GEORGIA SPRING AWARDS
MVP: LG Cordy Glenn
True Grit: FB Shaun Chapas
Coffee County Hustle: TB Washaun Ealey
Most Improved: TB Carlton Thomas
MVP: OLB Justin Houston
True Grit: LB Akeem Dent
Coffee County Hustle: DE Demarcus Dobbs and N DeAngelo Tyson
Most Improved: CB Vance Cuff and CB Brandon Boykin
Georgia football coach Mark Richt doesn't believe today's G-Day game will be vanilla, but he knows it won't be the most exciting two hours in sports history.
The Bulldogs, seeking to rebound from an 8-5 season that included lopsided losses to Tennessee and Florida, will put their 3-4 defense under new coordinator Todd Grantham on display at Sanford Stadium. The quarterback competition among Logan Gray, Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray will be viewed before its largest audience as well, but Richt isn't giving Georgia supporters or Southeastern Conference foes too much to dissect.
"I know the fans are probably waiting for a lot of this, that and the other," Richt said. "We may do this and that and not the other. We'll do some things, but we definitely won't show too much.
"We've put in some new things offensively, too, that we don't want to show."
This afternoon's game between the Red and Black teams will start shortly after 2 and will be televised by CSS. Festivities will begin at noon, when about 80 former players spanning six decades will take part in an alumni flag football game.
Larry Rakestraw, who quarterbacked the Bulldogs from 1961 to '63, and Randall Godfrey, a four-year starter at linebacker from 1992 to '95, are among those scheduled to play.
Gray, Mettenberger and Murray are expected to rotate among the Red and Black teams and receive similar amounts of snaps. They are coming off a successful second scrimmage last Saturday in which they combined to complete 30 of 46 passes for 396 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Murray is 23-of-34 for 284 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions through the two scrimmages, while Mettenberger is 17-of-26 for 283 yards with three scores and one interception. Gray, the only one among the three who has played in an actual game, is a combined 13-of-25 for 148 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"I feel much more confident," Richt said. "I kind of expected progress to be made because I knew their talent base and their work ethic, so I'm not surprised by it. They are, however, doing better than I thought they would do and anticipated they would do."
Richt also believes the defense has improved after a shaky start. Several players have worked at multiple positions in the 3-4, with the most notable switch occurring earlier this week when senior Darryl Gamble was moved from middle linebacker to strongside linebacker.
Grantham said today is more than just players making an impression before the fans.
"It's a chance for them to make an impression in front of us coaches, too," he said. "It's really the third scrimmage when they have a chance to make plays without us on the field. We're looking for guys to make plays and be productive."
Admission to G-Day is free.
Redshirt freshman outside linebacker Reuben Faloughi has been awarded a scholarship. The 6-foot-5, 232-pounder from Martinez, Ga., has been practicing much of this spring as a second-team outside linebacker.
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 ...