Friday, April 5, 2013

GDay Gameday Preview

With the travel and entertainment portion aside, let's get down to the nuts and bolts of the spring scrimmage.

What are we going to see?
What we know for sure is that the team will be split by depth, which is to say that the first team offense will try and function against the first team defense, and then vice versa. So one team gets the 1st offense and the 2nd defense, the other gets the 1st defense and the 2nd offense. (I typed that out even though it was self explanatory, came to such a realization and then left it in case it was not...) Grantham will coach one team and Bobo will coach the other. Assistants split up forthwith.

Ward's a redshirt soph that's
finally healthy.(via)
What we don't know yet will be one of the more intriguing subplots to this year's GDay (and actually any spring game really) - the rosters. I would imagine those would leak out starting sometime today. And when they do we'll have a better idea of where certain players are on the depth chart.

What should we be looking for?
And for once the depth chart at tailback is not going to be that interesting. Thank God. Seems like each spring the last few years we've wondered where "so and so" would be and if Richt would once again favor seniority over the spring's hot name.

But the depth on the defensive side of the ball will be of particular interest with so many starting spots up for grabs. After the end of last season, we should be definitely be looking at how well the run defense looks. I'm sure the defensive coaches have awoken from a deep sleep plenty of times since December 1st to nightmares of Lacy and Yeldon running free in the secondary. I know I have. Can the line plug up holes for the linebackers to roam unhindered? is one of the top GDay subplots. I would expect to see a lot of spirited competition to make key tackles, big stops and game changing plays on that side of the ball.

Offensively the line is (always) at the top for me. I'm eager to see how much depth we might truly have. Reports have Xzavier Ward as a potential tackle opposite Theus. Finding someone to lock down that side is key to allowing some of our guards posing as tackles back inside where they should be.

Beyond that it would be nice to see a receiver like Conley pick up where he left off on New Year's Day. And it would terrific to see Quayvon clearing space and helping to set the pocket.

Also, Hutson Mason. I think getting a chance to run things last week was a shot in the arm. Here's a guy that's waited, truly been the poster boy for patience. We've seen a lot of him during his springs in Athens and I think we know what he can do. But I bet he has a big day on Saturday. He's gotten a taste of being the #1 guy and I think he wants to show fans what they can expect from him when the huddle is his.

Harvey-Clemons, special talent. (via)
Other players that could have a big impact: Tray Matthews (the spring's darling), Josh Harvey-Clemons (position change to feature his skills more), Mike Thornton (has he locked down the nose over Mayes?), Sheldon Dawson (has shined with three picks in the previous scrimmages) and Ramik Wilson (may have solidified a starting spot with Herrera at inside linebacker).

And what will we not see?
You won't see much of Murray. Same goes for Gurley. Plus, none of Malcolm Mitchell. And while that might be a bummer, especially for young fans wearing their jerseys, it does open up the field for Keith Marshall and the new kid AJ Turman to get more snaps [edit: not on campus yet. Sorry] as well as a chance to see how we might plan to use newcomer JJ Green.

Additionally, who is in the third QB slot behind Mason? Faton Bauta has been nursing some tendinitis in his bicep. Doubt we'll see too much of him, which is a shame. Which leaves us with walk-on Parker Welch, the new kid Brice Ramsey and Christian LeMay.

And nothing says GDay like a spirited debate over which number should be the third string quarterback. Y'all have fun and root for no injuries.

Go Dawgs!