As Vince Dooley stated, the whole ESPN Gameday-at-G Day thing is "definitely a new concept." Walking around campus in the hours before and after the game, it seemed like a small fraction of an actual gameday, with most of the streets still open and hardly as many Dawg fans as usual. I couldn't imagine watching it on television, even if I am watching the Tivo'd game right now.
Sue's estimated the attendance to be somewhere in the 30-35k range. According to Total UGA, that figure was actually 42, 500...although I'm fascinated to know how you estimate that number without the exchange of tickets. The method they used was probably similar to ours, which is to say, not very scientific. In any case, 42k + for a glamorized scrimmage is excellent news for Dawg nation. If nothing else, the national audience with nothing better to do Saturday but watch the G Day game - not to mention all of those prized recruits - had to be impressed with the turnout. It's really an honor to be part of a rich tradition that inspires tens of thousands of fans to travel to Athens for little more reason than the nostalgic sense of calm and joy only received from seeing a sea of Red and Black.
The game itself was, admittedly, a bit brutal. Logan Gray had arguably the best day of all the quarterbacks, going 9-13 for 91 yards (7 rushes for negative 20 yards), a slight step up from Joe Cox's 9-16 for 105 (4 rushes, minus 24 yards). The score - while not entirely important - was 13-3, so don't' be surprised when I say there were no touchdown passes. All of you that are waiting in breathless anticipation for Aaron Murray's line, he went 3-5 with 62 yards. Mettenberger was a decidedly unimpressive 0 for 3 with one interception, topped off with 2 rushes for negative 16 yards.
What really concerns me is not the lack of prolific plays from the game. It is, after all, just a spring game, and if any of the players are going 100% they should probably be sat down and screamed at by the coaches. Nobody needs to be getting injured chasing Zach Mettenberger out of bounds. On top of that you have the coaches not wanting to reveal their plays, so I'm not going to overreact towards a day of struggling offenses and half-assed plays (no run backs on punts, for example). But what does concern me is that every conversation I struck up with Georgia fans over the weekend - every single one - included a hopeful comment regarding Aaron Murray. While asking a few dozen Bulldogs in various stages of intoxication is not exactly what I would call a legitimate poll, for our purposes it may as well be. It nearly appears that the majority of Dawg fans are prepared to have a terrible team for the first few games if it means getting our star recruit in one year ahead of schedule. This is troublesome, to say the least. If the one thing this kid has above all else is solid leadership, the sentiments around the locker room and throughout Dawg Nation must be the same for this team to succeed: we need to support Cox as our quarterback.
Speaking of supporting our quarterbacks, I received quite a few nasty looks while standing in line at the concession stand and - perhaps a bit too loudly - exclaiming to my friend my not-so-positive feelings about Stafford. You see, ever since he took the field up 26 points against Georgia Southern and people were chanting his name in the stands I felt the guy was getting just a little too much. I feel like the best part about being a Georgia Bulldog is our tradition. That tradition seemingly went right out the window with Stafford, who just so happened to be on the television being interviewed by Herbstreit and company while I was trying to get my Beam mixer. Just got done watching that interview, hoping for another reason to despise Stafford or forgive him. Came away with nothing. Quite vanailla, actually. Good luck to you, Stafford. I apppreciate what you did for my school, but for some reason I hope that's the last time I see you in my stadium.
Quick note:: the running back situation did not seem to get any clearer. I'm much more concerned about our tailbacks than our quarterbacks. This is, after all, Georgia. Carlton Thomas seemed to have the best day, accumulating 59 yards on 8 rushes. Someone from this pack really needs to step up.
The most interesting part of the scrimmage? A Mark Fox sighting! It was impressive to see Fox introduced on the field, then lead our 4th quarter cheer. But what really got Fox the Sue's nod of approval was walking into the student section and grabassing with the fans. Nice work, Fox. I'm sure it was quite a sight to see forty thousand strong gathered for a spring day. We're happy to have you.