What to watch for: G-Day Game 

Posted: 9:51 am Friday, April 15th, 2016

By Jay Black

Georgia freshman quarterback Jacob Eason will get plenty of attention during Saturday’s G-Day spring game in Athens.

By Jay Black

Does a quarterback take control?

Kirby Smart is going to be the main attraction for this event, but we all know who everybody wants to see.

This is will be Bulldog Nation’s — and Smart’s — first real look at Jacob Eason in a live fire event. UGA’s new head coach is keeping his expectations low.

“The expectations should be to control the huddle, make the call, go out and execute, make the right reads and make good decisions,” said Smart. “Do the process of  being a quarterback. It’s not any statistical number.”

I think this is Eason’s job to lose, but he still has two upper classmen to jump. Greyson Lambert is still the incumbent starter and Brice Ramsey is still his backup.

Smart says the battle is still going back and worth and the reps are going to be pretty even in the scrimmage. It appears this game could go quite a ways in deciding who starts against North Carolina in the opener.

Joshua L. Jones/ Special for The AJC

UGA wide receiver Jayson Stanley (2) waits during drills during Tuesday’s practice.

Will we learn anything from the new coordinators?

In a spring game, this is probably going to be difficult to determine. But the biggest change in the Kirby Smart era will probably be felt on the offensive side of the ball.

I would expect Mel Tucker and Smart’s defensive schemes to be similar to what Jeremy Pruitt since they all come from the Nick Saban tree.

On the other hand, we aren’t quite sure what to expect from Jim Chaney. Smart loves him and he is said to know how to get the ball in athletes hands. It’s also been said that he knows better ways to get the tight end involved.

After 15 years of Mark Richt/Mike Bobo, Georgia fans almost knew the offense as well as the players did. It was very familiar. So this is new and new is fun right? (Unless it’s Brian Schottenheimer new. That wasn’t fun at all).

Who steps up as the number two receiver?

Everybody is focusing on the quarterbacks, as they should. But what (sort of) went unnoticed was that Georgia has a serious shortage of game breakers who can catch the ball.

Malcolm Mitchell was basically a one man show for the first half of last season. Terry Godwin, now a sophomore, showed at the end of the season that he could be Malcolm Mitchell 2.0.

But who is going to be Terry Godwin 2.0?

Georgia’s third leading receiver last year was Reggie Davis (12 catches for 187). That’s not good. Isaiah McKenzie also has an opportunity here, but it’s hard to expect much of a guy his size. He only had 10 catches for 123 yards and a TD. McKenzie is a nice bonus, but if he’s starting in the SEC, you’ve got issues.

UGA had a decent crop of recruits last season. Now rising sophomores like Jayson Stanley and Michael Chigbu should get an opportunity to move into the No. 2 or No. 3 position.

The wild card is the tight ends, most notably freshman Isaac Nauta who is eligible to play in this game. He’s the rare 5-star tight end who is expected to contribute immediately.

Does Georgia start to find a game-changing linebacker?

Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins are going to get pretty decent pay days in the NFL, but it still feels like they underperformed in college.

How many games did those two take over? Jenkins took care of the Vanderbilt game, but these two never quite stood like top draft picks should.

They were still very productive players and their void — along with Jake Ganus — will be missed.

UGA recruited heavily here two years ago. Young guys like Natrez Patrick and Roquan Smith are going to be expected to fill the void, but this has to be Lorenzo Carter’s year doesn’t it?

The rising junior had a stellar freshman season, but dropped off significantly last year becoming just a pass rush specialist. If this becomes Carter’s defense, Georgia will be ok.