April 10, 2009

Primed for G-Day

Georgia's football program will be front and center when the Bulldogs hold their annual G-Day Game Saturday, a contest that will be televised live by ESPN.

For players like Fred Munzenmaier, it's an opportunity he said the team is looking forward to.

"I think we're all excited," Munzenmaier said of the contest set to kick off at 1 p.m. "It being on ESPN adds a lot to the day. We just hope to put on a good show."

Admission to the game is free.

"We'll have the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense together, that will be the red team. The No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense, that will be the black team," head coach Mark Richt said. "In spring it's always the offense versus the defense, so this will be the first chance we'll have to get everyone on the same team."

The two teams will be broken down as such: Senior quarterback Joe Cox will quarterback the Red Team with backup Logan Gray quarterbacking the Black.

Fans will also get their first looks at freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger, who will both be on the Red squad, although Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo has not ruled one or the other seeing time with the Black team depending the ebb and flow of the game.

"It's just going to depend on how it goes and plays out. With eight minute quarters it might be one of those things where one touchdown might eat up the clock on one drive," Bobo said. "We want the two guys (Cox and Gray) to get the most reps; that's why we put Gray on the Black Team. But depending on how the game goes, we might throw one of those young guys over there for the second half."

Like the fans, Bobo said he's anxious to see what the two early enrollees will be able to do.

"I've just told them to have fun and don't be afraid to make mistakes. I want to see them play some football," Bobo said. "We don't want them to play like robots, I want to see what they can do, make plays and move the offense. Both of those guys have really been composed all spring. I imagine they'll be a little bit nervous but I also expect both of them to handle it OK."

Running backs Carlton Thomas and Caleb King, who have split time running with the No. 1 offense for the entire spring will continue to do so on Saturday.

According to Bobo, both players will receive equal time with the Red Team, with Dontavius Jackson, Kalvin Daniels and Munzenmaier getting the reps with the Black.

A.J. Green, Mike Moore, Tavarres King and Tony Wilson will highlight the Red Team receivers with Israel Troupe, Zach Renner, Vernon Spellman and Marquise Brown highlighting the Black.

There are a couple of other position items of note:

Redshirt freshman A.J. Harmon will start at left tackle for the Black Team, while sophomore Cordy Glenn, who saw most of his action last fall at left guard, will open at right tackle.

On defense, Kiante Tripp and Justin Houston will be the starters at defensive end for the Black with former tight ends Ben Harbin and Trenton Turner starting the respective positions for the Red.

Harbin and Turner were recently moved over from offense following injuries to Demarcus Dobbs and Jeremy Longo, although both, along with fellow injured defensive ends Roderick Battle, Neland Ball and Cornelius Washington will all be back by preseason.

"As soon as G-Day is over the next time we meet we'll have 40-50 more healthy bodies," Richt said. "Once you consider the 20-25 guys who are hurt now, plus the 20-25 freshmen who will roll in, that's like 50 more guys that we'll have available next year."

With fewer bodies to work with this spring, more time than usual has been spent on fundamentals and developing team chemistry as opposed to scheme.

"We've spent more time working on developing fundamentals rather than work on new things," Bobo said. "Everything we've done has been really basic."

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