ATHENS, Ga. – Never mind the final score today, the annual G-Day spring game remarkably featured a sold-out Sanford Stadium crowd of 93,000—or, nearly twice as many spectators as last year’s then-G-Day record attendance of 46,815—and a combined passing attack few of the spring series’ 73 all-time games have exhibited.
“The thing about the scrimmage, we tried to balance out the quarterbacks and they came out almost dead even,” said head coach Kirby Smart following the Black’s 34-14 victory over the Red. “I thought all three of those kids (quarterbacks Greyson Lambert, Brice Ramsey, and Jacob Eason) competed hard.”
With Lambert starting for the Black team, and Ramsey for the Red, the Black jumped out to a 17-0 second-quarter lead, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman Tae Crowder and two field goals by redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship. The highly-touted Eason, an early enrollee, finally appeared in the game for the Red with 10:43 remaining in the second quarter. He passed for a 7-yard touchdown to fellow early-enrollee and tight end Isaac Nauta just prior to halftime.
Playing for both the Black and Red, senior Lambert completed 11 of 22 passes for 140 yards and no touchdowns for the game. Late in the third quarter, he was responsible for the game’s lone turnover, throwing an interception which was returned by the Black’s Aaron Davis for a 98-yard touchdown.
Ramsey, a junior who also appeared for both squads, completed 16 of 25 passes for 224 yards in the contest. Nick Robinson, a redshirt freshman who played solely for the Black, completed 5 of 7 passes for 49 yards, including a 4-yard third-quarter touchdown to fullback Christian Payne.
Still, and somewhat contrary to Coach Smart’s remarks that the quarterbacks were “almost dead even,” Eason clearly appeared the best of the quarterbacking bunch. Under center for the Red team, the freshman signal-caller completed 19 of 29 passes for 244 yards, including the 7-yard score to Nauta, and was not intercepted.
“I don’t think he knew there were 93,000 people out there,” Smart said of Eason. “He sure didn’t have any care. He executed the offense and did what he had to do.”
Unofficially, Eason’s 244 passing yards is the most by an individual in a G-Day game since Paul Gilbert threw for 250 yards in the 1968 contest. Regardless, and despite outgaining the Black team 387 to 270 in total yardage, the Red’s 20-point loss was the biggest margin of defeat in the spring series since the Red won 21-0 in 2004.
After the Black’s victory, which dropped the Red’s all-time series record to 39-30-3 (not including one game where score was not kept), Smart commented that although his team had “a lot of getting better to do” as a result of today, the UGA football program, on the whole, was undoubtedly top notch.
“Tell you what, the fan base came out for our program—for our kids—the way it did, it touches me in my heart,” Smart said of the 93,000 in attendance. “But, they came, and they came in [droves], and I appreciate that—our kids appreciate that. It speaks volumes for where Georgia is heading, and what Georgia can do.”