ATHENS, Ga. -- Reviews of Georgia's 3-4 defense were positive after Saturday's G-Day spring game, including the opinion of the architect.
New Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham expressed satisfaction after the starting defense allowed just one touchdown in the Black team's 17-7 victory over the Red. The Black team gave up its score in the first quarter.
"I think it was a typical spring game in the sense there were some things that really shouldn't happen, but I thought we adjusted as the game went along," Grantham said. "We obviously still have some work to do and are still in the process of working on our fundamentals. It takes more than 15 days to develop your habits, so we've just got to continue to work hard and improve in those areas that we talk about."
Grantham said the Bulldogs ran some "core stuff" Saturday, and he said he feels comfortable in knowing which players should play where.
Senior middle linebacker Akeem Dent, one of the few players Grantham has routinely singled out this spring, continued his productivity with four tackles and a sack. Sophomore outside linebacker Cornelius Washington had five tackles and two sacks, while junior inside linebacker Marcus Dowtin had six tackles and an interception.
Dent switched inside spots, moving from the "Mo" to the "Mike," last Tuesday when Darryl Gamble went from "Mike" to strongside linebacker.
"I would give us somewhere around a 'B' today," Dent said. "We can still be better. We gave up big plays, and we gave up seven points, and when you're playing defense you don't want to give up anything."
Loud crowd desired
Grantham was impressed by the G-Day crowd of 38,742 and is hoping for a lot of noise this fall.
"When you're loud at home, the offense has to go on a silent count," he said. "Everybody's moving on the ball, so basically the advantage that an offense has is no longer there."
Stinking in springtime
Junior punter Drew Butler was honored at halftime for his many accomplishments from last season, which included leading the nation with a 48.1-yard average and winning the Ray Guy Award.
Butler never botched a punt in 56 attempts but did just that on his first G-Day try, a 22-yard wounded quail.
"I dropped it outside my leg and just shanked it," he said. "I'm almost sort of relieved, because it's kind of like keeping tradition alive. I don't know why, but the spring game has never been my forte."
Butler misfired at G-Day last year and averaged 33 yards in the '08 game. He admitted it's strange to punt without a rush, but he bounced back with a 50-yarder early in the second quarter.
Odds and ends
One of the loudest cheers occurred before kicker Blair Walsh attempted a 61-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. Walsh, a Lou Groza Award finalist a year ago, was well short on the attempt. ... Dontavious Jackson led all rushers with 43 yards on 11 carries, but Carlton Thomas had the longest run at 30 yards. ... Richard Samuel, who moved from tailback to outside linebacker during the offseason and shifted to inside linebacker during the spring, didn't play because of a concussion suffered in last weekend's scrimmage. ... Tailback Caleb King sat out (knee) as expected, and tackle Josh Davis suffered a shoulder injury Saturday. ... Under the new recruiting assignments, every assistant coach will have an in-state and out-of-state responsibility, with Grantham responsible for Tennessee.
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 ...