Bulldog Bites: What to watch for at G-Day and icing Georgia Tech!

Brice Ramsey is battling for the backup quarterback spot. (Steven Colquitt / UGA)

Brice Ramsey is battling for the backup quarterback spot. (Steven Colquitt / UGA)

I’ve had a couple of folks ask me this week: What will you be watching for at Saturday’s G-Day game?

Well, like most Dogs fans, I’ll be interested to see how the defense looks under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, particularly the secondary, though I’m not expecting to see anything but vanilla schemes in the spring intrasquad game.

As Mark Richt said this week, “I don’t think we are going to try to do a lot of things on defense Saturday. I think we’ll line up and play some good, solid fundamental defense. I doubt we will do everything that we’ll do in the fall. We aren’t going to try to trick anybody, but just see who can play defense.”

Mainly, I’ll be watching Georgia’s defenders in terms of fundamentals like tackling and covering — which is what Pruitt has stressed during spring practice — to see if there’s any obvious improvement from last season. And with a crowd of players competing for the starting cornerback spot opposite Damian Swann and the two safety spots, I’ll be interested in seeing if anyone stands out and whether Brendan Langley has progressed since last season now that he’s not having to think so much about where he’s supposed to be in Todd Grantham’s complicated defense. Plus I’ll be watching tailback-turned-defender J.J. Green, one of the most talked-up players this spring, at the nickel back position.

I’ll also be watching the reconstituted offensive line, which is replacing three starters and will be a key factor in how quarterback Hutson Mason and the running game fare this fall. Speaking of quarterback, with Mason all but locked in as the starter, I’ll be interested to see how the much more closely contested battle between Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta for the No. 2 spot goes Saturday. With contrasting playing styles — Ramsey’s a strong-armed pocket passer while Bauta is more of a running QB — it should be interesting.

And when it comes to receiving, I’ll be watching to see whether Jonathon Rumph continues to impress and how Quayvon Hicks looks at tight end.

What I won’t be doing is getting too excited or depressed based on what I see, because while it’ll be played in Sanford Stadium before something like 40,000 fans and will be televised live on CSS, the G-Day game is still basically a spring scrimmage. The “game,” consisting of four 12-minute quarters, will have the players divided up into Red and Black teams that feature the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense, but there will be no sacking the quarterbacks, no kickoffs and no punt returns.

There’ll also be a bunch of players on the field you’ve never heard of, as Richt noted they will “try to get everyone some reps. Some guys may start on one side, and then they will flip jerseys the second half.”

As a fan, I don’t really want either the offense or the defense to be too dominant, since that usually indicates a team that has problems. As for how individual players do, I know some fans have gotten all worked up in the past, for instance, about one of the backup QBs having better G-Day numbers than the starter, but that’s a pointless exercise. I have faith that the Georgia coaching staff, whose jobs ride on the results, start the best quarterback they have.

Mainly, what my brothers and I will be doing Saturday is enjoying another chance to watch Georgia football on what’s expected to be a warm, sunny spring day in Athens.

G-Day is really for the fans. Some schools are dispensing with spring games in favor of a perhaps more productive controlled scrimmage, but UGA seems to understand the positives of letting thousands of potential future paying customers into the stands for free to soak up some of that Between the Hedges atmosphere. That’s why they have the alumni lettermen’s flag football game (starting shortly after the gates open at 11 a.m.), stage contests at halftime and this week even had tight ends coach John Lilly tweeting for fans to submit diagrams of plays they’d like to see, from which the staff will select one to run.

The players do get something out of G-Day, though — a chance to shine in front of a cheering throng. As wide receiver Chris Conley told our Tim Tucker this week, the players look forward to having fans in the stands Saturday. “We approach it just like it’s a game. We don’t really approach it like a practice,” he said. “There are people in the stands, you want to show out.”

MORE G-DAY NOTES

G-Day logo resizedA pancake breakfast sponsored by UGA’s Undergraduate Neuroscience Organization to raise money for research into Parkinson’s disease is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Hall, immediately adjacent to Sanford Stadium. Tickets to the all-you-can-eat breakfast are $5 and can be bought at the door. All proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Also, the UGA Student Alumni Association again will be holding a G-Day Tailgate in Tate Plaza between the Tate Center and the UGA Bookstore from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The pre-game festitivites will include barbecue, refreshments, giveaways, performances, an appearance by the Redcoat Band and more. … Surface lots around the stadium will be open to the public Saturday and handicap parking is available in the Tate Center lot and East Campus lot. Fans can enter the stadium through Gates 2, 4, 6, 9 and 10 beginning at 11 a.m. While admission is free, the UGA Athletic Association is again teaming up with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia for a canned food drive. Canned food donations will be accepted at Gates 2, 4, 6 and 9. … Fans attending Saturday’s game will experience intermittent wireless service in the stadium because of an ongoing project to upgrade wireless communications inside Sanford. The upgrade is expected to be finished in time for the season opener against Clemson. … Saturday also will see the Spec Towns National Team Invitational at the UGA track complex on Lumpkin Street and the Diamond Dogs will face Tennessee at Foley Field at 4 p.m. in a game rescheduled in order to allow fans who come to the G-Day game to attend.

ICE AGE HAS ARRIVED IN ATHENS!

The Ice Dogs beat Georgia Tech in the Classic Center's first hockey game. (Dave Skillen / special)

The Ice Dogs beat Georgia Tech in the Classic Center's first hockey game. (Dave Skillen / special)

The UGA club hockey team played its first home match on the new ice rink at Athens’ Classic Center Wednesday night, playing host to Georgia Tech, and Blawg reader Connor Kelly reports the Ice Dogs crushed the Jackets, winning 6-3 before a packed house of 2,100 at the sold-out arena. On hand were UGA President Jere Morehead and athletic department representaives.

Reports Connor: “It was an action packed night, with big hits, great goals, and cheering fans. The game started with a deadlock score of 1-1 after after the first period. The Ice Dawgs took over in the second period with two power-play goals and never looked back, cruising to an easy victory over the hated Yellow Jackets.”

Connor adds that “fans of all ages seemed to enjoy the intense atmosphere and fast-paced action of hockey in Athens. After seeing the success that was tonight, I can only expect bigger things for the Ice Dawgs next fall!”

The hockey team will play a regular schedule of home games at the Classic Center starting in September.

Go Dogs!

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

40 comments Add your comment

Macclenny_dawg

April 10th, 2014
11:47 am

dawgfan

April 10th, 2014
12:10 pm

I’ll be watching the offense. The defense will be better. It couldn’t get any worse. I think the offense will be pretty lackluster this year. The O-line will be mediocre as always. We don’t have the horses up front to fully utilize Gurley. Mason is no Aaron Murray.

As always, they are more than welcome to prove me wrong so no whining please. That’s why they play the games.

Macclenny_dawg

April 10th, 2014
3:35 pm

Special teams oh special teams where art thou!!!

HotDawg

April 10th, 2014
6:39 pm

Espn website reporting sources say j harvey-clemons going to louisville.

HotDawg

April 10th, 2014
7:00 pm

In other breaking news….alabama police surprise nation by actually arresting a bamalama football player for DUI instead of sweeping it under rug or asking Nick for permission to do their job.
Could it be they find a football player that smokes dope at bamalama, next?
Or other criminal activity?
Oh mercy, no. That can’t happen at bamalama.
What will Nick do? Suspension?…yeah right.
All the harvey updyke fans will have heart attacks.

HotDawg

April 10th, 2014
7:11 pm

The cop that arrested the bama player has been fired.

gtcaryd

April 11th, 2014
10:09 am

HotDawg, did their Swim Coach get caught cheating too?

gtcaryd

April 11th, 2014
10:11 am

Bill had better stir up some bloggers, G-Day article is more like Z-Day….Zzzzzzzzz…Zzzzzz

Dog4Life

April 11th, 2014
11:00 am

Saban is probably managing his roster for the fall (LOL!!!)

Terry

April 11th, 2014
12:30 pm

gtcaryd, GT suspending any more fraternities for r@pe baiting emails?

WDE

April 11th, 2014
12:34 pm

gtcaryd just a wee bit of advice if you don’t like Bill’s blog stay on the Bug blog..all by your lonesome. As for G day hope its entertaining for the fans and we get out of it without any major injuries! Go Dogs !

7576DAWG

April 11th, 2014
12:41 pm

gtcaryd
As a group swimmers are some of the best students. UGA coach did not need this one kids grades higher . I think it was more like a parent or older sibling watching a younger love one struggle with something like an on line test and just couldn’t stand not helping out.Knowing it’s wrong and can’t help any but does it anyway. Tried to justify it to himself because the kid is one of our best swimmers.
The Coach is in a lot of hot water and has ruined his Integrity and lost McGarity’s trust knowing there was no way this would be swept under the rug when it was found out like a few of the SEC programs would have done.

CHDawg

April 11th, 2014
12:42 pm

I agree that the next QB is a big unknown. We have seen Hutson, so there is less curiosity. Would like to see improvement out of him, though, and I think we will. Hopefully, those games prepared 14 for ‘14. Bauta looked like Tebow in HS, but he isn’t as big or strong, so whether that translates to the SEC will be interesting. Ramsey can sling it, and he isn’t afraid to let it fly. Two very different guys. I want to watch both lines. They have a lot of continuity and talent, so maybe they can step up this year. All the talk is about the DBs, but they will be a lot better imo. They were extremely young and inexperienced last year. Go Dawgs.

WDE

April 11th, 2014
12:55 pm

CHDawg good post I think you hit all of the high points.

Dog4Life

April 11th, 2014
2:16 pm

The O-Line and remaining healthy is the biggest concerns that i have.

Columbus Dawg

April 11th, 2014
6:34 pm

I think folks will be surprised on the OL. The three that have departed were not exactly tearing it up. I’m looking for it to be an upgrade. The light must have finally come on for Theus. he has been getting good grades from team mates.

Big Macon Dawg

April 11th, 2014
7:09 pm

This year’s football team is going to surprise a lot of folks. I see no more than 1 loss on the schedule, 2 MAX.

dawgfan

April 11th, 2014
8:43 pm

1 or 2 losses would not surprise me at all. What would surprise me is if it actually meant something in the way of a trophy.

That’s not Mark Richt Football.

Big Macon Dawg

April 11th, 2014
9:16 pm

Richt is going to get us a trophy either this year or next.

RED DOG 77

April 11th, 2014
9:56 pm

dawg no fan…………Last year and for some years before you coudn’t stop busting Aaron Murray’s chops……….of course you did so by another name, now you say Hutson Mason is no Aaron Murray…………Son, you need to at least get your hate straight……….those of us who are familliar with you know you’re a fraud………stop changing your name, it doesn’t help……….we see right through you………..peekaboo!………….RED

Piney Woods Pete

April 11th, 2014
10:08 pm

Bill, as a public service, could you update us on Fridays with the latest Fulmer Cup standings. The dwags are soooooo close to moving into 1st place.

Piney Woods Pete

April 11th, 2014
10:10 pm

“Richt is going to get us a trophy either this year or next.”
=================================

Right, another Fulmer Cup! :-)

secfan

April 11th, 2014
10:24 pm

At Red Dog77…Good one on df. some of us do see “right through you” df. df….peekaboo! again!!

RED DOG 77

April 12th, 2014
12:10 am

secfan…………Thanks for the encouragement……….perhaps like me you love college football, see the highs and lows of your team, see the players skill and sometime mistakes………..mabe a play called by the OC drives you crazy………..because it didn’t work, or you think maybe the coach waited too long to fire an unproductive DC……..BUT THIS IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL …….not the NFL………..yes the head coaches can make some really big bucks at some schools………and alot of kids are getting tremendous educations for playing ball………..but for some reason some miserable fool feels like it is his sole purpose in life to rail-on non stop negative drivell about one coach………..poor dude sounds like a woman during the “change of life”…………non-stop…….nag………nag…………nag………nag……….I have to admit I have been angry, disappointed, confused and frustrated as a college football fan………..but if it all went your way all the time, it wouldn’t be much of a game, now would it?………tell these girly guys it’s ok to share their highs and lows about their team or coach, but tell ‘em to pipe down on the nonstop nag routine……………..RED

dawgfan

April 12th, 2014
7:39 am

I have NEVER busted Aaron Murray’s chops. Not once. You are lying and making things up. Please don’t do that. If I was talking about Aaron Murray it was probably in reference to the subpar protection that he received during his career and the joke defense he had to put up with.

You are a liar.

FireRichtNow.com

April 12th, 2014
7:43 am

Fire Richt now. In your mind and your heart, you know it’s the right move.

dawgfan

April 12th, 2014
8:47 am

“Richt is going to get a trophy either this year or next.”

YAWN. Nice cut and paste job from 2007.

dawgfan

April 12th, 2014
9:09 am

I think my very truthful comment got under Red Dog’s skin a little bit, to the point where he had to make stuff up and lie to have any retort.

The truth has a funny effect on some people.

Hairy Dawg

April 12th, 2014
12:06 pm

Today is prefect spring day in Athens. Im really excited to see Gurley healthy and Hutsons development with last few weeks a practice. Then we get to see how Pruitt new D run to ball and attack instead read react Grantham sorry style. Its a good day for Dawgs and will show how this season is goning be special.

Go Dawgs!

RED DOG 77

April 12th, 2014
12:26 pm

Hairy Dawg……….Youbecha!………..Nothing like the spring game to get us geared up for the next season. I am personally very hopeful and optomistic about our chances for a playoff berth. Alabama, South Carolina and Florida are all sideways at the QB position, or at least not as strong as I think we are………Mizzou worries me a bit, but if Pruitt has our D running well by that game this may well be our year. I have seen alot of magic as a college football fan through the years…………chemistry is the key imo………..Go Dawgs, Hairy Dawg, Go Dawgs……………RED

RED DOG 77

April 12th, 2014
12:39 pm

DAWG NO FAN ……….Acually the truth is just what I’m looking for……….not some snivelling, hateful crybaby that feels the best thing to do is sling crap non-stop on a football site…………If you don’t like coach Mark Richt…….fine, say your peace from time to time, but give it the hell a rest……….and don’t try to tell me you have been going by “dawgfan” for long…….you change your name just about every season and post by multiple names now………….The only thing you have done to get under my skin is this constant nag……..nag……….nag……….nag………nag……….and don’t call yourself fan……….because you are not a fan………period. …….RED

ugaclassof2004

April 12th, 2014
12:42 pm

My predictions:

1. Hutson won’t be as good as Aaron Murray, but not as bad as Joe Cox.
2. The O-Line will be alright: Friend is one of Richt’s better coaches.
3. Bobo will be as bi-polar as ever, and the Richt-Loyalist will defend his bone head play-calling.
4. The defense won’t be giving up too many 3rd and 20’s this year, but don’t expect a whole lot of goose eggs on the score board either.
5. If the offense is built around the run game, the worst the Dawgs will finish is 10-2. Will Bobo have the patience/ smarts to do that? Of course not.
6. Special Teams will continue to underwhelm since Richt REFUSES TO FIX IT!!!!!

Season prediction: the Dawgs draw a fairly favorable schedule from the West and get Auburn at home which should help. If the Dawgs have another rash of injuries this season, then changes will have to be made to the conditioning program( Tereshinski was a pretty underwhelming hire to begin with). Richt will win some big games, lose some games he shouldn’t, and finish with a winning record which will appease the docile masses. 8-4 seems a little low, 10-2 a little high; so I’ll go with 9-3.

dawgfan

April 12th, 2014
1:24 pm

I’m pretty sure I can say whatever the hell I want. If you don’t like it don’t read it. You, on the other hand, are not free to make stuff up about people without being branded the liar that you are.

Sorry.

RHall55

April 12th, 2014
3:12 pm

ugaclassof2004….brings up a lot good points….1) Hutson Mason prediction pretty close…2) Will Friend being one of the better Coaches…way off the mark…has not taken the OL to another level…and under-recruited the OL over the past 5 years 3) Bobo, bi-polar a possibility 4) Good assessment of the defense 5) Offense will go as the OL goes…and I am not a Friend fan!! 6) Special Teams and Tereshinski….big question marks….all this said…TIME FOR CMR TO WIN A NC!!!

NoAxeToGrind

April 12th, 2014
3:38 pm

Some people get a little too ( not to….too is an adverb, to is a preposition ) hypertensive over other people’s posts. I won’t call any names. They would be advised to do what I do…..not read, and, better yet, ignore the posts they cannot abide. Certain bloggers do get a little over-exuberant in their comments at times, but their heart is in the right place, and they are, for the most part, correct in their observations concerning the mediocrity of the program for the last few years. So, not that anyone wants my advice. I will risk giving it and say: Relax, pour yourself your favorite libation, have a seat in your favorite chair and chill out. This is, after all, just a game and nothing more.

Hunkerdown

April 12th, 2014
4:29 pm

i am hearing big news out of Mizzo about Beckham

DawgVoiceofReason

April 12th, 2014
7:41 pm

Beckham is done.

dawgfan

April 12th, 2014
7:57 pm

They get too hypertensive because they know its true. Richt is outclassed in today’s SEC. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. He can’t beat the best teams. This is a fact. I

I’m just stating the obvious. The fact that it gets so many panties in a bunch is telling.

CHDawg

April 12th, 2014
7:59 pm

I liked a lot of what I saw. Mason did well, but he still looks a little slow-footed from time to time, much like the Neb game and GT 1st half. Definitely not up to UGA par. I thought he looked better, and his supporting cast will be the key. Stopping a healthy Mitchell, Scott Wesley, Rome, Marshall, and the rest of our currently healthy players should be tough. If the O line steps up and starts to be a force to be reckoned with, we could be quite strong. The D looks better to me. The extra year should help everyone, but how much better is the question. We need to improve a lot, and the DBs still look like a brand new bunch of people every year. I think Pruitt will get them ready. We start tough, so going 2-0 is going to be hard. I am most upbeat about the line depth on both sides–for a nice change. Sure would like to see Bauta in some special packages–Gurley, Marshall, Hicks, Mitchell and Bauta–wouldn’t be easy to stop them all. The fact that Bauta can throw makes the run game more effective. We’ll see if Bobo tries it.

dawgfan

April 13th, 2014
7:44 am

I see that Richt is already leaning on that crutch about having a new system as an excuse for the defense. That didn’t take long. Why can’t this guy just say they need to get better and leave it at that? He always has some excuse or rationalization for everything that goes wrong.

You can see where this is going. It’ll be another lackluster 8 or 9 win type season with Richt calling for everyone to be patient at the end because we just need more time.