I don’t think many of us expected any surprises from the media day that accompanied Georgia’s first preseason practice, and that’s certainly how it turned out. I mean, when the hottest chatter is about the fact that Aaron Murray has discontinued his spring experiment of wearing a glove …
(By the way, last week’s extensively reported black eye suffered by Murray in a conditioning drill was not much in evidence. Whew.)
Naturally, much of the focus was on the youth of the Dogs’ quarterbacking corps, with a redshirt freshman starter backed by a true freshman and two freshman walk-ons. I don’t know if the QB meeting room is really the youngest in the history of college football as Mark Richt put it on Monday, but they’re definitely Bullpups at this point.
As for those who wondered just how serious Richt was about giving Logan Gray a chance at receiver, I think the fact the titular No. 2 QB is taking no snaps from center, at least for now, provides the answer. Still, once we’re into the season, if anything happens to Murray I’d be shocked if it wasn’t Gray they send in first.
There also was some discussion of Georgia cutting back to just one day featuring two practices, but I thought Richt did a pretty good job of explaining the rationale there. Particularly with the Dogs installing a new defense, teaching is paramount at this point for the Georgia coaches, and that can be more effectively accomplished if they don’t have to squeeze in a second practice every other day.
Out of all the coverage that came out of Athens Monday, though, I agree with Senator Blutarsky that the most heartening was Richt’s brief comment about special teams during a Q&A session with reporters (see this Dawg Post video).
“We’ve got a couple of new schemes in our special teams,” Richt said. “Our kickoff coverage unit will be different schematically. And our punt return and block will be different.”
Considering how awful the Dogs’ kickoff coverage was over the past couple of years, playing a big role in costing Georgia a couple of wins last season, the fact that they’ve gone back to the drawing board after the departure of tunnel-visioned Jon Fabris is great news. Maybe now the coverage team will be able to get off the blocks and won’t leave those wide alleys for returners.
PARTY OUT OF BOUNDS
The other so-called news announced on the Dogs’ first day back was that UGA had topped the Princeton Review’s list of the top party schools for the first time.
Naturally that drew much clucking and finger-wagging, but that’s kind of ancient history. Back when I was a freshman at Georgia I remember them telling us in orientation about whatever party school list was published at the time (I think it was Playboy) and claiming that UGA had been “retired” from competition because it was so far ahead of everyone else on the list.
That may well have been apocryphal, but the point is that was 40 years ago and at the time most of the campus drinking was at frat houses, not the hundred or more bars that now do business in Athens.
College students like to drink, and that’s not a new development.
But thanks to the HOPE scholarship, the average SAT score and GPA needed to get into the school are a lot higher than in those days, too. And those students who spend most of their time partying generally don’t last more than a semester or two.
There’s not much more Michael Adams and UGA administrators can do about the drinking culture in Athens (and other college towns) that has existed for many decades. So spare me the sermons.
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