G-Day gives glimpse of Bulldogs' future



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Aug 22, 2006
G-Day gives glimpse of Bulldogs' future
By Marc Weiszer | marc.weiszer@onlineathens.com | Story updated at 1:04 AM on Sunday, April 6, 2008
A soggy Saturday wasn't going to keep Robin Shellico and his son Taylor from making the drive from Augusta to Athens for Georgia's G-Day game at Sanford Stadium.

Shellico readily admitted that the 19,874 Bulldogs fans in the stands for what was a glorified scrimmage must be a little crazy to brave the elements on a rain-filled day.

"At least my wife says so," said Shellico, a 51-year old physician's assistant who bought tickets online, shelled out $4 apiece for two rain ponchos and sat on the 50-yard line for his first G-Day. "She's in bed right now. She's going to watch it on TV."

Viewers watching at home on CSS and the wet ones in attendance got to see the Red team (featuring the first-team offense) beat the Black team (which included the first-team defense), 17-3.

They also got an offseason taste of a Georgia team that could be ranked No. 1 in the preseason coming off an 11-2 season that ended with a Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii and a No. 2 final Associated Press ranking.

"It's obvious people are expecting big things," coach Mark Richt said. "Georgia fans always expect big things."

Fifteen spring practices have come and gone and Richt still sees holes to fill.

"To me if you're thinking you're a preseason No. 1, then you need to be stacked at every position," Richt said. "I just don't see us there yet. We've got some offensive line issues. We don't even know who our kicker is. There are things going on that need to be solved before we roll into the season."

Georgia will have 21 weeks before it opens with Georgia Southern on Aug. 30.

Fans like Shellico wanted to catch a first glimpse of the Georgia newcomers like highly touted redshirt freshman tailback Caleb King.

"And of course, Knowshon," Shellico said.

That would be Knowshon Moreno, who last year rushed for the most yards by a Georgia freshman since Herschel Walker. Moreno played 14 first-half snaps and was done for the day except for fielding a punt. He rushed for 16 yards on three carries and is highlight was a one-handed catch that picked up 11 yards

King may not have piled up the yards (31 yards on six carries, all in the first half), but left a lasting impression with some nifty footwork.

He spun past linebacker Akeem Dent on one run to gain a first down. He also cutback on an 8-yard gain.

"I wanted to score a long touchdown, but it didn't happen, but that's OK," King said.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford directed the Red on three first-half drives that ended with a touchdown, punt and a field goal. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 78 yards.

Junior receiver Michael Moore caught a pair of touchdowns-a 30-yard pass from Stafford and a 12-yard scoring strike from freshman Logan Gray for a 14-3 lead.

Eight players that began the spring on the two-deep did not play due to injury including starters Mohamed Massaquoi (neck), Clint Boling (mononucleosis) and Jeff Owens (shoulder) That doesn't include freshman receiver Tavarres King, whose debut at Sanford Stadium was postponed because of an infected knee.

Starting offensive guard Vince Vance was helped off the field with 1:10 remaining with a sprained ankle that Richt said wasn't serious.

The crowd was the second lowest in the last five G-Day games, but topped the total for last year's national champion, LSU, which drew 14,375 for its spring game last year.

Georgia is hoping to get through a rugged schedule and celebrate its own championship this year.

Linebacker Rennie Curran believes in a team that returns 17 starters from last season.

"Not only because we have those guys coming back, but because the leadership that we have so far and the talent level is amazing, we just have so much potential," Curran said. "There are no boundaries for us."
the local paper in Gainesville had this article after the game...." Holloway: Bulldogs show depth and talent

By Brent Holloway
POSTED April 5, 2008 11:53 p.m.

ATHENS — Mark your calendar — Jan. 8, 2009

Bulldog fans, go ahead and check out South Florida hotel rates.

On Saturday, at a chilly, rainy Sanford Stadium, the world got its first look at Georgia football 2008. But the minds of most of the red-and-black clad were already set on more tropical climes — Miami, the location of next year’s BCS title game, to be exact.

That’s the way it’s been since the Bulldogs wrapped up their 2007 season on a Sugar Bowl high, and with a No. 2 ranking, after routing Hawaii 41-10 just three months ago in New Orleans. And during Saturday’s annual spring game Bulldog fans were given no reason to think differently.

Of course the game and the 17-3 final score in favor of the Red team don’t count for a thing, and it’s hard to read much into a team playing against itself, but this is a team with few question marks and fewer full-blown weaknesses.

I’ve never watched a national championship team practice in April, but if you told me that’s what was on display here Saturday, it’d be hard to dispute.

At the end of 2007 there was little argument that Georgia was among the best teams in the country. During the bowl season BCS hype, it was mentioned numerous times by pundits that if the two best teams were chosen to play it would have been Georgia taking on USC, instead of LSU vs. Ohio State. And as much as the Bulldogs improved over the course of 2007 — going from a team that scored only 12 points against South Carolina to a team that scored a combined 87 points against Florida and Auburn – they’ve only gotten better.

There’s NFL-caliber talent all over the field, starting with junior quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Just two years ago at this venue he was the fresh-faced wonderkid with the Texas-sized arm. Now, he’s the veteran of two SEC seasons and a proven leader in the huddle – he showed as much Saturday, driving the Red team 40 yards in 1:18 for a field goal just before halftime. He’s still got the big-time arm, but he’s reined in the gun-slinging since his freshman year when he finished with seven touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Then there’s Knowshon Moreno, who quickly ascended to fan-favorite status as a redshirt freshman with more than 1,300 rushing yards in 2007. He won’t have Thomas Brown to share the load with anymore, so in steps Caleb King — another redshirt freshman, who showed Saturday why many believe he’s poised to be 2008’s breakout sensation.

And the beat goes on.

It’s a pattern that plays out all over the Bulldog roster.

Lose a Sean Bailey, gain an A.J. Green.

Lose a pair of NFL defensive ends, plug in a Sugar Bowl MVP, then replace him with any one of five others that are chomping at the bit.

Lose a handful of offensive linemen, then have their replacements leading a unit that’s putting up 38 points per game in the final six contests of 2007.

That’s how you become the healthiest program in the deepest conference in the country. It’s why even in the dark days, like when the Dogs dropped four of five during Stafford’s freshman year, the sun was still peeking from behind the clouds.

These days, regardless of Saturday’s dreary conditions, the forecast for Georgia football is as clear and bright as a summer day in San Diego. Or, in this case, a January night in Miami."

haha. I can't wait til all the Bulldog fans dreams are shattered when they don't even win the East!

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