2008 G-Day: Offense tops Defense 17-3

ATHENS – The University of Georgia football team held its annual G-Day spring game Saturday, April 5, at Sanford Stadium. The Red team, representing the first-team offense and second-team defense, defeated the Black team by a 17-3 score. Despite the rain, the game drew a crowd of 19,874 and benefited the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens.

"I really enjoyed today," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "I'm thankful the awful looking skies held out and allowed the game to be played well. It looks like we have some well-conditioned, good-looking athletes. They played hard, they competed and the coaches were great as well. I truly appreciate the fans who braved the forecast. All around it was just a very good day."

The Red team opened up the scoring on its first possession as quarterback Matthew Stafford completed a 30-yard pass to flanker Michael Moore. Brian Behr added the extra point, giving Red a 7-0 lead.

The Black team then got on the board as it also scored on its first possession. With Joe Cox as the signal-caller, the team drove to the Red 29-yard line, where Andrew Jensen converted a 47-yard field goal attempt.

In the second quarter, Red picked up another touchdown with Moore again making the catch, this time snagging a 12-yard pass from Logan Gray. Behr once again converted the extra-point try, giving Red a 14-3 lead. Red had taken possession after linebacker Akeem Hebron recovered a fumble and returned it 40 yards before being knocked out of bounds by Cox.

After forcing a Black team punt, Red took over on its own 25-yard line with 1:18 remaining in the first half and drove down to the Black 35-yard line. With time expiring, Behr knocked home a 52-yard field goal, sending the Red team to the locker room with a 17-3 lead.

The second half saw the two squads exchange possessions without a score. Statistically, the game's leading passer was Stafford, who completed six of 10 pass attempts for 78 yards and one TD. Cox led the Black team, completing seven of 11 attempts for 69 yards.

The leading rusher for the game was Caleb King of the Black team, who had six rushes for 31 yards. For the Red team, Gray led the rushing attack with four attempts for 30 yards. Knowshon Moreno rushed three times for 16 yards for the Red team. In the aerial attack, Moore finished with three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns, while Israel Troupe led the Black team's receivers with two catches for 39 yards.

"Caleb looked pretty darn good," said Richt. "He was banged up in the spring and we sat him out until he was healthy. He looked great today. He picked up a couple blitzes and had some nice runs. He looked real nice out there. The offensive line did well. They blocked well but there were some times when there were holes and the guys weren't in sync. There's no top five yet, it's going to take a little time until we're certain about our top five players. But we're looking for eight or nine guys to be able to come in and do the job."

Defensively, Hebron led all tacklers with five total stops, three solo and two assisted. Five players were tied with four tackles, including John Knox (Red team), Jarius Wynn, Chad Gloer, Reshad Jones and Charles White (Black team). Red recorded five sacks for 28 yards, as Brandon Wheeling, Justin Houston, Neland Ball, Michael Lemon and Joe Travis all got to the quarterback. For the Black team, Wynn and Gloer each had one sack for six- and seven-yard losses, respectively.

Throughout the spring, through mat drills and practices we have shown good mental toughness," said Richt. "The players' attitude and demeanor is where we need it to be. Now it's time for the seniors and our leaders to take over until camp. The coaches can't go and watch them practice so the players need to continue to progress."

The Bulldogs open up the 2008 regular season August 30 in Athens as they take on Georgia Southern.

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