What do fans really want out of G-Day?

Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger, along with Aaron Murray, will play for both teams on G-Day. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger, along with Aaron Murray, will play for both teams on G-Day. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

The G-Day game has always been a fan favorite. After all, as we liked to joke as kids, it’s the one game of the year Georgia is guaranteed to win.

I’m not sure when they actually started using the name “G-Day,” though at an auction a couple of years ago I saw a program from one of Wally Butts’ spring games from the early 1950s that was labeled the “Red vs. White” game. (As long as I’ve been going, the teams have always been called the Red and the Black, though only last season did the Black team actually wear black jerseys.)

The first G-Day I can actually remember attending was one of the early ones during the Vince Dooley era, when I went with my friend Chipper and his dad, who was part of the UGA press box crew. We actually watched that game from the press box and had fun fooling around on the old teletype machine. I remember a big deal was made of the fact that the winning team would eat steaks that night while the losers got beans and franks. I’m not sure whether that tradition is still around.

Over the years, there’s been at least one G-Night game held under the lights, and one year the game wasn’t held at all because of drainage problems at Sanford Stadium.

Dooley liked to play around with G-Day, often using celebrity coaches — usually along the lines of Atlanta TV personalities but sometimes bigger names like Brent Musberger and Pat Haden. In the ’80s, Dooley also started spicing things up by having the game feature the current Dogs against an alumni team rather than making it an intrasquad scrimmage. The alumni, of course, played it kinda loose, as in the first game when Kent Lawrence snagged a touchdown pass after slipping onto the field from the sideline. That looseness got out of hand in the 1989 game when the alums had about 15 men on the field and blitzed quarterback Preston Jones, injuring his wrist and ending his UGA playing career.

In recent years, the games have gotten more controlled, with no rushing of kicks and whistles blown whenever anyone gets near one of the quarterbacks. And, of course, now they’re televised.

Besides observing how far the quarterbacks have progressed since last year’s spring game and previewing Todd Grantham’s new 3-4 defensive alignment, what should we hope to see at G-Day this year? Well, we know we won’t see the full playbook — as Richt joked on Thursday, they’ll do this and that, but not the other. And we’ll have to wait until the fall to see Warren Belin’s new kickoff coverage schemes, as there won’t be any live kickoffs in the spring game.

Beyond that, with the Reds having the first-string offense (though the quarterbacks will shuttle between the two teams) and the Blacks having the first-string defense, there are differing opinions among fans about what constitutes a “good” G-Day showing. Do we want the offenses to run wild, as in the 34-21 game in 2007, or a yawn-inducing defensive affair like last year?

Which would you rather see dominate in the G-Day game?

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My take is that I’d like the offense to shine this year, and here’s why: We know that you don’t install a completely new defense in just a few practices — heck, it might take most of the season to get it clicking the way Grantham wants — so if the offense dominates the defense on Saturday, that’s sort of to be expected. If, on the other hand, a defense that’s barely been installed manages to shut down an offense that returns 10 starters, well, that wouldn’t be too encouraging.

Besides, as Dancing in the Endzone points out, a good showing by the offense on G-Day has been a better omen over the past five years than a strong defensive showing.

Generally, you can’t read too much into what you see at G-Day, though I did note last year that with all the pressure the defenses got on the quarterbacks and some negative yardage plays by the running backs that the offensive line didn’t look as good as advertised — and that ended up being an early-season problem.

Still, whatever transpires on the field, it’s a fun day for fans — though considerably more fun when the weather is glorious like last year as opposed to some of the chilly, drizzly G-Days I’ve sat through.

Adding to the fun quotient will be the second annual alumni flag football game, which gets under way a little after noon on Saturday. They’re promising such names from the past as Ray Donaldson, Randall Godfrey, Spike Jones and Larry Rakestraw, in addition to some of the more recent players. And I hear Bobby Poss will again be manning the sideline microphone, drawling his in jokes and colorful critiques of his old buddies.

Admission is free, but be sure to bring some canned goods for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. And maybe some antihistamines, too, what with the crazy pollen levels this week. Seating won’t be allowed in most of the North stands because of construction on the Reed Alley improvements.

And don’t forget the Diamond Dogs’ Saturday game against Ole Miss at Foley Field has been scheduled for 4 p.m. to allow fans to attend after the G-Day game. It’s been a rough year for the baseball team and I’m sure a full house would lift their spirits considerably. (If you make it into downtown Athens, you also can avail yourself of the annual International Street Festival on College Square.)

If you can’t be there, the G-Day game will be shown live on CSS as well as ESPN3.com (formerly known as ESPN360) and GXtra online, and you can also catch it on the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network.

Meanwhile, have your say in the comments about what you’d like to see at G-Day, vote in the poll, or do both.

Go Dogs!

69 comments Add your comment

HBTD1

April 10th, 2010
8:31 am

Get a new job $750K. Take the tampon out of your mouth, quit whining and man up.

Senator Blutarski

April 10th, 2010
8:38 am

I’m rooting for all three quarterbacks to do really well so that we have a good problem in trying to choose a future starter.

chazzo

April 10th, 2010
8:54 am

I want to see chemistry and hustle. One side of the Martinez and crew firing that no one mentions is that perhaps it was an issue of chemistry. The coaches didn’t work well together, different philosophies, different attitudes, ego conflicts…. who knows. It was evident on D and on special teams. I think it was a good move to clean house, but I don’t think Willie deserves all of the blame he gets.

750K,

I hear you loud and clear. Entire departments are getting cut, people are getting laid off, everyone has been furloughed. HBTD1 has no idea. Clearly. I mean we have all ponied up and “manned up” financed materials for students out of our pockets, taken care of students. WE ARE THE UNIVERSITY!!!! If Alumini and administrations find ways to get these coaches millions, why not find away to support the institution academically. BTW, I don’t find another job because I love what I do.

BuLLdawg

April 10th, 2010
8:54 am

91-27 LSU last 9 years all games total wins overall 2 NC

90-27 Florida last 9 years all games total wins overall 2 NC

90-27 UGA last 9 years all games total wins overall 0 NC

.
Florida is 7-2 vs. UGA

LSU has MORE WINS than UGA and Florida in last 9 years (Coach Richt Era) and BOTH

LSU and Florida BOTH have Two (2) National Championships Coach Richt Era.

Therefore CLEARLY LSU & Florida BOTH have done BETTER than UGA last 9 yr

Alabama, now too, has passed UGA by – Reigning National Champions.

.

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56-19 Florida last 9 years (Coach Richt Era) vs SEC foes

53-23 LSU last 9 years (Coach Richt Era) vs SEC foes

52-23 UGA last 9 years (Coach Richt Era) vs SEC foes.

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UGA vs SEC foes last 9 years is

26 Home Wins LSU last 9 years vs SEC foes

24 Home Wins Florida last 9 years vs SEC foes

24 Home Wins Auburn last 9 years vs SEC foes

23 Home Wins Tennessee last 9 years vs SEC foes

22 Home Wins Alabama last 9 years vs SEC foes

22 Home Wins UGA last 9 years vs SEC foes.

.

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6th place UGA vs SEC foes in Home Wins last 9 years

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.

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9-3 Florida Neutral site games last 9 years vs SEC foes

3-1 LSU Neutral site games last 9 years vs SEC foes

1-0 Auburn Neutral site games last 9 years vs SEC foes

1-1 Alabama Neutral site games last 9 years vs SEC foes

4-8 UGA Neutral site games last 9 years vs SEC foes

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5th place UGA vs SEC foes last 9 years Neutral Site Games.

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LSU

Florida

Only then Georgia in The SEC alone.

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There are :

102-15 Texas and one national championship

103-16 Boise State

97-19 Southern California and one national championship

97-24 Oklahoma and one national championship

94-21 Ohio State and one national championship

91-27 LSU and two (2) national championships

90-27 Florida and two (2) national championships

90-27 UGA and zero (0) national championships

Clearly, all these teams are better than UGA Coach Richt Era.

Clearly.

BS Alert

April 10th, 2010
9:19 am

bsDogggie- you forgot about all the NCs in gym!

BuLLdawg

April 10th, 2010
9:34 am

We are, have been, and will be an afterthought on the national stage.

We have not yet beat 1 single Top 10 Final AP Poll team in a bowl game.

We have failed to have a qb ready 2006, 2009, and now 2010.

During these 4 years, we have lost to EVERY SEC East team in row

1-3 vs vols last 4 years

1-3 vs Florida last 4 years

10-10 vs SEC East last 4 years

14 interceptions average per year last 4 years

21 fumbles average per year last 4 years

# 96 NCAA in Penalties average per year last 4 years

92 UGA players arrested / suspended in Coach Richt Era proven

14-game seasons we have had more than 11 wins, one time

14-game seasons we are 10-3 or 9-4 again, this 2010 up-coming

Coach Richt FIRED entire Defense staff but Rodney Garner

Coach Richt TOOK CONTROL over entire Offensive staff

Coach Richt FIRED and replaced every Special Teams coach

We are in SERIOUS DECLINE

Caleb King remains our Starting Tailback, he can’t even play half the games

Everyone wants Aaron Murray to be QB

Aaron Murray injured his senior year High School like Caleb King was

Aaron Murray then got here and could not even practice, injured

That was all season last year, Aaron Murray missed practice sore arm too

Zach Mettenberger gets arrested / suspended since Spring Practice Started

Montez Robinson arrested / kicked off team 3rd arrest assault and battery girl

Montez Robinson recruited by Rodney Garner dismissed since Spring Practice

Who then visits Montez Robinson in JAIL (soon prison) with Coach Richt

We have a great defense

We have the 2 best kickers on one team in America

We have no Offensive Coaching Staff, no QB ready again

And, we signed 0 state of Georgia Offensive Football Recruits 2010

The recruits don’t like our offense.

Our SEC foes certainly do love recruiting vs our Offensive staff

They took ALL the top offensive stars in THIS STATE

We call running plays on 3rd and 15

We start every series in the hole with a penalty

We cannot line up and call a play that looks like we practiced it

When we do execute a play called without penalty, fumble intercept

Orson Charles we cannot figure to Start until game 12 of 13-game season

Marlon Brown we throw 2 passes to all season long

Branden Smith we throw 2 passes to all season long, also.

We never did play Zach Mettenberger last year when should have vs Okie St

We rip redshirt off Washaun Ealey 3rd Qtr 5th game

Washaun Ealey leads UGA in rushing for the year, anyway.

We still only Started Washaun 2 games

And, not even the last 2 games by the way

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GET YOUR EXCUSES READY

Here they come AFTER G-Day this afternoon :

Our OL was injured.

Our OL could not block for Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray was not to blame for the 2 fumbles

Aaron Murray was not to blame for the 2 interceptions

Logan Gray should not have been taking snaps Aaron Murray sorely needs

Zach Mettenberger yelled at Police, drunk, age 18 in Valdosta

Zach Mettenberger cannot start game 1, so forget about him

Mike Bobo is not good enough to determine his Depth Chart

Mike Bobo is not good enough to determine the play calls

Mike Bobo is not good enough to prepare a QB yet again 2010

So, Coach Richt is TAKING CONTROL over ALL THIS too

The WR are all injured, dropped passes from Aaron Murray

The OL injured could not block for Washaun Ealey

Caleb King has a chronic knee since high school, could not play

We cannot even figure out Caleb King must have knee surgery

Logan Gray criticizes staff for not giving him a chance LAST YEAR

Joe T is Starter ahead of Matthew Stafford AND Joe Cox

Joe Cox is AHEAD of Matthew Stafford 2006 on Depth Chart

Joe Cox is our best hope last year

It should have been Zach Mettenberger last year not Joe Cox

DawginLex

April 10th, 2010
9:40 am

bulldawg,

Tech’s T day game is coming up. Go to that game and cheer on the nerd herd.

We don’t want you and your crapola in Athens at all.

Just go, leave, git.

The constant negative crapola is nauseating. I played at UGA as a walkon until i blew out my knee. So don’t come back at me with “you are not a real dawg”. You just need to shutup.

Now.

BuLLdawg

April 10th, 2010
9:58 am

Glad you are so HAPPY with all this Bullsheet going on in Athens the last 4 years in a row now.

HBTD1

April 10th, 2010
10:07 am

chazzo- they have been milking the socialized teet too long. Welcome to the real world instead of being cocooned in academia. A college degree (esp UGA) is just a hyper-inflated HS degree…
if that!

ga gator

April 10th, 2010
10:15 am

I think BuLLdawg is a Hater version of Patrick.

Dawg 39

April 10th, 2010
10:21 am

BuLLdawg; Count me in with those who believe that the the last decade was the most sucessful ten year run in the history of UGA football. If CMR stays around, the next 10 will be even better.
What do you want? Stats don’t LIE. CMR is in the top 5 of winning coach % of active coaches. I go back to Wallace Butts & I am very pleased that CMR is the Dawgs HC Today. More SEC Titles to come.!.

GT fan ...

April 10th, 2010
11:28 am

“the village idiot” = D-D-F (Delusional Dawg Fan) ………. his comment “with all of the penalties the past few years, no one has beaten UGA but UGA…”

Good one! I’m sure all the L’s for the dogs over the past few years is DIRECTLY the result of penalties. And I guess that means that all of GA’s wins over the past few years were the result of the oppents’ penalties???

Complain only if you OWN a degree

April 10th, 2010
11:34 am

Anyone that complains on a sports blog about the particular university of so and so, very, very likely has NO DIPLOMA. If you bad mouth UGA and did not go there or to any school with a football program …………..then you are like a person bad mouthing government but you never vote.

If you are in this group …………….your opinion is worthless, even, even IF you played all world HS ball. Pay your COLLEGE TUITION money for 4 + years and work hard in college, earn a diploma, THEN you can bad mouth a particular University of watcha ma call it and enjoy credibility.

Otherwise, ………….no one cares about your opinion because YOU DID NOT CARE to get an EDUCATION …………..got it??

Go Dogs.

Mitch Cumstein

April 10th, 2010
11:36 am

Golly gee BuLLdawg, got anything on your mind?

Paddy

April 10th, 2010
12:10 pm

We have 3 great tight ends. If given a bigger role in the offense this season, Bill’s wish for an improved offensive is sure to follow. Thats what I am looking for in this spring game and the fall practice sessions.

UGA player in jail

April 10th, 2010
3:15 pm

I expect at least one player to get arrested and/or go to jail today.

Dawg'em out!

April 10th, 2010
4:25 pm

the g-day game is misleading all in all. can wait to see how well this team can be prepared for he trip to columbia. always a tough game, and could be very telling to how he rest of the season will playout!

Small Johnson

April 10th, 2010
4:30 pm

BULLDAWG

I agree but you left 3million dollar salary

Fans have to give more for tickets and parking

And we can’t compete with FL
AND WE CAN”T EVER COMPETE WITH FL

Whats next oh I know

New jersey schemes
Fans will have to pay to go to the bathroom
Fans will have to pay to bring a radio or seat
Fans will have to pay yell
Fans will have to pay to wathch dancing during the game
And fans have to pay an additional $200 printing fee to print their home game tickets

And we will still lose to FL

Bulldog59

April 10th, 2010
6:34 pm

Dorsey Hill, good memory! Some google time shows that Preston Jones was an academic All-SEC, three years, 90-92, Talley is listed for the same honor for 90 and 91, followed by Zeier in 92 and 93. Clearing my cob webs, I seem to recall PJ was a good athlete, having a cannon arm, lacking some touch. I believe we recruited him from somewhere in SC (no idea why I think/remember that.)