G-Day lineup: New coaches, new defense, new quarterback

ATHENS – G-Day, always a rite of spring for Georgia football fans, also will be a celebration of change this time.

Three new coaches.

A new defensive alignment.

A new starting quarterback, even if his identity remains unrevealed.

And no Willie Martinez to kick around.

Georgia’s annual spring intra-squad football game will be played Saturday afternoon in Sanford Stadium, which will be open for business for the first time since the nadir of the 2009 season –- a Nov. 21 game in which the Bulldogs committed four second-half turnovers and lost at home to Kentucky for the first time in 32 years.

The G-Day game, which starts at 2 p.m. and will be televised on CSS, completes Georgia’s spring practice and provides the first open-to-the-public glimpse of the team’s overhaul for 2010:

  • The new coaches: Other than a couple of closed scrimmages, this will be the first time coaching between the hedges for Todd Grantham, who replaced Martinez as defensive coordinator, and Scott Lakatos, the new secondary coach. The staff’s other newcomer, inside-linebackers coach Warren Belin, coached against the Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium four times while at Vanderbilt.

For Grantham, Lakatos and Belin, G-Day continues their introduction to Georgia football, and vice versa.

“There is so much tradition here,” said Lakatos, who had spent his entire career in the Northeast, the past six seasons at Connecticut.  “I’m just trying to learn the traditions so I can fit in.”

  • The new defense: Spring practice has been dominated defensively by the transition from Georgia’s old 4-3 alignment to Grantham’s 3-4, which has three linemen and four linebackers rather than vice versa. Grantham advocates an aggressive, attacking defense –- just what most UGA fans want to hear.

While fans won’t get a full picture of the new defense Saturday –- “we don’t want to give away any of our secrets,” defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said — Grantham promises a sampling of what’s to come.

“We’re going to do our core stuff,” he said. “We’ll do some things, but we obviously won’t do everything.”

The defense, he cautioned, is very much a work in progress. “Everything’s new,” he said. “Everybody’s a rookie. Everybody’s a freshman.”

But Richt expects folks will be encouraged by what they see.

“Everything is starting to solidify, I think,” Richt said. “I know we still have a long way to go, but you can just see it little by little. The mistakes that are being made just become less and less. There is less and less space to run the ball and less and less time to throw the ball. I think they’re really progressing well.”

  • The new quarterback: Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo have been pleased by the practice-field performances this spring of the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job — Aaron Murray, Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger –- but have resisted revealing a pecking order.

“I don’t even know who’s starting G-Day,” Murray said. “They haven’t told us yet.”

Bobo said he expects to unveil a quarterback depth chart in another week or so, after reviewing video of G-Day and the spring’s 14 other practices.

“I think all three of the QBs have competed well,” Gray said. “And obviously this weekend will be interesting, too, to sort of cap it all off.”

Bobo’s G-Day advice to the quarterbacks: “Let’s go relax and have fun and enjoy the moment of playing quarterback at the University of Georgia. Don’t think, ‘Every throw is going to determine whether I’m starting or not.’ You go out there and have fun and enjoy it.”

G-Day matches the “Red” team, which includes the first-string offense and second-string defense, against the “Black” team, which includes the first-string defense and second-string offense. (And the “Black” team, you should know, actually will be wearing white jerseys.) Dropping no clues about their quarterback preferences, coaches put Murray, Gray and Mettenberger on the “Red” roster and no QB’s on the “Black” roster.

The plan, Richt said, is to rotate the three quarterbacks between the two sides, so that each of them plays with both the first- and second-string offense.

The offense, like the defense, hopes to put on a good show without digging deeply into the playbook.

“I don’t think we’ll show too much out there,” Murray said. Then he recalled that at last year’s G-Day, “we came out with a flea-flicker to start the game off. So I don’t know what crazy tricks Coach Bobo has in mind.”

More G-Day info:

  • Rosters for the  “Red” and “Black” teams are here.
  • UGA’s spring football awards are here.
  • And the latest injury report is here.

So what are you most interested to see at G-Day?

84 comments Add your comment

17 of 20

April 9th, 2010
3:04 pm

Georgia is GATOR-BAIT

dap01

April 9th, 2010
3:09 pm

17-20 stands for the number of pads needed for the walls of Urbans cell or office.

46 of 87

April 9th, 2010
3:15 pm

I’m sorry, what were you saying?

17 of 20

April 9th, 2010
3:24 pm

Will the Black Team have on those uniforms the dogs wore in the Florida game last year? They looked like Grambling and played like Grambling in those uniforms.

Bill W.

April 9th, 2010
3:26 pm

Looking forward to seeing how the safeties look- Jakar, Rambo, etc..Also, would like to see Marlon Brown make some plays.

Excited about this upcoming season! Go Dawgs! GATA

wait and see attitude...

April 9th, 2010
3:36 pm

I remember the flea flicker well…the LB was in on Cox and this should have counted as a sack, yet they went thru w/ the play, this while the LB was just standing there shaking his head…there were more than a few good looking plays that would not have been complete in a game time situation…keep an eye out for the drive buys this year to really see who is getting rid of the ball accordingly…any of these three QB’s can look pretty good at 3/4 speed…just as that hallmark ex-prez “W” stated so eloquently a few years back…
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

JB

April 9th, 2010
3:37 pm

Offense will be as good or better than last year. Defense will be a lot better ( can’t help but be)
And the schedule is favorable and I don’t care what anybody say’s, it’s a good time to play Florida this year………Can’t wait.

DSGB

April 9th, 2010
3:41 pm

… about to be on the road to Athens for the weekend. Can’t wait to see the 2010 dawgs in action.

alabamadawg

April 9th, 2010
3:44 pm

I actually liked the black pants and helmets…it was a nice change…nothing I want to see every year, but still nice. Good luck Logan…

Right On JB

April 9th, 2010
3:45 pm

Yeah, you can’t help but be excited, a new season, with a new aggressive defense, a veteran offense, & several quality QB’s. Even the weather looks great! Go Dawgs!!

GT BABY

April 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

7-5 independence bowl bound hahahaha

Kennesaw Dawg

April 9th, 2010
4:08 pm

Hey, GT BABY, just get ready for another ass whipping this year, just like last and maybe you can go to bowl again and get kicked by a big, slow Big Ten team again.

Swatting Flies

April 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

Hey GT Baby,

If us DAWG fans wasted as much time posting about bowls past as you NATS we’d fill this page up real quickly w/all of those LOSSES that Yech has piled up over the years.

2009 – Orange – Iowa 24 GT 14
2008 – Peach – LSU 38 GT 3
2007 – Humanitarian – Fresno St. 40 GT 28
2006 – Gator – West Virginia 38 GT 35
2005 – Emerald – Utah 38 GT 10

and the beat goes on…my advice, root for your team, don’t poke fun at ours!

DamnGoodDawg

April 9th, 2010
4:18 pm

Real excited about tomorrow! I’m still a little cautious about the defense though, can they hold up i real game situtions? We’ll see for real in September. I hope a QB starter comes out with a quickness so he can get the needed reps. I also hope they have the best guy in there, not just give it to Grey for loyalty reasons. We got an “easy” schedule this year with Floriduh in a “down year” but are they really? I have more questions this year than answers, looking forward to tomorrow though! GATA!

This Guy OWNS

April 9th, 2010
4:18 pm

DamnGoodDawg

April 9th, 2010
4:18 pm

Kennesaw Dawg

April 9th, 2010
4:23 pm

Great comment Swatting Flies, I think that was five straight bowl losses, the bowls don’t want GT but the oppents do.

Rod

April 9th, 2010
4:38 pm

The depth chart will be 1) Murray, 2) Grey and 3rd string will Metenburg. The season will open with Murray starting and Grey as #2 and Hudson Mason as #3. Metenburg will be eating a ham sandwich in Valdosta.

BullDawg Rick

April 9th, 2010
4:43 pm

Will be a great day in the Classic City!!

I’ll take the Dawgs & give the pointzzzz, Baby!!

Bye Week

April 9th, 2010
4:51 pm

Why are you so confident that this year’s schedule is “easy” with Florida having a bye week before they play us?

Bye Week

April 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

Remember they have had higher recruiting classes than us as of late also..

Delbert D.

April 9th, 2010
4:52 pm

I think Grantham is still something of an unknown quantity (or is it quality?) He was a position coach in the NFL. Groh, on the other hand, was a DC and HC in the NFL, plus many years experience in the college ranks. It will be interesting to see how these two previously underachieving defenses work out for Tech and Georgia. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season for both teams.

ugaaccountant

April 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

Grantham has been a DC in the NFL as well. Plus most of the time a younger coach is improving in his career and an older guy is not as effective anymore.

ugaaccountant

April 9th, 2010
4:57 pm

Bye Week

April 9th, 2010
4:51 pm
Why are you so confident that this year’s schedule is “easy” with Florida having a bye week before they play us?

Florida’s the hardest game on our schedule. Everybody would admit that, or at least one of the hardest.

Bye Week

April 9th, 2010
5:00 pm

I think 10-3 is the pivotal record this year. Losses to Florida, Tennessee, and either S.Carolina (early in the season, first test/road test) or Auburn (always close). We should roll Tech this year between having essentially our only two “breaks” of the season, being in November (vs Idaho State and bye week). We don’t get a break before the Florida game and I think we have a road game the week before Florida. Not very favorable conditions…

NewnanDawg

April 9th, 2010
5:01 pm

Everybody that’s going – don’t forget to bring the canned goods donations.

What a great spring weekend – gorgeous weather, a little football preview in Athens Saturday and Sunday in Augusta. One of the best 2 day stretches in a while.

Go Dawgs!

Bye Week

April 9th, 2010
5:03 pm

ugaaccountant –
Yeah, I agree, I was mostly posing that question to “JB”
I think the South Carolina game is going to be a make or break game for us (like the year we beat them 13-7 to keep us alive to win the SEC, and then in 2007, when a close loss kept us out of the NC. I wish we had South Carolina later in the season because we always get stronger and they always get weaker (lack of depth catches up to them)

Small Johnson

April 9th, 2010
5:09 pm

I expect

That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL
That Richt Beats FL

This season or next season and not everytime Halley’s comet makes an appearance.

If he cannot then its time to retire, coach somewhere else, reduce his salary to 500,000 per year or move to assistant.

And refund my additional donation for season Tickets Damon.

Bye Week Wise Up

April 9th, 2010
5:17 pm

Tennessee? You think we will lose to UT? Come on man! UT just lost their only QB with any game experience in Stephens, they have 1 returning o-lineman, and they lost Berry. UGA will run over UT.

KimZ's Package

April 9th, 2010
5:18 pm

I waiting to see how much garbage the fans will leave around campus. I want to see if the Best QB is the Mason kid that isn’t even on campus yet.

BigDawgOnPorch

April 9th, 2010
5:26 pm

Enter your comments here

Small Johnson

April 9th, 2010
5:28 pm

Im not concerned about the trash that is left.

UGA has hired the best Garbage crew in the southeastern U.S

The Drunken Wreck from GT who’s a hell of a Janitorial Engineer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BigDawgOnPorch

April 9th, 2010
5:45 pm

With eleven straight games to play before a week off before Tech, we may need all three quarterbacks before season’s end. And we have two away games before Tennessee, one being a trip to Colorado which will be a physical drain for the players.

Tim

April 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

Bye Week – I agree, our season hinges on beating SC. They play us tough every year, and we’ll be at their house. Plus, we’ll still be breaking in a new defense. Hard to say.

If we lose to UT this year, we are in serious trouble. They lost a lot. I mean a lot.

UF, AU, GT, and ARK will all be tough games, and could go either way. All depends on how healthy we can stay and how well the defense picks up the new sheme.

I see 9-3 reg season, give or take 1.

Albert the Alligator

April 9th, 2010
6:11 pm

And your new starting Quarteback………………………..Nick Stephens!

Albert the Alligator

April 9th, 2010
6:16 pm

I’m interested to see if CMR wears black to go with his tan.

kevin

April 9th, 2010
7:15 pm

GTBaby = delusional douche.

Bo Williams

April 9th, 2010
8:09 pm

What do we want? We want the fans and the media to gush about us. “Ecstasy, ecstasy. Oh those Georgia Bulldogs.” Reminds me of Ms. Bucket searching for compliments on her “candlelight dinners”.

dawgfan13

April 9th, 2010
9:27 pm

not giving the qbs a pecking order is dumb!!!! Why dont they just come out and say who it is? This is rediculis! Nam a guy and call it a day so the starter can prepare for the rest of the spring and on into the fall. You cant waffle on naming a starter at the qb position!

Other JB

April 9th, 2010
9:38 pm

SC will be huge – we made Garcia look like a Heisman winner last year.
ARK isn’t to be underestimated since their realistic Heisman candidate is back.
Not worried about TN – 3rd coach in 3 years & they lost a lot.
FL is young & had a new DC too but never underestimate.
Not worried about GT with a week to prepare,
Still…I’m only really worried about UF and AU…if we win one of those & lose another game…10-2 with chance to play for the SEC as long as both losses aren’t in the East.

Kramer

April 9th, 2010
9:53 pm

Solid play from every position is all we can ask for. Forget who “wins” and which team dominated. It’s a spring game. No one will play at full speed due to the potential of injury so the actual numbers will be skewed. They are learning. They are figuring out what works and what needs additional preparation. Doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and things will fall in place or they won’t and the year will possibly be a dissapointment. Either way, these young men are doing their best. None of them decided to join a college team and just try to do so-so. What would be the point. Allow the coaches to make the decisions they are paid to and hope and pray this year starts us off to being dominant in the conference and putting fear in the other teams hearts. One game at a time.

DILLIGAF

April 9th, 2010
10:00 pm

dawgfan13:

“not giving the qbs a pecking order is dumb!! This is rediculis!”

Is 13 your age or your I.Q.? Just curious. If you’re 13, then you should study harder.

boots

April 9th, 2010
10:31 pm

Looking forward to seeing the Dawgs play tomorrow. No better place than Athens on a warm spring afternoon except Athens on a cool fall afternoon. Go Dawgs!!!

dawg from carolina

April 9th, 2010
10:53 pm

going to first g day game. can any one give advise??? is it like regular game with traffic, tailgate, etc. are all gates open? can we try for autographs? any help appreciated. Go Dawgs!

BigGAdawg

April 9th, 2010
10:57 pm

GT BABY,
We did have a terrible year with a 7-5 regular season. However, in one of the worst seasons we have had in many years, UGA still managed to win the ACC and pummel you butts up and down the field. UGA RAN your geeky team up and down the field. Everytime the ball was snapped we heard the sound of a drum as your defense got popped again. And when UGA got to their bowl, lowly status though it may have been, at least our guys dominated and won.
Techies on the other hand got their heads handed to them by a bunch of slow moving corn-fed farm boys.
The SEC is for the grownups of college football. If we get beat by SEC Power teams, we are upset and unhappy about it but it is at least understandable. ACC is for kiddie schools like Tech. Your leadership knows this. That is why they ran away from the SEC many years ago.
Look at the schedule UGA played the last two years and imagine the yellow geek squad playing those schedules. Hahahahahahahaha!
I know you and your ilk would like to think that you are going to compete with UGA but it just isn’t gonna happen. You can only have an OK record by playing in the ACC (should be the ASC=All Sissy Conference.) If Vandy, or Miss. St. were in the ACC they would dominate your pathetic conference every year. You KNOW that this is true. You KNOW how pathetic you really are. And so does EVERYBODY else. Now go get back in your tickle pile and stay away from the grownups section.
Woof!

col fot

April 9th, 2010
11:11 pm

well said BIGGADAWG. Those tech blowflys like to sling S..t, but they can’t stand the fact we hand their @sses to them yearly. Trashy bunch!!!

Mike T.

April 9th, 2010
11:29 pm

Gator bait. yep!That means Gator tail is on the Dawgs menu this year.

Jeff in Calhoun

April 9th, 2010
11:44 pm

HaHaHa! I see alot of jealous fans of other schools on here. Ya scared of the DAWGS this year huh?

HotDAWG

April 10th, 2010
12:50 am

This is great UGA football T can’t wait
GOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

TheItalianDawg

April 10th, 2010
12:52 am

I dont want to make bold predictions but I have STRONG FEELING THAT GEORGIA WILL HAVE A SOLID YEAR for 2 reasons:
1- there is no way in hell our D can be worse that last year
2- our offense should be better in every position