ATHENS — Welcome to Game Week.
Well, sort of. Georgia will play a quasi-football game on Saturday. The G-Day game is merely an intrasquad scrimmage, but coach Kirby Smart has made a pretty big deal out of it by calling for fans to pack the house at Sanford Stadium.
As we all know by now, UGA is calling it #93KDay and has kind of put a little pressure on itself in the process. I’d imagine it’ll be at least a little embarrassing if the stadium is not at capacity after making it such an institutional initiative.
As they say, “we’ll see Saturday.”
Now, here are some things Georgia fans need to know this week:
1. Back to the grind
The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields twice this week for practices number 13 and 14. Saturday’s G-Day game will actually count as No. 15, which is the maximum the NCAA allows for spring practices.
Georgia will practice Tuesday and Thursday. I would imagine Tuesday will be to go over what they did right and wrong in this past Saturday’s scrimmage and Thursday will likely be to install the G-Day game plan.
Smart said this past Saturday the coaches still weren’t 100 percent sure what that will look like.
“Maybe four quarters,” he said. “… It’s gonna depend a little bit on who’s healthy, too, how we come out of this scrimmage. How we come out of Tuesday’s practice will dictate how long we go. The format will be a game format, a scoring format, not some kind of point system or anything like that. We’ll probably have some running clock in there. … The exact details will come out (later).”
2. QB rotation unclear
Smart said they still have not settled on what the rotation of the quarterbacks will look like on Saturday. All spring, the hierarchy has been Greyson Lambert with the No. 1 offense, Brice Ramsey with the twos and freshman sensation Jacob Eason with the threes. But Smart hinted that they might do something different and not necessarily assign the quarterbacks to either of the two squads. They may just rotate and alternate them between the teams so that they either get equal reps or equal time with the respective offensive units — one, two or three.
I’d guess the latter because, while the quarterback depth chart is pretty clear at this point, Smart said the G-Day for coaches represents nothing more than another opportunity to evaluate personnel in a competitive atmosphere. And, he has emphasized, he does not view it at all as a “show” for the fans.
That said, they will “create” some excitement for the fans with their use of the quarterbacks.
“We’ll also create some two-minute situations where they’ll have to go hurry-up at the end of the half and hurry up at the end of the game,” Smart said. “We’ll create those situations for the quarterback, a little more excitement, forcing them to throw the ball even if you have the lead.”
3. Kicking game in question
I’m sure we’ll find out more tomorrow, but Smart claimed the coaches still weren’t sure how they will handle kicking situations in Saturday’s scrimmage. It’s sounds like he’s leaning toward not going “live” on returns
“Not sure yet. Probably not,” Smart said. “We haven’t been doing that in these situations. We’ve been doing live field goals, rush and block, but not necessarily on kickoff and kickoff return.”
He did say that Ramsey, the quarterback, continues to be the Bulldogs’ No. 1 punter and will handle those duties Saturday.
4. Heritage of UGA Sports
If you’re in Athens on Monday and have some time in the late afternoon, Georgia will hold a pretty cool panel discussion in the Richard Russell Special Collections Library Auditorium at 4 p.m. The panel will be comprised of Verne Lundquist, Tony Barnhart, Vince Dooley and Danny Sniff and will be moderated by the incomparable author and sportscaster Loran Smith.
The program will feature a panel discussion about the heritage of sport at UGA and the impact it has had on the campus, students, alumni, faculty and rest of the university community. There will also be a video presentation written by Smith, a special exhibit and a reception will follow the program.
5. Diamond Dogs reeling
It was a tough weekend for the Georgia baseball team, which was swept in College Station by Texas A&M by an aggregate, three-game score of 30-3. The losses dropped the Bulldogs to 17-16 overall and 4-8 in the SEC.
But there will be no time for a pity party. Georgia travels to Atlanta on Tuesday to face No. 24 Georgia Tech (23-8) at Russ Chandler Park. Then the Bulldogs play host to No. 8 South Carolina (28-5, 10-2 SEC) for a three-game series Friday through Sunday.
G-Day, Georgia’s annual spring football scrimmage, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Sanford Stadium. Check back here daily for DawgNation’s G-Day coverage brought to you by Georgia United Credit Union.