Backups come up with play of game as Red edges Black 32-21 in G-Day Game

Sophomore tailback Isaiah Crowell showed good form for the Red team during Saturday's G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Sophomore tailback Isaiah Crowell showed good form for the Red team during Saturday's G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

G-DAY GAME REPORT
By CHIP TOWERS & TIM TUCKER

Reuben Faloughi slapped the ball loose from quarterback Parker Welch and outside linebacker Ricky Lowe snatched it out of the air in mid-stride and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown.

“Ricky Lowe making a play,” Georgia coach Mark Richt marveled afterward. “That was awesome!”

Executed with just 1:40 left in the fourth quarter, that proved to be the game-winning play as Lowe’s Red team held on to defeat the Black 32-31 before 44,117. Made by one former and one current walkon, it was AJC Play of the Day for G-Day.

“That was more contact on the quarterback than we’ve had all spring,” Richt said with a laugh. “ . . . But the ball got hit, pops up and Ricky made a play and takes it to the house.”

That play represented one half of a surprisingly exciting ending to an otherwise dull intrasquad scrimmage. On the ensuing possession, tight end Jay Rome hauled in a pass in the flat from Christian LeMay, split two diving defenders and rambled 66 yards for a touchdown. But Black team coach Todd Grantham elected to go for the win and LeMay’s two-point conversion pass failed.

Jarvis Jones confident in D

At halftime of Saturday’s G-Day game, Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was presented a huge crystal trophy from College Sports Performance Awards, which named him their linebacker of the year for 2011.

“Fifty-five pounds,” Jones said the trophy weighed. “When they handed it me, I went ‘ugh.’”

That could serve as a metaphor for Jones as he’ll be carrying a heavy load during the Bulldogs’ first few games of the coming season. Georgia is expected to be without several defensive players due to suspensions and dismissals.

That’s particularly disappointing for Jones, who immediately bagged the idea of entering the NFL draft and convinced several of his draft-eligible teammates to stay with him. But the All-American from Columbus said the attrition may end up being a blessing in disguise for Georgia.

“Situations happen, like they’re always going to happen,” said Jones, who led the SEC in quarterback sacks. “So we just have to deal with it and build off it. We’re going to continue to get better and I’ve seen a lot of the young guys stepping up and improving their games.”

Several of those “young guys” stood out Saturday, including sophomore linebacker Ramik Wilson (7 tackles, 1 INT), safety Quintavius Harrow (5 tackles, sack) and cornerback Devin Bowman (4 tackles).

New targets for Murray

Georgia has a largely veteran receiving corps. But there were two new players who stood out during Saturday’s G-Day Game.

Justin Scott-Wesley, a redshirt freshman split end from Camilla, led the Red team receivers with three catches for 46 yards. Rome, a redshirt freshman from Valdosta, led the Black team in receiving yards with 73 yards on two catches, including a spectacular 66-yard touchdown.

Interestingly, both players joined the team late this year as they were competing in other sports. Rome is a forward on the basketball team and Scott-Wesley is a sprinter in track.

“Those guys have definitely gotten better all spring,” quarterback Aaron Murray remarked. Hopefully they’ll both be fully back for us now and continue to get more reps. That’s the biggest thing: They were behind the 8-ball just timing wise since they were unable to work with us in January and February and March. But they’ve picked it up fast and, now that we’ve got them to ourselves, they should get even better.”

New pecking order for running backs

It has been nothing but rave reviews for tailback Ken Malcome all spring and those assessments were validated Saturday as the sophomore from Decatur started with the No. 1 offense.

Malcome responded with 32 yards on 8 carries and scored two of the three rushing touchdowns on the day. One came on a 10-yard touchdown run in which he broke three tackles to get into the end zone.

Malcome alternated first-half series with sophomore Isaiah Crowell, who finished with 39 yards on 10 carries.

“Ken Malcome ran hard and ran through some tackles on both touchdown runs,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “The growth and maturity of those young backs — and Isaiah and Ken are both young — has come a long way.”

Crowell was most pleased to get through the spring healthy after an injury-plagued freshman season.  “I stayed out there every day [this spring],” he said. “I think it was a good thing for my coaches to see.”

The quarterback picture

Hutson Mason, a quarterback who might not play at all in the fall, played for both sides in Georgia’s spring game.

Georgia’s plan, if all goes well, is to redshirt Mason in order to put a year of separation between the end of his eligibility and that of Murray. But for purposes of spring practice, coaches emphasized that Mason had to prepare as if he’d play this season, as he undoubtedly would in the event of an early injury to Murray.

Mason completed 9 of 12 passes for 133 yards in the G-Day game — 5-of-8 including a touchdown throw for the victorious Red team and 4-of-4 for the Black team. Afterward, he expressed satisfaction about his spring and the coaches’ plan for him in the fall.

“It really just depends on how comfortable they are with other guys [as backup quarterbacks] and if Murray gets hurt,” Mason said. “As long as Murray stays healthy, I’ll probably get my redshirt.”

The coaches showed what they thought of Mason’s progress by naming him and Murray co-MVPs on offense for spring practice.

“To think these coaches think highly enough of me [to share the honor] with a quarterback who is known as one of the best in the SEC, I think that speaks volumes to my development and potential,” Mason said. “All I can do is wait and try to be as prepared as possible when I get my opportunities on Saturdays.”

Richt said after the G-Day game that Mason showed why the coaches regard him so highly: “Fans by the end of the game got to see what we like so much about Hutson. . . . He just has an uncanny ability to stand in there and cut that ball loose under pressure and find the right guy.”

In the stands

An announced crowd of 44,117 showed up on a beautiful, sunny, 75-degree afternoon at Sanford Stadium.

It should be noted that, since tickets were not sold (admission was free) and fans were not counted as they entered the gates, the announced attendance was basically a ballpark figure.

The crowd was sizable enough to blanket most portions of the lower deck in red during the first half.

The announced attendance for the previous four G-Day games: 43, 117 last year; 38,742 in 2010; 42,458 in 2009; and 19,874 in 2008, when rain held down the crowd.

Etc.

Murray, solidly entrenched as Georgia’s No. 1 QB, completed seven of 17 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown on the Red team. Murray praised the progress of the rebuilding offensive line through spring practice.

“The first week, it might have looked like, ‘Man, they’ve got a lot of work to do,’ but those guys have done unbelievably from from Week 2 to Week 3 to now,” Murray said. “The progress they have made is tremendous. . . . They’re doing a great job against probably one of the best defensive lines in the country and one of the best defenses in the country.” . . .

Quarterback Christian LeMay completed seven of 10 passes for 154 yards for the Black team.  “He showed some really nice touch at times,” Richt said. . . . Tailback Brandon Harton caught six passes for the Black team. . . There were only six penalties for 25 yards in the game, three infractions by each side. . . .  Richt, summing up the day:  “It was just good for our fans to see guys make plays, [fans] who normally don’t get to see it everyday at practice.”

Quotable

“I think we definitely made strides in every facet of our team this spring — offensively, defensively, special teams. I think we had another great day today.  Offensively, specifically, I thought we made some great plays. . . . It was our goal to get better this spring, and I think we definitely exceeded our goals and expectations with how good we could become. ”

– Quarterback Aaron Murray

STATISTICS

Black—–Category—–Red

31———–Score———-32

16——-First downs——-12

29-18—–Rushing—–28-61

273—–Passing yds——174

25-16-2–Att-Com-Int–26-12-0

54-291—Total off.——54-235

Individual leaders

Black Team

Rushing

Samuel 8-43-1

Parsons 2-7-0

Karempelis 2-3-0

B.Smith 1-2-0

Passing

LeMay 7-10-154-1-1

Welch 5-11-48-1-0

Receiving

Harton 6-52-0

Erdman 2-67-1

Rome 2-73-0

Red Team

Rushing

Crowell 10-39-0

Malcome 8-32-0

Davis 2-4-0

Murray 2-2-0

Passing

Murray 7-17-112-0-1

Mason 5-8-0-62-0-1

Receiving

Scott-Wesley 3-46-0

T. King 2-47-1

Brown 2-32



132 comments Add your comment

Vampire Bill

April 14th, 2012
8:56 pm

Hudson looked good.. but against 2nd team D

CHDawg

April 14th, 2012
9:06 pm

Dawgs looked great! The position players on O looked very strong and deep. Defense looks great. Kickers looked like a HS punt and kick competition at times. The O line is the key to 12 imo. If they can be a solid SEC front, I think we are going to be mighty tough to beat. Go Dawgs, and let’s stay in church and out of trouble this summer!

Bulldog on the Bayou

April 14th, 2012
9:09 pm

I can’t wait ’till September!

jaglaw

April 14th, 2012
9:13 pm

OL looked better than last years GDay game. Could turn out to be the shock of the year in the SEC.

Tdawg

April 14th, 2012
9:14 pm

So Murrary was a blistering 7 for 17. Tell me again why he is entrenched so strongly as the number 1 QB. If you ask me 7 for 17 is pretty pathetic. I see his accuracy has not improved any form last season. Defense, you better play better during the regular season than you did today.

Snoop Dawg

April 14th, 2012
9:20 pm

If only we had a bona fide head coach and OC….

Ghost

April 14th, 2012
9:24 pm

tdawg are you seriously looking at Gday stats when most of the 2nd half was played by scout team?
Gday means nothing.

GtDawg

April 14th, 2012
9:25 pm

ITS JUST A SPRING GAME PEOPLE!!!!!!!! NO ONE WAS TRYING TO TAKE NOBODYS HEAD OFF TODAY, Except Samuel.

DILLIGAF

April 14th, 2012
9:27 pm

Crowell looks like he’s put on some muscle. Pass blocking looked better also.

GATA!
UGA/85′

tide roll

April 14th, 2012
9:29 pm

In the name of all that is holy, move Burnette to Center, and start Mark Beard at guard. Try like hell to get Xzavier Ward ready. Put him at left tackle, and move Gates to Right tackle. That is by far the worst looking, least athletic offensive line ever. IC and Boo are going to get killed. I swear Richt and Bobo should be made to run behind them. Then you would see them recruit legitimate SEC caliber athletes, rather than their private school favorites. This is incredible. Along with your true freshmen punter and kicker.Richt should be canned.

AlaskaDawg

April 14th, 2012
9:36 pm

Sounds like a good day, with some positive strides to build on for the Fall. We seemed really stacked at QB, LeMay had a good day as well. Go Dawgs!

Bigdsel

April 14th, 2012
9:41 pm

We had fun. Kids loved it and I got to do my favorite thing. Watch UGA football between the hedges

boots

April 14th, 2012
10:07 pm

Fun game today. Yes, the punting looked bad, but I remember a couple of years ago when Drew Butler looked awful in the G-Day game, too. I think he got things going rather nicely. No one got hurt today, and that is a big deal. Can’t wait until August.

FLA DAWG

April 14th, 2012
10:15 pm

32 – 21 !

Where the hell was the Defense!?

Great News Dawg Nation……………We are able to beat ourselves!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

April 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

not worried about the D….CTG has a grip on this program. Liked the surprises by the freshman!!

flippity ippity jibbit

April 14th, 2012
10:43 pm

Is slim dawg a red head freshman. He looks ready to have a good year.

bob

April 14th, 2012
10:46 pm

kt…you’re an idiot

Dawg fans RELAX

April 14th, 2012
10:54 pm

LOL…I swear I am as big a dawg fan as any of you on here and I know and understand football as well as any of us, but some of us really overreact to a glorified spring practice. This means nothing. John Theus will make a huge difference on the O-line when he gets here. I don’t care if Murray went 0-30 today, he is a top 5 QB in the nation and some of us act as if he’s not the best QB on campus. Stats today mean nothing. Just a practice in front of 40K people. This team is going to be really really deep on both sides. I just pray we have at least an average kicker and punter.

DawgNation

April 14th, 2012
11:06 pm

Who in the Heck is Eric Murray?

Vampire Bill

April 14th, 2012
11:40 pm

Eric Murray is Aarons twin brother. He’s the one that throws all the INT’S and PICK 6’s.

Fan

April 15th, 2012
12:04 am

@ Fla Dawg

It was 32-31. There were multiple defensive touchdowns and 2 point conversions. Also, the D had some decent turnovers that set up good field position for the offense. The defense did some pretty decent scoring themselves to create that score – it wasn’t just the offense dominating (there were some nice plays on both sides, along with some bad ones).

kingdaddy

April 15th, 2012
12:21 am

The Alabama game was boring whereas the Doggies was a lot more exciting. Samuel was fired up, so was big John. David Andrews better stay in the weight room or we got trouble…

CMR

April 15th, 2012
12:22 am

The bottom line is baring injury A Murray gives us the best chance to win in the SEC THIS year..therefore he is our starting QB you don’t like it find another team

Fan

April 15th, 2012
12:34 am

Crayon, it wasn’t just the offense scoring. The defense put up some points as well and gave the offense some good field positions at times

Fan

April 15th, 2012
12:47 am

@ tide roll

Do you have something against David Andrews at Center? He played (almost?) every offensive snap for BOTH teams. The guy rarely (if ever) actually went to the sideline. Played well overall, but still could improve. Burnette took a lot of plays off when on the field. Lee looked good. Didn’t focus on Gates or Beard much. Austin Long was horrible. He was getting beat in pass pro all day by everyone and only held his man when the TE helped. His brother, Hunter, was ok. Dantzler wasn’t much better. Ok in run support, but way too top heavy in pass pro. Leans forward hunching his whole back too much and needs to lower his center of gravity towards the quads more. Also, slow feet. All you need is a speed end to easily get around him. Kolton Houston was the best RT of the day. He gave up one or two plays to washington and had a false start, but generally, he held his own. Good job pulling and getting to the second level. Pretty quick for his size. Did ok against the 5 and 9 technique combo (even sans TE). When Bowman beat Dantzler all D could do was throw his body and roll on the ground (literally) to try and stop B. I’d love to see the defense use a 5 and 9 technique combo more often. Heck, even the wide 9 the Philly Eagles use would be awesome. Unfortunately, our O-line would get beat all day with that. Still, good game. I think there’s potential if people get healthy and they find the right combination in the fall.

Midtown Dawg

April 15th, 2012
12:59 am

@Fan,

That was one of the best analyses I have seen of our o-line ever on these ajc comments. Thank you for sharing. It really helps to read comments from someone who clearly knows a lot about o-line play and technique. I actually am going to copy and paste your post into a document I save and I am going to look up the techniques you refer to and look for the things you mention about each player in games this fall.

RED DOG 77

April 15th, 2012
1:03 am

I thought the GDay game was………..er………..a…………..cool !

RED DOG 77

April 15th, 2012
1:04 am

Oh Yea !……………GO DOGS !!!! GATA!!!!!

7576DAWG

April 15th, 2012
1:37 am

No major injuries this spring or in the G- game. About as as good as it gets. I still say we are doing something wrong because Georgia has entirely too many hamstring injuries. I am not knowledgeable enough to know why but someone has to have some kind of idea of how we can cut that type injury way down.

Fan

April 15th, 2012
2:41 am

@ Midtown Dawg

Thanks for the compliments, that’s really flattering! Just providing some comments from what I saw at the game. Let me know if you want any more analyses. Can’t wait till the fall and to see how Theus and Pyke fit in the mix.

UGA89

April 15th, 2012
3:48 am

Thanks for your input but we have a very good kicker and punter that UGA recruited coming in the fall. The kids you saw today are filling in until they arrive on campus.

UGA89

April 15th, 2012
3:51 am

@Tide Roll
Thanks for your input but we have a very good kicker and punter that UGA recruited coming in the fall. The kids you saw today are filling in until the recruits arrive on campus.

UGAalways

April 15th, 2012
6:32 am

Is this two or 3 straight years that other quarterbacks will have had a better spring then Murray. LeMay who is a unknown quarterback who broke state records in passing will never play. Even if Murray makes bad decisions like last year. Look Mason had a better spring last year and look at what happened. Richt I love you as a UGA coach but let the better quarterback play. We as UGA fans deserve that. Defense is solid. Gonna be real good defensively. Just think your best running back didn’t play. Good job overall . Just hope that the offense takes off. Bobo your on the hot seat this year.

DDOG

April 15th, 2012
7:16 am

How bout Michael Erdman? He’s a little guy but man he was awesome…looks like a playmaker to me,,, #6 (white team)

RHall55

April 15th, 2012
7:51 am

I like Fan’s coomments!! I think CWF is still @ UAB not coaching the SEC level, plus his recruiring efforts @ UGA are horrible; only getting 3 OL LOI’s last year (0 from the state of GA); only one non-committed OL to attend G-Day (whcih Seymour was a potential visitor!!); already missing out on Josh Outlaw (to U of Florida); only one commit so far this year for OL; CWF, why haven’t you pulled in JP yet? Guess you are still on vacation since last year when you went out of town when Jessemen Dunker came to town and you were no where to be found!! C’mon Man, you’re costing us games!!!

Miranda Rights 101

April 15th, 2012
8:18 am

How many of the Dawg Dummies can read?

tide roll

April 15th, 2012
8:22 am

What. Murray got MVP for the spring. What does it stand for, Most Valuable Pervert? He and Robinson should be required to locate the girl from Spring Break and apologize IN PERSON. At the VERY LEAST. What a program.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

April 15th, 2012
8:32 am

I dont understand why Mason isnt given a chance; Mason still looks great but we wonder why this team still hobbles along

Another 10 win season thanks only to our easy schedule this year

A hard schedule and this team would be 8-4 due to that sloppy looking offense

Paddy

April 15th, 2012
8:45 am

I predidcted the O-Line would be a source of pride this season. So far, nothing to change my mind!!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

April 15th, 2012
8:47 am

I predict the offense to be predictable as usual; after watching yesterday nothing to change my mind on that

tide roll

April 15th, 2012
8:48 am

bucket

April 15th, 2012
8:59 am

It is hilarious reading some people’s comments. If you knew as much about college football as you think you know you wouldn’t have time to post on these blogs because you would be busy coaching your own team!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

April 15th, 2012
9:06 am

Really not much to know about UGA football

10 win seasons
Cant ever beat any good team
Sales pitches of Dream Team
Constant player discipline issues

Really not much to know about UGA football

GTDog

April 15th, 2012
9:16 am

Fan, that was a great comment on the O-line. Looks like you have the technicalities down a lot better than most, including myself. However, you’re not quite as knowledgeable as tidy bowl, so let me spell it our for you…as mentioned here on many previous occassions, by tidy bowl himself.

1. Justin Anderson is the greatest O-lineman in history.
2. Ben Jones might be an ALL-SEC and AA Center, but he couldn’t make the team at Alabama.
3. Big, heavy boys are sexy when they sweat.
4. Justin Anderson is the greatest O-lineman in history.
5. I played 3rd string guard in high school, well junior high, and I know more than every college coach in the land. Except for Lord Saban, we’re even.
6. Justin Anderson (ahhhh, swoon) is the greatest O-lineman in history.

In the future Fan, please refrain from posting any analysis that does not adhere to the above, especially #1, 4, and 6.

Thank You,
The Dog from Georgia Tech…….

Wallace Butts

April 15th, 2012
9:25 am

Tide Roll – didn’t Alabama have a spring game yesterday that you could comment on, or didn’t you go. Don’t they have a blog?

GTDog

April 15th, 2012
9:29 am

Uh oh, Coach Butts. Please be careful. Tidy Bowl might misread your handle as “Wallace’s Butt” and think you’re a 6′3″-320# boy…no telling what he might do if he thought such a young stallion was actually paying him attention………..I can see him bounding up the basement stairs at Mom’s right now, heading to the car.

Wallace Butts

April 15th, 2012
9:55 am

With all due respects GTDog, I don’t think that Tide Roll is a ‘Bama fan at all, more probably at GT fan showing the motto “THWG” thingie..

Dap01

April 15th, 2012
9:56 am

7 for 17 for Murray? We need more written about that? Why so bad? 42%? Entrenched at the starter?

tide roll

April 15th, 2012
10:14 am

ugab

April 15th, 2012
10:56 am

Glad I did not waste gas to go see a depleteing Uga football team.. I think Uga should drug test all the players after the game.. I bet they suspend more players..