Georgia 2024 Spring Game revealed either improved defense or rusty offense

Georgia's spring game ended in a 20-20 tie. The lack of explosive offense could be attributed to great defensive play or some serious rust on offense.
University of Georgia Spring Game
University of Georgia Spring Game / Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The 2024 Georgia spring football game, by all accounts, was pretty successful. The weather was absolutely perfect, and despite half of Sanford Stadium being closed off due to construction, there was an excited and energetic crowd on hand to get their first glimpse of the 2024 Bulldogs.

The Georgia Red and Black teams finished the afternoon in a 20-20 tie in a "game" that was seemingly dominated by defense. This had many people breathing a sigh of relief considering Kirby Smart's comments earlier in the spring about how he wasn't sure how good this defense would be.

“Either we’re maybe a little weaker on the defensive line or we’re really good on the offensive line,” Smart said to reporters at the beginning of spring practices. “The glaring thing I’ve seen at practices is that the offensive line has done a really good job. That’s not to say we were subpar on the defensive line last year. We just weren’t great. We didn’t have a dominant guy, but we’re always going to be good on defense. I don’t know that we’re going to be great this year, but I think we have a chance to be great on offense.”

While Smart did later clarify that statement to say he was not down on or disappointed in the defensive line play at all, he left a pretty big question mark twisting in the wind.

After the spring football game, many fans and analysts seem to be convinced that Georgia's defense was going to be just fine.

While true, it did look like an outstanding performance from the Georgia defense that forced 10 punts and three turnovers (as well as one turnover on downs) on combined squads, it could be looked at as a very rusty and out-of-sync offense that wasn't able to capitalize on some opportunities.

Carson Beck, the incumbent Georgia starting quarterback, threw two interceptions and had 5 passes deflected at the line of scrimmage. He also missed wide-open receivers on more than one pass attempt. Whether these missed targets were more a matter of Beck not delivering the ball properly or the receivers running bad routes is hard to discern.

Beck was only forced to scramble out of the pocket twice and was given good protection for most of the afternoon. The offense simply looked disjointed outside some strong play from the line.

One thing that was very clear on offense is that Beck was missing his two favorite targets, tight end Brock Bowers and wide receiver Ladd McConkey, both of whom have moved on to the NFL Draft this year. Dominic Lovett and Rara Thomas combined for 11 catches on 16 targets for 162 yards and one touchdown, but there were no truly explosive plays outside of 34 and 39-yard passes to Lovett and Thomas, respectively.

The biggest pass play of the day was from backup quarterback Gunner Stockton to Anthony Evans III in the first quarter for 54 yards.

The two combined offenses only rushed for 103 yards and one touchdown, with a true running-back-by-committee approach on both sides.

All of this has to be kept in the context of, hey...this is just a glorified practice scrimmage put on for the benefit of fans and recruiting. Much of the playbook wasn't even looked at, and there are rules in place to keep player safety at a maximum. At full speed and 100 percent contact, you might see a different story on both sides of the ball.

The best stat coming out of this year's spring game is in the injury column. When you scrimmage a full-clocked game and don't lose anyone to injury, that's a win.

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