Smart ‘please’ with Bulldogs scrimmage ahead of G-Day

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs' spring practice Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Butts Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens.
Caption
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during the Bulldogs' spring practice Thursday, April 13, 2017, at Butts Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens.

Credit: John Paul Van Wert

Credit: John Paul Van Wert

ATHENS — Georgia’s spring football scrimmage on Saturday was closed to the media, and to the public, without any viewing period. No stats were handed out and no players were made available. So coach Kirby Smart could have said that Nick Chubb got snaps at quarterback and there’d be little choice but to write it.

Still, Smart has generally been honest in his assessments of his team, positive and negative, so as the lone person to provide any information on the doings Saturday at Sanford Stadium, well, he gets the benefit of the doubt.

G-Day is scheduled for April 22. Georgia’s spring game kicks off at 2 p.m. ET and will be televised on SEC Network.

🔴
Jeb Blazevich ⚫️#REDvsBLACK / #CommitToTheG pic.twitter.com/dLu6DpAcWr— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) April 16, 2017

• Smart said he was “pleased” overall with the scrimmage. He indicated it was a split between the offense and defense: “It was the first scrimmage since I’ve been there that I thought both sides of the ball did some things well. … Neither side really dominated. I can honestly say that. It was a very competitive battle.”

• Regarding the defense, he remained happier than he had been the first 3-plus weeks of the spring. Not ecstatic, but things are moving in a better direction. “Thursday was much better. And today, I can’t say that we dominated defensively out there. We certainly made some good plays. There were a lot of good hits, spirits, run to the ball. I mean when you’ve got good backs there’s going to be missed tackles. When you’ve got a quarterback that can make some throws, there are going to be some 1-on-1 battles outside that you just don’t win. But I was just very encouraged how hard they played.”

• The offense didn’t run the ball as well as Smart would hope. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t as good as it had been the first few weeks of spring.

• Defensively, reserve outside linebacker D’Andre Walker was 1 player Smart mentioned as having stood out, perhaps taking advantage of second-team right tackle Ben Cleveland being out: “D’Andre had a pretty good scrimmage. D’Andre plays with unbelievable effort. Strain, guts.”

• Regarding starting quarterback Jacob Eason: “I think Jacob specifically has taken good strides. But he has to continue to make good decisions and get the ball in the right spot.”

• Smart said the offense in general is also doing a good job of protecting the ball. There are very few turnovers, especially fumbles, according to Smart. But while he tipped his hat to the offense for that, he also said it was disappointing from a defensive perspective.

• This was mostly first-team offense vs. first-team defense, and second-team offense vs. second-team defense. That’s how G-Day is set to be. This second scrimmage also included a lot of situational work, such as end-of-the-game simulations, goal-line, etc.

• Chubb and fellow star tailback Sony Michel continue to have their snaps withheld a bit, as the Bulldogs save them for the season and let Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield get snaps.

• There was 1 sign the offensive line had a good day: Starters Lamont Gaillard, Isaiah Wynn and Dyshon Sims seemed pretty cheerful when they stuck their head in the media room after the scrimmage. (Receivers Terry Godwin and Javon Wims also peeked their head in to joke with the media.)

More on the Bulldogs on DawgNation.