It has been two years since Georgia last had a G-Day game, and no matter what happened Saturday, fans would have been happy to have the beloved tradition back. That said, G-Day ended up being a fantastic day for Georgia fans.
The Dawgs made it through the day without any injuries, the veterans on the team had good days, and a few young guys made their names known heading into the summer. All in all, G-Day gave Georgia fans as much as they could have hoped to get out of the day.
Georgia fans weren’t the only group that seemed to enjoy the return of G-Day. head coach If Kirby Smart is any indication, the Georgia coaching staff was also excited.
Following the scrimmage, Smart told reporters, “I was very pleased and happy to have, for one, great weather, but great fan support. I thought our students really turned out well down there in the west end zone. It was good to see that atmosphere back. Over there in what I call the old student section, it was great to have everybody there and supporting the players.”
It’s not hard to understand why the coaching staff would be excited about getting the opportunity to play between the hedges this spring. The live game atmosphere of the G-Day scrimmage is the perfect opportunity to test young players and get them game-like reps before the season starts.
This opportunity was especially critical this year as Georgia has several young players in the defensive backfield and receiving corps that it will rely on this year. Allowing those players to get as many reps as possible is critical heading into the Dawgs’ Week-1 matchup against Clemson. Smart acknowledged that in his post-game media availability.
“The more you throw the ball, the more you challenge them," he said. "You challenge them by what you call, but you also challenge them by putting air in the ball and throwing it around. We got to challenge those guys.”
Georgia fans probably noticed the number of passes Georgia quarterbacks threw during the G-Day game. Many fans are excited about the prospect that Georgia will stretch the field more this year, but fans shouldn't expect every game to look like the G-Day game as the Dawgs head into the season. Spring games are still a practice, and coaches call them differently than they would call a real game. Smart openly talked about that with reporters.
He said, “That wasn’t our goal this game; to come out, establish the run and really run the ball hard. G-Days are built around a lot of two-minute drives. You want to hurry up, throw and catch the ball. That reduces the risk of injury. When you’re doing that, there is a lot of intermediate passing game.”
The tactic was effective as the Dawgs made it through the day without any significant injuries. Still, while it keeps some fans wondering exactly how the Georgia offense will attack opposing teams this fall, Smart and the coaching staff hope it leaves opposing coaches with even more questions.
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