ATHENS, Ga. ----- On a day the offense was obviously overmatched, the good news from Coach Mark Richt is that he expects tailback Musa Smith to be ready for the start of the season.
Smith, expected to lead Georgia's rushing attack, was not exposed to any contact drills in spring practice as he continues to recover from a groin injury that wiped out most of the second half of his 2001 season.
As spring practice opened, Richt said he would have to consider it a bonus if Smith was ready for the 2002 season. As spring practice ended with Saturday's G-Day game, Richt was more optimistic, thanks in part to words of encouragement from Georgia's director of sports medicine Ron Courson.
"I asked Ron if this was the national championship game (Saturday), could Musa play, and he said yes,'' Richt said.
Richt also asked Courson if Smith could have played Saturday if it had been the 2002 season opener against Clemson.
"(Courson) said we would have to debate whether or not we would want to put Musa out there and maybe not have him at 100 percent for the entire season,'' Richt said.
Added Richt: "He's very close to 100 percent, but he's just not there yet. I'm much more confident that he'll be 100 percent (at the start of the season). Just watching him move around right now, if he's not 100 percent he's going to be talented enough to help us. But Ron is very confident that he'll be 100 percent when two-a-days roll around.''
Van Halanger has heart surgery:
Georgia's director of strength and conditioning Dave Van Halanger was moved out of intensive care Saturday after having double heart bypass surgery at Athens Regional Hospital Friday.
Van Halanger has had previous heart problems, but the operation was not termed an emergency procedure.
"He has been running three miles a day, every day, since I've known him,'' Richt said. "(Doctors) said he can run to Atlanta and back after this. ... They felt the surgery was a great success.''
Dog Walk a big hit:
Richt apologized to fans who may have been delayed in their entrance to the stadium because they waited to greet the players at the Dog Walk about 30 minutes before the game. Richt has asked fans to turn out for the traditional entrance into the stadium and he was concerned fans might be discouraged from attending the Dog Walk again.
"It was exciting to come off the bus and see so many people,'' Richt said.
"It was a huge crowd. Our players were shocked. ... I personally apologize to fans who stayed for the Dog Walk and then couldn't get in on time.''
Former Georgia defensive lineman David Jacobs watched the game from the sideline. Jacobs has made a strong recovery from a stroke he suffered last season. He no longer needs a cane. ... Former standout tailback Garrison Hearst also was on the sideline, signing autographs, as was former linebacker Mitch Davis. ... Receiver Terrence Edwards, who missed the game due to a sprained ankle, was still on crutches.
Davis has busy day:
Ryan Davis and Bruce Thornton were the starting cornerbacks for the Red defense, and Black quarterbacks Joe Tereshinski III and David Greene threw at Davis more than Thornton.
In the first quarter, Greene threw to receiver Jarrett Berry in the end zone on back-to-back plays, and each time Davis was up to the test. The first pass was high, and Davis tipped the second attempt.
"They were picking on me over there,'' Davis said. "I felt pretty good about the way I played. Everybody on the defense played good.''