It was The Drizzle who first called our attention to the possibility of a problem.
On the day before the G-Day game, he asked, quite reasonably: "Has anyone really said what their game plan is tomorrow pending all the rain that we supposedly might be getting?" Doug's answer, in sum, was uhhhhhh . . . nope.
Due to the inclement weather, the turnout for Bloggerpalooza '06 was limited to Doug Gillett, his sister Ann, my brother-in-law and former "Dawg Show" co-host Travis Rice, and me. (If anyone else tried to show up and couldn't find us, I regret that we missed you, but we had folks at the Arch at the appointed hour and Doug went to great lengths to track down any stragglers.)
Doug brought plenty of donuts, but he forgot and left the sorority girls at home.
We wound up tailgating in the North Campus Parking Deck, with fried chicken, potato chips, and donuts arrayed across the trunk of Trav's car. We took some solace from the knowledge that, by Bloggerpalooza '12, the fact that we braved the elements for Bloggerpalooza '06 will be a point of pride and a badge of honor. Doug was concerned, however, that, by Bloggerpalooza '12, the event will be sponsored by Met Life and Halliburton and the whole thing will have become "too corporate."
The predicted downpour occurred as expected, although the rain stopped during the pregame festivities and the day turned out to be overcast and faintly chilly but otherwise quite pleasant. (It was the sort of day that causes football fans to turn to one another in late autumn and say, "This is perfect football weather.")
Susan and Thomas chose not to make the trek to the Classic City on account of the climatic conditions, so Doug, Ann, Trav, and I went to the spring scrimmage together and sat with one another, despite the uneasy tension that arose when it became clear that some of us were rooting for the red team and some of us were rooting for the black team. The game was well attended, but we arrived in Sanford Stadium early enough to get seats in the student section near the 50 yard line.
That's me over there on the left.
I noted earlier that you win some, you lose some, and some are rained out. Bloggerpalooza '06 essentially got rained out and it is in the nature of the spring game that you emerge at once victorious and defeated.
This brings us to the good, the bad, and the ugly of the G-Day game itself.
Georgia's defense is going to keep the Bulldogs in a lot of games while the offense matures. The defensive front consistently won the battle at the line of scrimmage and applied pressure in the offensive backfield. Charles Johnson and Kade Weston recorded two sacks apiece.
The secondary looked solid. Paul Oliver essentially shut down Mohamed Massaquoi and Oliver was among the six Georgia defenders to pick off a pass over the course of the truncated contest. Asher Allen, Ramarcus Brown, C.J. Byrd, Jarvis Jackson, and Tony Taylor all recorded interceptions, as well, with two of them being returned for touchdowns: Brown went 80 yards for the score and Allen took his pick an Odell Thurmanesque 100 yards from end zone to end zone.
The 'Dawgs have some concerns on offense, most notably on the offensive line. Unless Martrez Milner regains the ability to catch footballs when they hit him on the hands, I'm for keeping the tight end on the line of scrimmage to give the quarterback extra protection rather than releasing him so he can drop the passes the Q.B. hurriedly has to throw while backpedaling away from pressure.
For those of you who may have forgotten what this looks like, here is a picture of Martrez Milner holding onto a football that has been thrown to him.
Speaking of Bulldog signal callers, who will be lining up under center for the Red and Black this fall? In an effort to give the fans what they wanted (as when Georgia lined up in the wishbone for last year's G-Day game), the first play from scrimmage by the second-string offense was a David Greene-like play action fake to Danny Ware by Matthew Stafford, who proceeded to complete a 64-yard touchdown pass to Mikey Henderson.
That was about the best we saw from the Q.B. corps on Saturday afternoon. Stafford went five of 12 for 102 yards and a T.D. Presumptive starter Joe Tereshinski III completed two of his seven pass attempts for 45 yards and a pair of interceptions. Joe Cox threw for 162 yards, connecting on 12 of his 21 tosses, but, reminiscent of Quincy Carter, he also threw four picks.
On the whole, Tereshinski looked like he had a better idea of where the ball was supposed to be and Stafford looked like he was better able to get the ball where it was going, but Joe T.'s throws were off and the freshman phenomenon often appeared to be on a different page of the playbook from his receivers.
If those in attendance at the scrimmage were any indication, Bulldog Nation is not presently inclined to demonstrate the virtue of patience. There was grumbling about Tereshinski. There were catcalls when the red team took a knee to run out the clock on a 14-10 victory on the final play of the game. When Stafford ran back onto the field for his second drive---after having directed a one-play, 64-yard touchdown drive on the previous series---a fan seated in front of me yelled without evident irony: "Come on, No. 7! Do something!"
I don't know how all this will shake out, but I know that there is no coach in the country I would rather have managing our quarterback situation than Mark Richt, who adroitly handled the budding controversy over how best to utilize the prodigious talents of David Greene and D.J. Shockley.
Giving Mark Richt the benefit of the doubt on this whole Q.B. deal wouldn't be altogether out of line.
The fan base needs to remain calm, be patient, trust the head coach who has demonstrated that he knows what he's doing, and remember the potential consequences of throwing a heralded Q.B. recruit into the mix too soon. (Two words: Chris Simms.)
The tailbacks didn't get a lot of press simply because attention was being paid in other areas, but Thomas Brown (4 carries for 25 yards), Jason Johnson (13 carries for 97 yards), and Kregg Lumpkin (8 carries for 44 yards) all had decent days.
In short, the defense looks stout, the offensive line needs work, and the fan base needs to relax and let Coach Richt work his magic with the quarterbacks.
Those are my thoughts on G-Day. I welcome your thoughts in the comments below.