Tomorrow afternoon we get our first look at the 2013 Georgia Bulldogs in the annual G-Day game in Athens. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the new faces on the defensive side of the ball and the deep offensive line it looks like we’ll have entering pre-season practice in August.
When the Red Team Has the Ball
The Red Team is the first team offense, and the Black has the first team defense. Of course, this match-up will be the most interesting of the day as all of the returning starters from the best offense in the modern era of Georgia football will face what hopefully is a reloaded athletic defense. I don’t think we’ll see Aaron Murray beyond the 1st quarter, and the coaches and officials will keep a close eye on him for the time he is in the game. I also wonder how much Gurshall will be in the game as we are dangerously thin at tailback. With Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett on the shelf with knee injuries, Jonathan Rumph will get a hard look running with the first team offense. On the Black defense, everyone is excited about Tray Matthews and the immediate impact he has made this spring. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress of Ramik Wilson at inside linebacker especially with his play late in the season and Mike Thornton at the nose as he replaces Jenkins and Geathers.
When the Black Team Has the Ball
While the Black Team on offense will be the guys who are the 2nd team on the depth chart, there are a number of players who were heavy contributors last year. After his coming out party late in the season, Jay Rome is likely to be a mismatch for the younger defensive players on the field tomorrow. Hutson Mason will likely be looking for Rome early and often in the middle of the field. I’m also looking forward to seeing the young offensive linemen who will be looked upon to provide depth this fall. On the Red defense, I’m looking to see how well the young, talented defensive linemen especially Ray Drew, Chris Mayes, John Taylor, and John Atkins stack up against what could be a pretty good 2nd unit offensive line because these four will play a lot next year especially in the early season heat against Clemson and South Carolina.
What Will Happen
Spring games are generally vanilla on defense with a couple of early offensive wrinkles for the benefit of the crowd. Eventually, the defenses take over as players who aren’t used to playing together have to get the timing down on offense. The 1st quarter means everything in this game as the rebuilding Georgia defense may face the best offense they will see the entire season when the offensive starters are across the line from them. Due to all of the returning offensive talent, I have to like the Red to win the game, but the best thing to happen will be no one gets injured to affect either summer conditioning or the early season.
Final Score: Red 17, Black 14