Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fields Leads Black Team to G-Day Victory

UGA Sports Communications

Freshman quarterback Justin Fields led the Black offense to a pair of touchdown drives and a 21-13 victory over the Red team in the annual G-Day intrasquad spring football game.

Today’s game was played before a crowd of 82,184 fans, the second-largest ever to witness a Georgia spring football game. ‘’First of all, what an awesome atmosphere,’’ said head coach Kirby Smart. ‘’I think we say that every year, but I certainly think that was an incredible atmosphere. I really just want to thank our fans for being out there that early. It was probably a little warmer than I anticipated, but I thought they were awesome. To see Sony Michel and Nick Chubb walk out before and to see the seniors honored for the season they had – I thought that was really cool and neat.’’

Fields, an early enrollee this spring, finished the day with 207 passing yards on 18 completions and 33 attempts. His lone scoring pass came on a 15-yarder to redshirt freshman Matt Landers late in the third quarter, giving the Red squad a commanding 21-6 lead.

The Black squad opened scoring with a defensive tally, when senior Deandre Baker tipped a Jake Fromm pass, intercepted and returned it 32 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. Rodrigo Blankenship kicked two second-quarter field goals, from 41 and 35 yards, for the only Red scores in the first half.

Fields led the Black offense 70 yards in seven plays for a touchdown, a 2-yard plunge by Prather Hudson, to open the second half. The big play in the drive came when Fields connected with J.J. Holloman for 36 yards, converting a third-and-seven and putting the ball on the Red 2-yard line.

Fromm, who finished the game with 200 yards on 19-of-38 passing yards, completed scoring on the day with a 57-yard bomb to Riley Ridley with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Monty Rice led all tacklers with 14 total stops for the Red squad. Baker, Richard LeCounte, William Poole and KJ Smith all had interceptions.

‘’As far as the game, I thought there were parts of it that were sloppy,’’ Smart said. ‘’Some of that was by design. Everybody will ask me about the rushing yards and if we have a rushing problem. If you watched that game closely, you realize there was not an intent to rush the ball a bunch. We think we have the capabilities of doing that, but that is not the purpose of our Spring Game. It’s to throw the ball, catch the ball, gain confidence in our passing game. We will run it some. Our defense did a really good job of creating turnovers. Two of them were gifts, but we got more turnovers today than we had gotten really all spring. Some of the red guys started to bow their necks. I thought Monty Rice played good and did some good things defensively.’’

G-Day represents the Dawgs’ 15th and final session of the spring practice period. They’ll open the 2018 season on September 1st at home against Austin Peay.​

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