What We Learned From Georgia’s G-Day Game
Last season the Georgia Bulldogs came ever so close to winning their first National Championship since 1980. Because of that expectations are higher in Kirby Smart’s third season than any time in recent memory. On Saturday the Red faced the Black in the annual G-Day Game or spring game as most schools call it. Let’s take a look at What We Learned From Georgia’s G-Day Game.
The Fans Came Out In Droves
82,164 people packed Sanford Stadium to watch the game, the second highest attendance from any college spring game behind Nebraska. That number is second highest ever for the Bulldogs only behind the 93,00 who showed in 2016, Smart’s first season. In fact in Smart’s three years in Athens, Georgia has averaged 80,000 fans for the game.
Here’s are the national spring game attendance numbers.
These round numbers are suspicious.
Nebraska — 86,818
Georgia — 82,184
Alabama — 74,732
Penn State — 71,000
Tennessee — 65,098
Florida State — 60,934
Clemson — 55,000
Florida — 53,015
Oklahoma — 52,102
Texas A&M — 48,000
— RJ Young (@RJ_Young) April 22, 2018
However that number would have been higher if not for a 63 million dollar construction project closing off the entire west side. When it is completed the Bulldogs will have new locker rooms and a recruiting lounge.
Justin Fields Is The Real Deal
In the contest won by the Black 21-13 the true freshman outplayed incumbent Jake Fromm Leading the Black squad, the number one rated dual-threat quarterback in the country threw for 207 yards with one touchdown and interception.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 21, 2018
In addition Fields had several nice runs including a 22 yarder, many of which would have been even longer had this been a real game. Under the rules of the game Fields faced the second team defense.
On the other side of the ball Fromm struggled against the first team defense. The sophomore threw for 200 yards but had two interceptions and a touchdown. One of those was a 32 yard pick six by Deandre Baker on a tipped ball. Fromm also had two near touchdowns. Riley Ridley dropped what would have been a touchdown and overthrew Mecole Hardman on another.
Following the game Smart said there was no quarterback controversy saying there is a big difference playing against the first and second team defense. In addition he compared it to 2017 where Fromm outplayed Jacob Eason. Of course Eason later transferred to Washington.
The Running Game Was Mostly Non-Existent
In 2017 the Bulldogs averaged 258 yards a game on the ground. However Nick Chubb and Sony Michel graduated and are waiting to see which NFL club drafts them this week. In addition the top returning back D’Andre Swift missed the game due to a groin injury.
Because of all those factors their was little to show in the running game. Prather Hudson led the Black squad with 9 carries for 40 yards and a touchdown. Brian Herrien led the Red team with 34 yards on five carries.
For the game Georgia only mustered 158 rushing yards which for them is not that great. However with a healthy Swift who ran for over 600 yards as a freshman those numbers will go up drastically. Smart said they were never going to focus on the run during Saturday’s game.
It’s hard to tell a whole lot from the spring game but one thing is evident, Georgia has two quarterbacks who can play. While it may not be a controversy it is clear Fields needs to see action come the fall. The Bulldogs are the overwhelming favorites to again win the SEC East and complete for the National Title.
Thanks for checking out What We Learned From Georgia’s G-Day Game here at Last Word On College Football.