(Updated 7 p.m.)
ATHENS – The G-Day game produced no immediate answer to the No. 1 question in Bulldog Nation: Who is Georgia’s starting quarterback?
“I know everyone wants to know what’s going on, wants to know who the starter is, and I couldn’t name the starter right now if I wanted to,” coach Mark Richt said after Saturday’s intra-squad game. “I really don’t think I could.”
But Richt said hopes to have a new quarterback depth chart by the end of this coming week.
Between now and then, he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will review video of the quarterbacks’ performances throughout spring practice, which concluded with the G-Day game.
And Richt cautioned that whoever is No. 1 on the post-spring depth chart won’t be guaranteed of keeping the position into the Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana Lafayette.
In the G-Day game, won by the “Black” team 17-7 over the “Red” team before a crowd of 38,742, strong-armed redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger had the best statistical performance of the three quarterbacks.
He completed six of 10 passes for 150 yards for the Black team, including touchdown throws of 20 yards to walk-on wide receiver Rhett McGowan and 39 yards to tight end Arthur Lynch.
Mettenberger, who is suspended from at least the first game of the season because of his arrest near Valdosta last month on five misdemeanor charges, worked only with the second-team offense and against the second-team defense Saturday. The other quarterbacks, Logan Gray and Aaron Murray, worked with both the first- and second-team offense.
“Mettenberger certainly had a nice day, there’s no doubt about that,” Richt said. “But I think they all did well.”
Gray completed seven of 13 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown — a 7-yard toss to wide receiver Kris Durham – for the Red team and three of four passes for 30 yards for the Black team.
Murray completed eight of 19 passes for 96 yards (with one interception) for the Red team and two of three for no net yards for the Black.
Mettenberger was not available for comment afterward, per Georgia’s policy for suspended players. Both Gray and Murray said Mettenberger had his best day of the spring.
As for their own days:
“I think I did decent,” Murray said.
“I thought it went pretty well,” Gray said.
Now they await word from Richt and Bobo on a pecking order.
“I think it’s a close competition. I think it’s a great competition,” Murray said. “I think all of us, throughout the spring, have really stepped up our game.”
Said Gray: “Obviously this game was big, but it wasn’t a deciding factor for everything.”
While the G-Day game gets the most attention because it is open to the public and televised, the other spring practices, particularly two earlier closed scrimmages, get equal or greater weighting from the coaches.
“After every scrimmage, you might say one guy did better than another one,” Richt said. “I think they all had their day.”
The upcoming depth chart “will gauge where we think [the quarterbacks] are right now, but it won’t necessarily be who will start when the first game rolls around,” Richt said. “It will indicate who will be where when we start [preseason] camp.”
Georgia put its 3-4 defense on public display for the first time Saturday -– sort of.
To avoid giving opponents a peek at the new defense, the Bulldogs were extremely guarded in how much of the playbook they showed. (Virtually none, players said.) And to keep from exposing how the defense would react to certain situations, the offense was toned down, too.
Still, new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham seemed pleased, particularly with his No. 1 unit.
“The biggest thing I was pleased with was how we worked the game and adjusted to what happened,” Grantham said. He noted that one specific running play went for a long gain in the first half but was stopped for no gain when tried again in the second half.
Grantham said he was impressed with the play of inside linebacker Akeem Dent, outside linebacker Justin Houston and the cornerbacks.
Said Houston: “I think the defense did a great job, especially holding the No. 1 offense to seven points. It was a great confidence builder, especially since they have been sticking it to us all spring.”
Fans got a first look Saturday at Grantham on the sideline. He’s intense, to say the least.
“That’s what you want . . . a guy that’s got some fire in him,” Richt said. “Everybody knows my demeanor and has a little bit of a feel for that. I think it’s probably good to have somebody who’s a little more outwardly excited. I do get excited on the inside, but it’s good to have that energy on the sidelines.”
Just one penalty was called in the game. That particularly pleased Richt, given the Bulldogs’ No. 113 rank in the nation in penalties last season. . . Offensive tackle Josh Davis banged up his shoulder. The extent of the injury was not immediately known. . . . Tailback Caleb King didn’t play because of a strained knee. Richt said the injury isn’t a long-term concern. . . . Linebacker Richard Samuel did not play because of a concussion suffered at practice this week. . . . The Black team wore white jerseys (with black numbers). . . . Safety Nick Williams had the day’s high in tackles (7). . . . Not much was happening in the running game. Washaun Ealey had just 22 yards on seven carries for the Red team. Dontavius Jackson and Carlton Thomas ran for 43 and 41 yards, respectively, for the Black.