Every SEC team’s spring football game is nationally televised this year. Therefore, it is an easy way for head coaches to get a glimpse of what their competition looks like at this time of the year.
With the extra attention placed upon them, however, it is unlikely for much to be gained from a spring game.
But that’s not going to stop a head coach from putting in his due diligence around the conference. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, in an interview on 680 The fan this week, said he tuned into Florida’s spring game two weeks ago and saw the read-option wrinkles with quarterback Feleipe Franks.
While teams keep their offenses and defenses vanilla for these games, Smart said it still serves as an opportunity to make sure his program's previous scouting reports still line up.
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“It’s always good to watch and see where those other teams are and see what they’re doing differently,” Smart said. “We do a lot of study on the spring games to make sure we’re consistent with the scouting reports we have from previous seasons. We watch all that. We get to watch it as a staff and go through it. I noticed Feleipe doing a good job.”
The SEC spring games are all televised on the ESPN family of networks. Georgia’s G-Day spring game will be televised by SEC Network at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Georgia will keep its playbook simple for G-Day, as it does every year, to try and prevent other teams from doing what Smart wants to do around the SEC. Some teams around the country have taken further steps to prevent such a thing.
Nebraska installed a 3-4 defense this spring but decided not to run any looks out of it in its televised spring game. Louisville, which brings back 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, did not have its spring game televised and prevented broadcast reporters from recording videos for highlight packages. TV station WLKY poked fun at the restriction and depicted plays from the scrimmage drawn with stick figures.
Smart said Georgia's offensive and defensive game plans will be simple since there will be a lot of competitive eyes watching. At the same time, Smart wants his players to put on a show for those who are attending or watching from home.
“I don’t know many people who do everything in a spring game,” Smart said. “We’ll limit defensively, we’ll limit offensively. We’re not going to come out there and do everything. We’re also going to let the quarterbacks play.
“As far as scheme, we’re not going to show scheme.”