The first Stetson Bennett-less game in what feels like one hundred years just took place in Athens, Georgia yesterday. Georgia Football’s annual spring game, G-Day, finally gave diehard Georgia fans a look at what their 2023 team may be like.
The first thing to address is obviously the quarterback situation. Though Bennett wasn’t the most intense leader on the team, he was most definitely one of the biggest examples of the group in years past. The success the program has had over the past couple of years couldn’t have happened without #13.
During the scrimmage, Carson Beck and Vandagriff both basically spent a half each with the first team offense, and if you could draw anything from watching, Beck looked like he had the upper hand in this quarterback competition.
Beck: 13 of 18 for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns
Vandagriff: 9 of 14 for 135 yards 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions
Other than the interceptions, it may not look like Beck had the objectively better day judging from the numbers. But, there were some characteristics in Beck’s game that were indicative of the fact that he’s going on 4 years in the system.
His pocket presence was spectacular. He wasn’t sacked once– keep in mind this was a spring game and the quarterbacks weren’t live; defenders don’t even have to touch the quarterback to get credited for a sack. Beck had great touch on the ball, and wasn’t afraid to test it deep. You could tell he knew what was happening in front of him; his field vision was great.
The only reason it looked like his performance took a hit in the latter part of the scrimmage was because his passes were being broken up or dropped. His stat line definitely could have been better.
As for Brock Vandagriff, there were moments where even people in the stands could tell something was off. A big could-have-been big play could have been made to Arian Smith when he blazed past Tykee Smith, but Vandagriff didn’t see it. There were also moments where you could see Vandagriff flustered in the pocket, and as is his reputation he did take off using his legs quite a bit.
The quarterback play yesterday basically solidified Beck’s spot at the top, and if anything may have Stockton feeling better competing for the No. 2 spot.
In regard to other positions, we got to see a lot out of the running back room yesterday. Cash Jones and freshman Roderick Robinson really shined in Kendall Milton and Branson Robinson’s absence. Roderick was turned to constantly. When paired with Gunner Stockton it seemed like every other play was a check down to Robinson.
Some receivers that stood out were transfer Dominic Lovett, Mehki Mews and freshman tight end Lawson Luckie. On the other side of the ball, some of the freshman were making plays. Names like Damon Wilson and Sam M’Pemba heard their names called, so that’s ensuring given the lack of depth and youth there.
There’s still a couple kinks that need to be worked out roster wise. A lot of running backs and front seven players need to recover and rehab before they compete for their spots back. But at the least, we have a better idea of who’ll be slinging the rock the Dawgs moving forward.