Bulldogs Beat

Seven thoughts from Georgia's spring game

Seven observations from Georgia's spring game, starting with the trio of quarterbacks vying to be the starter:

1. Brice Ramsey

There was a lot of hit-and-miss from Ramsey, befitting the perception that he has a great arm but bouts of accuracy.

In the second half, for instance, he followed one great pass – hitting Reggie Davis in stride down the sideline for a 60-yard gain – by overthrowing a receiver in the end zone on third down. He also overthrew Malcolm Mitchell down the sideline on his first attempt of the game, and later threw a duck to midfield that was nearly picked off.

But when Ramsey was on, it was a thing of beauty: He hit a wide-open Isaiah McKenzie on the game’s second drive, then McKenzie did the rest for a 72-yard touchdown.

2. Faton Bauta

This was a good day for the junior, who reinforced his reputation for good decisions and running the offense well. In the first half Bauta was 10-for-13 for 127 yards, including 6-for-6 when he switched to the first team offense.

Bauta didn’t hit any deep balls, but he had some great timing passes, such as a 16-yarder to Kenneth Towns just outside the end zone. Later, Bauta threw a touchdown pass in which he first faked the handoff left, turned and hit a wide-open Jordan Davis, who jogged 25 yards into the end zone.

Bauta didn’t run the ball, but he showed his mobility in the pocket, at one point avoiding a sack and then hitting Justin Scott-Wesley for a 24-yard gain.

3. Jacob Park

The redshirt freshman didn’t come in until halfway through the second quarter, after Bauta and Ramsey had combined for nine series. That was enough to reinforce where Park ranks in the pecking order right now.

At first, Park slung it around like he should be in the running, completing his first five passes. On one of them he rolled right and hit Davis with a dart for a 14-yard gain.

But Park’s sixth pass sailed high and was picked off.

Park got more time in the third quarter, and had more good throws. One of his best was an incompletion, when he showed good touch, but slightly overthrew, Justin Scott-Wesley on a deep pass. Overall, it was a decent day for Park, who showed some promise.

4.Isaiah McKenzie

Isaiah McKenzie didn’t play long, but he looked spectacular when he did. The sophomore showed his speed on a 73-yard touchdown pass, which he hauled in just past midfield, then out-raced the secondary.

McKenzie ran so hard he pulled his hamstring, and that was it for him on the day. He will almost certainly miss next week’s final two practices, but he should be fine for the preseason. He will just want to firm up those hamstring prevention drills in offseason workouts.

The touchdown was McKenzie’s second catch of the day: His first also saw him get open in the middle of the field, eluding the defender at the line. It was a short day for McKenzie, but he showed why people have raved about him this spring.

5. Running game

There wasn’t much of one, but that comes with a huge asterisk: Nick Chubb had all of one carry, and Keith Marshall and Sony Michel were held out with injuries.

Brendan Douglas and A.J. Turman got the lion’s share of the carries, and got a bit of yardage, but didn’t have much room to run. Turman did have a 52-yard touchdown run in the second half.

The explosiveness will return when Georgia is at full strength in the backfield – as Chubb showed on a few of his receptions.

6. New defensive players shine

Freshman Natrez Patrick, lining up outside on several plays, was hard to block. He was credited with one sack in the first half, and was around the ball a lot.

Jarvis Wilson, another freshman early enrollee, had an interception on Park, which he returned 53 yards. The play capped a strong spring for Wilson, who has a great chance to contribute somewhere in the secondary.

Jonathan Ledbetter, the freshman defensive end, had very good push on pass plays, and was credited with several tackles on run plays that gained little to no yardage.

It was a quieter day for Jake Ganus, the UAB transfer and inside linebacker. Given that there wasn't much running going on, it wasn't the kind of game for an inside linebacker to show off.

7. Other points

Collin Barber's punting was underwhelming, to the point of erratic. And that was against no pressure.

The second team offensive line had some trouble. And the offense in general had a lot of false starts.

Center Isaiah Wynn, vying to be the starter, had a high snap earlier in the game, although he didn't seem to have any more problems.

Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Carter were borderline dominant in the first half, playing against the first team. Throw in Leonard Floyd and Davin Bellamy this summer, and it reinforces that Georgia's edge rushers will be a lot to handle.

The top three tight ends (Jeb Blazevich, Jay Rome and Jackson Harris) had relatively quiet days, while Jordan Davis made a mini-comeback. It remains to be seen if it helps his case up the depth chart.

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