think they have not you have low standard for something that should strive to be the best.

As for the original question DL on defense and RB on offense. RB you say? Yes they only racked up yards against slack competition. DL is coached by the only CWM holdover. LB and DB have fine coaches in place

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:17 pm

1- I’d like to see Branden Smith move to offense exclusive and become a Percy Harvin type of guy for UGA. He’s getting 12.2 ypc, and outpaces Percy who got around 10 ypc.

2- I also don’t expect to see much from the 3-4 in the G-Day stuff. Grantham doesn’t want to show a lot and hasn’t had time to install it. But it will be an awesome scheme by August that will baffle SEC foes, you can count on that.

3- Aaron Murray will dominate the QB competition. He went up against the top 100 QB’s int he country and won MVP at the Elite 11, so beating our UGA’s QB will be a walki in the park compared to that. If Murray doesn’t start, UGA will be the laughing stock of the SEC. As people as astute as Drew Brees, Matt Stafford, and Colt McCoy have agreed, Murray is in a league of his own.

4- Zach Mett will have to transform fast to wipeout his disastrous 2009 Spring where he went 2 for 20, with 2 int’s.

Mike

February 25th, 2010
2:18 pm

And the hits on Georgia football just keep coming – SI names the top 50 college football prospects at the NFL combine. Of the top 50, Tenn has 2, Ala 3, Fla 5, LSU 1, and Ga Tech 3. Even Notre Dame has 2. Georgia has NONE. I have no expectation that Logan Gray will become the next Georgia quarterback. After all, he wasn’t able to beat out Joe Cox. And, we all know where that went.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:19 pm

Hey Florida and Anti-UGA enemies-

If UGA will be so bad, why do ytou waste hours posting on this blog? Why not go after your ‘real competition, like Bama and blog there instead of here?

It doesn’t make sense.

Unless you are AFRAID of UGA in 2010.

Which you are. And you should be.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:20 pm

Matt Stafford $40 Million

Tim Tebow—$0

VolsRule

February 25th, 2010
2:22 pm

pat is right – looks like I found a good debating partner.

Not saying UGA as sucked – like UT sucked with two losing seasons.

What I am saying is that UGA has slipped the last 4 years.

IN 2006 – beaten by TENNESSEE, VANDY, FLORIDA and KENTUCKY

IN 2007 – you finished #2 – by beating Hawaii!???
- Still got blistered by Tennessee that year
- Still got beat by South Carolina that year.
– Almost got beat by Vandy –
However – second half of season – UGA came together as a team and played very good.
Played Hawaii in a bowl game – wow!
(should have played USC at the ROSE BOWL insted of Hawaii).

– 2008 – preseason #1 – but nobody took into consideration the young OL -and discipline became an issue. Embarrassed by ALABAMA, FLORIDA and a second half melt down against TECH.
Penalties galore!
Played MICHIGAN STATE in a bowl game – wow!

Played bad in close games against KY and Auburn – where UGA should have beaten these teams up – but it’s not the losses – it’s the blow out losses.

- 2009 – beat by OK STATE, LSU, TENNESSEE (by blow out), FLORIDA (by blow out) and had the melt down against KENTUCKY.
TEXAS A&M in the bowl game – wow!
This was definately a transistion year.

Pat is right – the enitre body of work that Mark Richt has done is impressive – but I can say the same about Fulmer.

Fulmer became the CEO coach – less hands on – and we slid back into the pack – fighting to be a relevent national power – never happened.

In similar fashion – Richt has become a CEO coach – and UGA has slid back – maybe Richt can get it going again and give Florida a run.

Pat is right – you are too focussed on first half of Richt’s career – the second half has been more similar to DONNAN. Good teams – but very inconsistent – and looked bad against FLORIDA and TENNESSEE. This better describes Richt that last 4 years.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:25 pm

Anti-UGA enemies here want to talk about “selective parts” of Richt’s past.

Which viewed as is body of work, is in the top 10 ALL-TIME, only 8 coaches in NCAA history got 80 wins in their first 8 seasons.

Gator Bob

February 25th, 2010
2:29 pm

Big South Mike – Stafford will earn the $40Mil as he plays for DETROIT!!! By the way – Tebow has not been drafted yet – will not get Stafford money – but imagine he will still do OK!!! at least better than you and me!

Stafford vs Tebow – 1-2
Tebow vs Stafford – 2-1
Tebow vs UGA – 3-1
Tebow – 2 National Titles – 2 SEC Titles – 3 SEC East Titles – 1 Heisman Trophy
Stafford – 0 National Titles – 0 SEC Titles – 0 SEC East Titles – 0 Heisman Trophy VOTES!!!

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:30 pm

G-Day? All about the offense, the defense is too early yet to strut their stuff. The offense is cookin and clickin.

The RB’s will run like horses, AJ, Wooten, Charles and T. King will catch everything in sight, and the offensive line will bully the d-line.

Murray will complete 60-65% of his passes, o Int’s, highest per catch average again.

I look for UGA to get Branden Smith and Wotten more involved in the running game this year, like a Percy Harvin element.

UGA is rushing great, 247 a game in last 3 games of 2009.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:32 pm

Gator fans, again, if UGA will be so bad, why are you wasting your time on this blog?

Head over to the South Carolina or Bama blogs and beatdown your “competition”.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:41 pm

#9 ranking for UGA pre-season looks close, I’d swap places with Florida to be more accurate, pur UGA at #3, and Florida down at about #15, which is where both will end up, UGA in top 3 AGAIN, and Florida in top 15.

There is simply no way Florida beats UGA this year with Grantham’s new defense and defensive staff, Ealey AJ MUrray, etc.

Florida just lost too many starters and coaches (5 on offense, 7 on defense, 1 on special teams, 5 coaches quit)

THE ONLY TIME Richt or Meyer finish in the top 3 after is a bad SEC 3 loss type year.

Meyer’s Florida’s 2 best seasons came after 5-3 SEC seasons, Richt’s UGA’s best 2 finishes came after bad SEC years.

Florida had a good year in the SEC, UGA was bad, so UGA will win SEC East and finish in top 3 nationally again for the 3rd time in 10 years.

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
2:43 pm

Volsrule…….the tenn game and SC game was early and BEFORE UGA started Knowshon Moreno. And beating Hawaii?? You mean the record breaking Hawaii that all of the ESPN talking heads picked to beat UGA…that Hawaii?

Its hard to say UGA slipped in 2007 (during the 4 years) as UGA has never finished ranked 2 before and only once finished higher than 2 in 30 years. Thats a slip? Hardly

how2fish

February 25th, 2010
2:44 pm

Hey since we have some many Gator fans in attendance this afternoon…anyone of you heard when CUM will be released from rehab?? He still on track to be out in time for Spring Ball?

pat is right

February 25th, 2010
2:46 pm

volsrule…….2008 no one took into consideration the injuries. But with 18 scholly injuries and all before game 3 and all season ending and winning 10 games and winning a bowl and being ranked top ten is slipping? Hardly.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
2:56 pm

Gators fans, I see you’re still here.

Thanks, the more you post, the better I start to feel about 2010.

KEEP IT UP!

Gatormaniac

February 25th, 2010
3:14 pm

I’m a Gaytor and come here to beat my chest and other body parts. Momma just let me back on the computer so I have to catch up. First of all there was no football until 1990. Secondly, we kicked Dawg butt last year and because of that I think we will always kick dawg butt even if it is painted. I feel very superior to any Dawg fan because Tebow told us that we were. Momma is calling me to go to therapy. I’ve had to go to therapy ever since ya’ll did that endzone dance on us. Maybe Momma will stop at Walmart on the way back and get me some jorts.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
3:19 pm

Thanks Gator guys, please posts hundreds of tmes about how bad you think UGA is.

Eevery post lets UGA know it’s gonna be an amazing year in 2010 because of the bad-mouthin.

I don’t post on no Gator sites about Gators because I know they’ll lose 3 SEC games this year.

Keep it up.

big south mike

February 25th, 2010
3:24 pm

I don’t think you’ll see any hard hits on our 1st stringers in the G-Day and Spring. We don’t want Murray or AJ knocked out by friendly fire.

But the 3rd string guys better duck and cover.