UGA football. Athens. What’s not to love about G-Day?

Don't look for any surprises from Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo in Saturday's G-Day game. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Don't look for any surprises from Aaron Murray and Mike Bobo in Saturday's G-Day game. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Athens, where we were pretty much immersed in all things UGA 365 days a year, but I never understood why a lot of folks in the Bulldog Nation don’t get too excited about the spring G-Day game.

OK, granted, it’s really just a glorified scrimmage and the plays called are either ultra-vanilla or throwaway bones for the crowd you’ll never see during the regular season like Mike Bobo briefly trotting out the wishbone a few years ago.

And quite often the “stars” that shine the brightest in the intrasquad game don’t go on to make much of a mark that fall when the competition is real. Remember Carlton Thomas tearing it up at tailback a couple of springs ago?

Still, I love the G-Day game and always have.

The main reason can be summed up in three words:

Georgia. Bulldogs. Football.

Doesn’t matter what time of year it is or whether everyone’s wearing the school colors. It’s a chance to watch the Dogs play in Sanford Stadium (where you can sit on the 50-yard-line if you get there early enough!). It helps if it’s a glorious spring day like the past couple of years, but even the cool, drizzly G-Days I’ve sat through (and there’ve been several) have been mostly enjoyable outings.

Of course, some G-Day games are more interesting than others. Last year everyone was focused on the quarterback battle between Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and Logan Gray, though even then the spring results (Mettenberger looked like he ought to be the starter) didn’t pan out in the long run.

Vince Dooley used to like to gimmick it up on G-Day, with the Dogs playing against alumni teams sometimes, while Mark Richt has mostly kept his games akin to a controlled scrimmage in the past. Sometimes that produces a snoozefest, like the ESPN-televised game two years ago, and other times you get a lot of scoring like when Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno led the Reds to a 34-21 win over the Blacks in 2007.

This year, however, Richt has dumped the No. 1 offense vs. No. 2 defense and No. 1 defense vs. No. 2 offense approach he’s used in the past and allowed the teams to be drafted by players.

Unfortunately, some of the fun of that approach has been dampened by all the injuries, with 10 players — including tailback Washaun Ealey — unlikely to make it onto the field Saturday. The plan is for them to play 12-minute quarters, but the last time the Dogs had a G-Day game with severe depth problems in 2008, the announced 10-minute quarters got cut back to just 8 minutes. Hope that’s not the case Saturday.

Richt has said the teams are free to use any plays Georgia has already used in the past and the defense can blitz as much as it wants, but there’ll be no hits on the quarterbacks, of course, and no live kickoffs or rushing the kicker on field goals and PATs.

Still, we will get to see whether Hutson Mason really looks like the clear choice as backup to Murray over Christian LeMay, and the wide-open competition at receiver is of interest. Marlon Brown, here’s your latest chance to show some sign you’re finally going to live up to your advance billing.

G-Day never has been a stadium-filling proposition like the spring games at Bama, but since they went to free admission (with canned food donations encouraged) a couple of years ago the games have drawn in the 40,000 range.

And if you’re looking for a family outing, springtime in Athens is hard to beat, plus you can make a full day of it as part of the “It’s Great to be a Bulldog Weekend.” The stadium gates will open at 11, the lettermen’s flag football game with great Bulldog names from the past is set for 11:15 and the Red and Black teams will play at 1 p.m., with former UGA quarterbacks Stafford, D.J. Shockley, David Greene and Eric Zeier participating in a skills competition at halftime. Then there’s a softball game at 2:30, an open house at the renovated Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall from 3 to 5:30, a tennis match at 3:30, and the Diamond Dogs take on Florida at 5 p.m. at Foley Field.

If you still can’t get motivated to join me in making the trip to Athens despite all of that, the G-Day game will be televised live by CSS and will be available online via ESPN3 in areas outside the CSS footprint. It’ll also be carried on most of the usual Georgia Bulldogs radio network, including WSB-AM.

Big deal or not, I’m looking foward to it.

Go Dogs!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

96 comments Add your comment

Mirk Racht

April 15th, 2011
2:54 pm

“They seem to know more about how to organize and coach a team than the UGA coaches do.”

Actually, Based on results, I imagine they do.

Brad Komminsk

April 15th, 2011
3:03 pm

His balls seem to stay in the air too long? isn’t that what got him arrested in Valdosta?

barrow dog

April 15th, 2011
3:06 pm

speaking of balls in the air…. will russ the temporary mascot be there?

Steve Superior

April 15th, 2011
3:11 pm

I cant wait to kick off Mark Richts farewell tour for the SEC.

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
3:14 pm

Brett, What do you mean “so I don’t go anymore”? There hasn’t been one since then. I assume the “nobody I know” list includes the various alias names you use in here?

BTW, You do realize that the entire world (except you appearantly) was already aware that Mettenburger was going to be charged with sexual assault, would have to be dismissed, and it was just Richt letting him audition for another team against a throttled down second team defense, right? You can’t be the only guy in the world not aware of that. Being such a big Dawg fan and all.

SSIgator

April 15th, 2011
3:17 pm

“OK, granted, it’s really just a glorified scrimmage”

Isn’t that what the regular season is also?

6-7 and not beating a team with a winning record does not bode well for the coming year.

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
3:24 pm

That does sound like a fun day RXDawg. But think of the hardship for some of these folks. I mean driving ALL that way from Atlanta.

Hall of Famer

April 15th, 2011
3:31 pm

AJC Headline: Hall of Fame certificates stolen from Sanford Stadium.

Does A.J. Green have an alibi? :-)

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

April 15th, 2011
3:32 pm

Bill

Carlton Thomas didnt do much because BOZO wants to run a running back that size up the middle with an O line that cant block

Review film sometime and you will see he did fine on the toss sweep plays which are better suited for him anyway

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
3:39 pm

Yea Bill, what’s the problem? Nobody sends you the game films to review?

DawginLex

April 15th, 2011
3:43 pm

SSI,

Florida goes into 2011 with Brantley as QB. Murphy outplayed him in the spring game.That spells trouble.

5 losses minimum for the gators.

Enjoy throwing Muschamp under the bus.

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
4:01 pm

Muschamp? Who is that?

DawginLex

April 15th, 2011
4:18 pm

Muschamp is the gators head coach who will be the sacrificial lamb for trigger happy Jeremy foley after the gators go 7-5 or worse and they realize just how bad things are even with all that talent.

Coachdawg 2000

April 15th, 2011
4:23 pm

I have season tix and have yet to miss a G-Day since my freshman year 1996 (the one that was played @ Clarke Central).I saw Earl chambers who at the time was a back up QB absolutley de-cleat Kirby Smart on an interception. If only we could get him to do that again!

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
4:24 pm

Florida got a new head coach? I though they had a good one. Why would they get rid of a good coach and hire a boy for the job?

Coachdawg 2000

April 15th, 2011
4:26 pm

I think we should go Roman Empire on Kirby Smart and Muschump. (Nailed them to outside of upperdeck of the stadium for being traitors)

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
4:30 pm

As if being a gator isn’t punishment enough?

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
4:33 pm

And appearantly Kirby had to change his name to Dan Quinn.

Duncan

April 15th, 2011
4:55 pm

Me and my class of 78′ UGA gang, all boycotting all UGA game suntil Richt gets fired. It’s nothing eprsonal, we think Richt’s nice man, we’re just tired of losing more games each year.

Virginia DAWG

April 15th, 2011
4:57 pm

The game is also being carried by SirriusXM radio. Channel 122 on Sirius and 143 on XM.

Harry

April 15th, 2011
5:16 pm

Murray’s locker room nickname after last G-Day was “3rd best”, because he got beat by Logan & Mettenberger on G-Day.

Harry

April 15th, 2011
5:18 pm

Guys said Murray should change his jersey to No. 3 after last G-Day. Funny stuff man.

saban

April 15th, 2011
5:26 pm

Boise State 50 Dawgs 8. Another national champioship for me.

saban

April 15th, 2011
5:29 pm

How is the new prison wing at clark county correctional working out for the players?

Geaux Dawgs

April 15th, 2011
5:41 pm

The dawgs’ best QB will not be in the game. He’s starting QB in Baton Rouge now. :-)

hal combo

April 15th, 2011
5:55 pm

UGAgrad71 is right on the money. I graduated from another SEC school in 72 and these so-called fans are off the chain! How so many fans–especially UGA’s, it seems–can spew hate at their teams when they supposedly “love” them, is sickening.

Ben

April 15th, 2011
6:00 pm

You’re new to the Internet aren’t you?

hal combo

April 15th, 2011
6:05 pm

If you dogs don’t think Murray is a fine quarterback, ya’ll are out of your minds! I’m not a UGA fan, but Aaron Murray will just about single-handedly win UGA some games this year. If you are still waiting for the 2nd coming of Walker, you need to wake up: there was only one! The Crowell kid is good, but way too much pressure is being placed on him. I heard (admittedly 2nd hand) that he got shut down pretty good in the state playoffs.

hal combo

April 15th, 2011
6:08 pm

And, no, Ben, I’m not new to the internet, but it is getting worse. Auburn got a bowl bid to Orlando two years ago that UGA should have received, and everyone but UGA fans recognized it happened because the dawgs were so down on their own team. The bowl didn’t think UGA would show.

AltamahaDawg

April 15th, 2011
6:40 pm

So Duncan. let’s say Uga wins 8-10 games this year, get a decent bowl, is on track to sign another good recruiting class. Richt of cource will not get fired for that. (and he ain’t) So YOU are telling us, that there is a group of grown men who are actually pretending with one another that they are not going to go to a single UGA Football game this year OR in 2012 either? Did you get a spit hand shake on that?

7576DAWG

April 15th, 2011
7:17 pm

Duncan
Just who do you think should be coach? Someone that can win more in a ten year period than Richt.So we had two bad years, if we had not done anything about it, things would be different, but we have hired a very well respected AD and changed the entire defense to a 3-4. I personally would have had Bobo promoted to recruiting coordinator and only as QB coach but demoted from offensive coordinator but you can’t have everything. If we win the first two games we will win at least 10 games this year and if we lose the first two games we will still win at least 8 games. 2012 will be the best year. DON’T GIVE UP ON THEM YET.
Get ready for Richt getting a 3 year extension if after the Tenn. game we are undefeated or have only one lose.

ROGERITER

April 15th, 2011
8:46 pm

All of your anti-Richt comments come from people who are basically idiots. What schools are trying to hire you? I’ll bet most of you don’t make $40,000 a year. If you are so smart why aren’t you running your company? You can lie on here, but you know I am right on this.

GR82BAG8R

April 15th, 2011
9:00 pm

AltamahaDog, being a gator great – - something you will never experience.

Old Dawg

April 15th, 2011
10:48 pm

Nick the king Saban: You’ll always have that loss to Louisiana Monroe.

Rev Critter

April 16th, 2011
8:04 am

Can’t wait to see you there Bill!

Top Dawg

April 16th, 2011
8:35 am

DawginLex: Trust me, Mettenberger will play at LSU.

AltamahaDawg

April 16th, 2011
9:51 am

Well, you never know. What would stop me from moving to Florida from out of state and jumping on the bandwagon. That IS how UF gets the majority of it’s fans isn’t it? How hard could it be? Buy some obnoxious tank tops, couple pairs of jorts, an ugly hat, and make sure to wear them all at the same time, every time. Don’t act like YOU actually did anything different.

AltamahaDawg

April 16th, 2011
9:52 am

I guess when I really get into the gators, I can troll a UGA blog to really prove how GR8 it is.

old time dog

April 16th, 2011
11:01 am

D A UU G… I will be at the game today. Will you? I told you where I would be sitting. I will be wearing a #13 red jersey. Come and say hello. I got something for you boy.

Burma Shave

April 16th, 2011
12:47 pm

The best folks
Are Ramblin Wrecks.
They’re much smarter
Than DawginLex.

BURMA SHAVE

VAdawg

April 16th, 2011
1:35 pm

check out ctdsports.com for GATA t-shirts!!!

CONservative Johnson

April 16th, 2011
1:59 pm

How about it not being on DirecTV and blacked out locally on ESPN3?

Ha

April 16th, 2011
5:13 pm

1. RedNecks
2. Knuckle draggers
3. Hillbillies
4. Trailer Trash
5. Gold digging college sluts.
6. Khaki pant wearing Mama’s boys with low IQs.
7. A bazillion people who have never even attended college anywhere.
8. Mouth Breathers.
9. People with DONE LAP disease.
10. Balding coaches will Freddie Munster style hair lines.
11. People who cant spell IQ.
12. Smelly Hippies in Athens.
13. The fish smell from the cheer leaders.

Delbert D.

April 16th, 2011
5:41 pm

To the guy who spoofed Richt saying, “although Mason played in all 3 Spring games”:

Mason is still a true freshman right now.

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 17th, 2011
6:37 am

HA,

You describe your family tree so exquisively. It takes a man to admit his generation is the first one in a family line to walk upright as you do. Good for you. Now go back to your cave and we will let you know when it is ok for you to come out and forage amongst the human population again. Take duncan with you and his buddies he professes to think like he does, because UGA doesn’t need his type of team support.

Matthew King

April 21st, 2011
12:54 pm

I love my Dawgs! I always read this blog…and when I’ve had my fill of sports I read Twenty-First Tycoon. It’s an awesome site and it’s based out of Georgia…which is better than supporting some stupid New Yorker!