The Georgia Football spring game is now in the books after the Red Team defeating the Black Team by a score of 22 to 17 on Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. Unfavorable weather conditions of cold temperatures and rain at times most likely were factors in both the attendance (52,630) and the play that took place on the field. Even as the rain fell though, a large crowd was still on hand for the Dawg Walk before the game proffering a glimpse of the love and affinity that the fan base has for the Red and Black. Another factor that arguably played into the attendance number being the lowest since UGA Head Coach Kirby Smart assumed the helm at Georgia is the fact that this year’s annual G-Day game was played on the Saturday of the Easter weekend holiday. In spite of all of the aforementioned, there were some positives that were seen through the play that occurred at the spring game as well as some areas for growth or needs improvement.
For starters, the contest was really a low-scoring affair when one takes into consideration the explosive offensive weapons that are present within the Georgia Football program. Coinciding with that, the UGA defense really played an all around game. No, it was not perfect but it was noticeable if one really paid attention to the intersquad game that took place “Between The Hedges”. This was definitely apparent in the first quarter when “Black Squad” DB Eric Stokes picked off QB Jake Fromm and took it 39 yards to the house for the score. As can be imagined and as a result of the stellar defensive play occurring, Stokes ended up sporting the turnover spike pads in reward for his great defensive play. It should be noted here though that Fromm threw a decent pass that appeared to be a reception by UGA WR Jeremiah Holloman and Stokes just made a great defensive play by ripping it away before taking it the opposite direction for the score. Stokes further added 4 total tackles on the day and in his fine defensive game. Other standouts on the Black Team defense included DB Richard LeCounte (8 Tackles) and LB Nakobe Dean (5 Tackles).
The Red Team was not without its own fine defensive play on the day. Newcomer and DB Lewis Cine logged 8 total tackles, while DB Christopher Smith had 6, and DB’s Tyrique Stevenson and Latavious Brini each had 5. Smith also had 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss in the contest.
Offensively, Georgia QB Jake Fromm was 14-29 for 116 yards, a lone interception, and a single touchdown. His TD pass was on a strike for 13 yards to UGA RB Brian Herrien. It was not Fromm’s best passing day but neither was his last G-Day and one has to keep in mind that he is throwing against a defense that sees him on a daily basis. New QB D’Wan Mathis fared well in his debut also but it was not without mistakes either as he was sacked some 5 times. Mathis went 15-28 for 113 yards passing and 1 interception. He did show some of his speed and ability as a playmake though catching a 39-yard TD pass as a receiver from WR Matthew Landers. Stetson Bennett looked solid and play QB some for both the Black and the Red squads. He went 12-23 for 210 yards passing and a 43-yard touchdown to WR Jeremiah Holloman.
On the ground RB D’Andre Swift carried the ball 3 times for 39 yards while RB Brian Herrien carried it 7 for 25 yards (also 13-yard receiving TD). Running back James Cook carried it 5 times for 16 yards.
At the end of the day, the G-Day game was a success and was a decent game with both sides showing positives and needs improvements as we move towards Fall practice and the regular season. Two other wins took place as well on G-Day in my opinion: no players sustained any form of serious injury and the Dawgs landed a commitment for Class of 2020 4-Star OL Akinola Ogunbiyi. With the Georgia Football spring game down and these “wins” in place along with it, eyes forward to the regular season and with the hopes of playing for a national championship. Go Dawg!!!