Georgia football

It’s Saturday in Athens for Georgia football.

On a gloomy afternoon in Athens, Georgia football held their annual G Day scrimmage. The atmosphere inside Sanford was anything but gloomy, however. Fans were amped up to see the 2021 National Champions back on the field again. There were 68,002 fans in Sanford Stadium Saturday afternoon. More than any other team had at their Spring Game so far in 2022.

The offense seemed to have a jump on the defense early. The first-team offense scored first on an eight-play drive. This was followed by the second-team offense scoring after just two plays. In fact, out of the 21 offensive drives, the defense forced just six punts and only those six went three or fewer plays. One good reason for this was the seven penalties by the defense that gave away first downs. Discipline is going to be a big factor for Georgia football in 2022, especially with the less experienced defenders.

Most of the defense’s penalties were called in the secondary as they tried to contain the likes of Arik Gilbert and Brett Seither. This just goes to show you what a nightmare guarding Georgia’s tight ends is going to be this season. Of the five touchdowns scored Saturday, two of them were by a tight end, both from Gilbert. Georgia’s tight ends also made up about 26 percent of its total receiving yards. This was without having Brock Bowers or Darnell Washington on the field.

Offensive standouts

One of the bigger surprises of G Day was another tight end, Oscar Delp. He was second in receiving yards for the entire team with 91, averaging 13 yards per catch. He was just 18 yards shy of Kearis Jackson‘s team-leading 109. Delp was also targeted a team-high nine times and made a team-high seven catches. These tight ends for Georgia football are definitely going to be a problem for opposing defenses.

One receiver that has to be mentioned is Arian Smith. It was great to see him on the field again and he made his presence felt early. He had three catches for 83 yards, most notably a 60-yard bomb from Beck that set up a quick touchdown. Smith averaged 27.6 yards per catch, once again being around the 30 yards per catch mark. The kid is simply unguardable.

Also, this scrimmage saw Dominick Blaylock back at full strength. He caught five of eight targets for 67 yards averaging 13.4 yards per catch. He is getting closer to the 17.2 yards per catch he averaged in 2019. Looks like it’s going to be a big year for the former break-out freshman.

An underclassman that really impressed was Jackson Meeks. There has been a lot of buzz about him during Spring Practice and he showed why on Saturday. He only hauled in one catch, but that one catch was for 37 yards with four of it coming after the catch.

Georgia football quarterback Stetson Bennett had an up and down day. He ended the scrimmage completing 43 percent of his passes, averaging 7.8 yards per attempt, while throwing three touchdowns and two interceptions. Carson Beck looked really sharp with the Red Team, completing 62 percent of his passes, and averaging 11.7 yards per attempt. However, with the Black Team (and competing against the first-team defense) his completion percentage dropped down to just 20 percent and he averaged 5.6 yards per attempt. Brock Vandagriff completed 42 percent of his passes with the Red Team while averaging 4.5 yards per attempt and 57 percent of his passes with the Black Team while averaging 4.1 yards per attempt.

Daijun Edwards led all running backs with eight carries. He ran for 29 yards, averaged 3.4 yards per carry, and scored two touchdowns. Edwards also caught three passes for another 28 yards giving him 57 total yards on the day on 11 touches (5.2 yards per touch). Kenny McIntosh showed once again he is a jack of all trades. He led all running backs in all-purpose yards with 73, averaging 7.3 yards per touch. Kendall Milton also had a fine day with 46 all-purpose yards, averaging 6.6 yards per touch, and scoring a receiving touchdown.

Defensive standouts

Jamon Dumas-Johnson, or Pop as Kirby Smart likes to call him, led the team in tackles with seven. Nolan Smith led the team in tackles for loss with three including two sacks. Nyland Green, Javon Bullard, and Trezmen Marshall all caught interceptions. However, the most impressive group was probably the defensive line which had six of the defense’s total ten tackles for loss. None more impressive than the seven-yard-loss created by Jalen Carter.

Conclusion

Overall Georgia football had a good scrimmage. There are things to work on, but most importantly the team got out of it without any major injuries. Now Georgia can look to Fall Camp to iron out any remaining wrinkles before playing Oregon on September 3rd. One thing is certain, this Georgia offense could be their best ever, but time will definitely tell.

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By Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and former expert for Dawn of the Dawg.

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