Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger (5) throws under pressure during the annual Georgia G-Day spring football game in Athens, Ga., on Saturday April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Athens Banner-Herald, David Tulis)
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia football coach Mark Richt hopes to have a quarterback depth chart in place by the end of this week.
Zach Mettenberger gave him something to think about Saturday at the G-Day spring game. The 6-foot-5, 229-pound redshirt freshman, who made headlines after the first spring practice by getting arrested on five misdemeanor charges, completed 6 of 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Black team to a 17-7 win.
Junior Logan Gray completed 10 of 17 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown while splitting time on the Red and Black teams, while redshirt freshman Aaron Murray went 8-of-19 for 96 yards for the Red and had the day's lone interception. Until Saturday, Murray had completed more than 50 percent of his passes in all five spring scrimmages of his Georgia career.
"I couldn't name a starter right now if I wanted to," Richt said.
Mettenberger is assured of not starting the Sept. 4 opener against Louisiana-Lafayette because he has been suspended by Richt for at least one game as the result of his March 7 arrest near Valdosta. He has not been available for interviews since.
Though he was quarterbacking the second-team offense against the second-team defense, he added to the intrigue of the competition and earned praise from his counterparts.
"Zach definitely had his best performance today," Murray said. "He looked good stepping up in the pocket, maneuvering in and out, and I think that opened up some throwing lanes."
Said Gray: "He hit some big throws, and guys were out there making plays for him. It was good to see him have a productive day and really, really improve from last spring."
Mettenberger was disastrous in three spring scrimmages last year, completing 2 of 18 passes for 43 yards and two interceptions. This spring, he was a combined 23-of-36 for 433 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
The Red team took a 7-0 lead with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Gray to a wide-open Kris Durham. The score came off play-action and was set up by the rushing of Carlton Thomas, who had a 30-yard run from midfield to highlight the nine-play, 68-yard march.
Durham, the fifth-year senior from Calhoun High School, wound up with four touchdowns in the three spring scrimmages.
Mettenberger did not play in the first quarter, but his first pass early in the second went 38 yards to Rantavious Wooten. He ended his first drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass to walk-on receiver Rhett McGowan at the 8:21 mark, which tied the game at 7-7.
On his second possession, Mettenberger had a 30-yard completion to walk-on tight end Derek Rich to the Red 7-yard line, but Rich fumbled. His third possession consisted of one play, a 39-yard touchdown pass to Arthur Lynch with 12 seconds left in the half to put the Black up 14-7.
Murray had 18-yard completions to A.J. Green and Orson Charles during the first Red possession of the third quarter, but the drive ended when he was picked off by middle linebacker Marcus Dowtin.
"I got hit a little bit when I was making the throw," Murray said, "and it just kind of slipped out of my hands."
Richt asked for patience in regard to the upcoming depth chart, which he stressed is not a declaration of who will start. Georgia players will be spending the first part of this week having exit meetings with their position coaches before the depth chart can be discussed.
"I'm just glad I'm not the one making the decision," Durham said.
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 ...