Georgia shuffles offensive line again

Georgia shuffles offensive line again

April 13th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Tailback Todd Gurley (3) runs during Georgia's annual G-Day game at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. - There was a new look for fans at Georgia's G-Day spring game Saturday at Sanford Stadium, but it was not new for those involved.

When the Red team, which consisted of the starting offense, took the field for the first time, hardly anything appeared normal up front. David Andrews was the center and Greg Pyke the right guard, but John Theus had moved from left to right tackle, Kolton Houston had shifted from right tackle to left guard and Mark Beard had rejoined the starting lineup at left tackle.

"It kind of happened this week as far as the coaches playing with the rotation some," Theus said after the Red team's 27-24 triumph. "It is what it is, and I've gotten to work at both sides. I'm still with the ones, so there is no disappointment there."

Theus said the change occurred last Tuesday.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said that it's a matter now of finding the best left guard. He added that the other option is having Brandon Kublanow there with Theus at left tackle and Houston at right tackle.

"It would have been nice to see Watts Dantzler practice the whole spring, because I thought he was coming along," Richt said of the former Dalton star. "I think we've got six, seven, eight and maybe nine offensive linemen who I think by the time the season rolls around will be able to play for us."

Beard, who briefly quit the team earlier this year, would be the biggest beneficiary if Saturday's lineup remains. He and Theus both prefer left tackle, and Beard estimated that he practiced at guard about half the time this spring.

"It really just shows that there isn't any telling how the lineup is going to shake out this year," Beard said. "They're trying to find the best five, and everybody is going to get an equal chance. I'm trying to be one of those five."

Gurley misunderstood?

Junior tailback Todd Gurley had nine touches at G-Day, rushing six times for 32 yards and a touchdown and catching three passes for 38 yards. He nearly had a receiving score but fumbled the ball through the end zone.

Gurley was challenged before spring practice by offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to lead by example since he is not overly vocal. He recently was praised by Bobo for doing just that, but Gurley never saw it as an issue.

"I'm not quiet. I just don't really like talking to y'all," Gurley said. "I have fun around my teammates, and I pick them up. All I do is just play ball."

Getting the nod

The Black team, which contained the first-team defense, started walk-on cornerback Aaron Davis and walk-on safety Lucas Redd. First-year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has rotated his defensive backs on multiple occasions this spring, and Redd was asked how much of that was out of frustration.

"It's a little bit to do with that," Redd said. "At the same time, I'm not the coach, and I'm just doing what I'm told and going out there and playing."

Odds and ends

Sophomore safety Tray Matthews and sophomore tailback-turned-cornerback J.J. Green were late scratches, with Matthews suffering yet another hamstring pull. Green injured his ankle. ... Faton Bauta had the best day of the backup quarterbacks, completing 16 of 28 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. ... Brice Ramsey played for both teams and completed 2 of 13 passes for 78 yards and an interception, while early enrollee Jacob Park was 2-of-5 for 27 yards and an interception for the Red. ... Senior safety Corey Moore, who played for the Black, led all defenders with seven tackles.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.