ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia zipped through its G-Day spring football game in 95 minutes Saturday afternoon, but not before the first-team offense zipped to a couple of touchdowns against the firstteam defense.
The Red team, consisting of the first-team offense and defensive reserves, defeated the Black 17-3.
“I have a sour taste right now, because we don’t want to give up any first downs, no kind of points and no kind of big plays,” Black team middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe said. “It was just a lack of focus, but it seems like it’s this way every year. The defense dominates throughout most of the spring and the offense comes in at G-Day and puts up some points.”
Though they failed to match the 642 yards and 55 points compiled in 40 minutes at GDay last year, Georgia offensive components had reason for excitement in the 32 minutes Saturday. A rain-soaked crowd of 19,874 attended Saturday’s game, which was Georgia’s second-lowest spring crowd of the past five years.
The Red team needed just four plays to take a 7-0 lead.
Matthew Stafford opened with a screen to Kris Durham that Durham turned into a 31-yard gain. Two Knowshon Moreno runs netted 14 yards before Stafford threw a 30-yard touchdown pass down the middle to Michael Moore, who had beaten cornerback Prince Miller.
The Black team pulled within 7-3 on its first possession with a 46-yard Andrew Jensen field goal, which culminated a drive that was highlighted by a 35-yard pass from Joe Cox to Israel Troupe. Late in the first quarter, Black team cornerback Asher Allen dropped a potential interception of Stafford.
“I can’t believe I did that,” Allen said. “I haven’t dropped a pick since like ’95, so it kind of hurts.”
The Black team was driving again early in the second quarter, but Cox fumbled a snap from freshman center Ben Jones, resulting in a loose ball that Red team linebacker Akeem Hebron picked up and ran 40 yards to the Black 26. The Red team got inside the 10-yard line two plays later when Allen was flagged for interfering with Durham near the goal line and took a 14-3 lead on a 7-yard pass from Logan Gray to Moore.
Moore, who had three catches for 26 yards as a sophomore last season, had three for 53 Saturday and the two scores. He was a Red team member Saturday because Mohamed Massaquoi sat out with a neck injury.
“I was able to make some plays when the ball was in the air,” Moore said. “I knew that first one was a man-to-man route. We ran that same play two times in the last scrimmage, and I had the opportunity to make plays on those, too.”
Receivers coach John Eason said Moore has always had great concentration on the ball but until now has lacked the inner drive to push himself.
Stafford completed 6 of 10 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown before sitting the second half. Cox completed 7 of 11 for 69 yards.
Moreno, who wore jersey No. 26 to honor injured receiver Tony Wilson, rushed just three times for 16 yards.
The 19,874 fans came nowhere to matching the G-Day record of 30,085 set back in 1982, but the audience was plenty big for Caleb King. The backup tailback who redshirted last season had six carries for 31 yards before his first Georgia audience, including a 13-yard gain in which he broke some tackles.
“It’s been a year-and-a-half, so it felt really good to go out there and perform,” King said. “I believe I did pretty well, but there is always room for improvement. My blocking skills need to come up.”
Said head coach Mark Richt: “I thought it was good for him. I also saw him pick up a couple of blitzes too, and I always enjoy seeing a back do that. He did a nice job today.”
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...