Saturday's G-Day spring football game was only minutes old when Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo admitted his biggest concern in the upcoming months.
"This is going to be a big offseason for the receivers," he said. "We've got to have more than Michael Moore and A.J. Green be consistent. We need five or six guys."
Georgia ended spring with as many scholarship receivers - five - as Bobo has children. Senior Kris Durham of Calhoun was expected to provide experience as well as a third proven option, but he is having to undergo shoulder surgery and will redshirt this fall.
The Bulldogs have help on the way with signees Marlon Brown, Orson Charles and Rantavious Wooten, but counting on freshmen could be risky amid an opening six-game gauntlet of Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Arkansas, Arizona State, LSU and Tennessee. That leaves junior Tony Wilson, redshirt sophomore Israel Troupe and redshirt freshman Tavarres King, who combined on seven catches for 54 yards at G-Day.
Troupe had five of those receptions but also dropped a potential 30-yard gain inside the 5-yard line.
"That's going to be really important," starting quarterback Joe Cox said. "A lot of times A.J. and Michael are on the same side, and we've got to have somebody on the other side who can be a threat as well to keep a defense balanced."
Said Green: "We have some young guys who have a little bit of work to do."
Bobo has a deadlock at tailback, lumping Caleb King and Carlton Thomas together at the top, and wasn't happy with the offensive line's pass protection at G-Day. Georgia defenders recorded 10 down-by-contact sacks in the shortened game, which was won by the Red team 13-3 over the Black.
Justin Houston and Marcus Washington had three sacks apiece, giving Georgia fans hope that more pressure can be provided from the edge compared to the subpar surges of last season. Free safety Bryan Evans came up with the game's lone interception.
Head coach Mark Richt said the defense produced a lot of good tackling at G-Day with minimal mistakes on the perimeter. It was a showing the defense needed after several debacles a year ago, and coordinator Willie Martinez is hoping this momentum can be maintained.
"I want to see a player-driven team," Martinez said. "Leadership is going to be huge. They are away from us in April, May, June and July, so players are going to have to do a great job in the offseason and continue what we've been doing since January as far as work ethic and focus."