Players, coaches gear up for G-Day

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ATHENS, Ga. --- Asher Allen remembers his first G-Day game well.

"It was an up-and-down day," said the junior cornerback, who will be playing in his third G-Day game today.

"On my first play, I bit on a run play and (quarterback Matthew) Stafford threw it for about 50 yards. Then I hit the kicker when you weren't supposed to hit him. But then I had an interception and was able to take it back to the house. So there were a lot of emotions for me that day."

G-Day represents the end of spring practice and also serves as a bit of an appetizer for Georgia's fan base, which is anxiously awaiting the upcoming season.

For the players, the game offers one more opportunity to catch the eye of the coaching staff. For the coaches, it's a chance to see how untested players perform in a game-type environment.

"I look at G-Day as one of our practices," defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said. "It's another opportunity to see how you've prepared the players and to see how they'll react in a game-time situation. It's a little different from the two scrimmages we've had because those are controlled all the way through and are mainly situational things. It's a chance to see how players react to different situations. I see it as the last of 15 practices.

Coach Mark Richt also considers G-Day as the final chance to tie up loose ends in terms of personnel, but he also sees the game as a unifying event.

"I like it," Richt said. "The thing I like about it is you have offensive and defensive sides of the ball on the same team. On both sidelines there are offensive and defensive players working together to win a game. Up to this point, it's just been the offense against the defense."

Some might see G-Day as the commemoration of the end of spring practice, but sophomore linebacker Darryl Gamble doesn't see it that way.

"I know everybody is ready for spring practice to be over, but this isn't a celebration," he said. "It's one more opportunity to show the coaches we can make plays."


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