UGA football's G-Day outing on Saturday was neither the most exciting nor smoothest spring game in school history.
And that's probably a good thing for head coach Kirby Smart, who's always searching for the next motivational talking point.
It's a simple recipe for satisfying the masses at Sanford Stadium during spring games:
a) Allow star players to make a few extended cameos.
(Quarterback Jake Fromm unofficially passed for 116 yards, one TD ... and tailback D'Andre Swift had three rushes for 39 yards.)
b) Rely on trick plays or defensive turnovers for momentum-changing scores.
c) Be unusually folksy for the TV cameras (we could write another column on ESPN's odd broadcast), using this pressure-free forum to emphasize competition at every position.
d) PRAY that no one gets hurt.
This day didn't come without perks, though.
With its 19-17 victory over the Black team, the Red team will presumably eat steak at the next team dinner ... while the losers likely get ground chuck, turkey burgers or perhaps something of the non-carnivore ilk.
This day also didn't come without hype and hope for an amazing tomorrow ... whenever Fromm (two years of eligibility remaining) chooses to leave Athens for NFL riches.
That source of hope: Incoming freshman Dwan Mathis.
Back in December, Mathis – a 4-star dual-threat quarterback from the suburbs of Detroit – seemed like a lock for Ohio State, so much that he was barely on the UGA/Rivals radar before the Early Signing Period (Dec. 17-19).
But things changed in a profound way once UGA quarterback Justin Fields had transferred to Ohio State and subsequently received a waiver enabling him to play in 2019.
- Wife of UGA legend, NFL start Matthew Stafford set to have surgery to remove brain tumor
- Paralyzed college player returns to football as assistant coach with Atlanta-area school
- Florida head coach Dan Mullen trolls UGA fans with the spring-game math teaser
- Recruiting: Highly touted QB drops Ohio State ... for the post-Justin Fields Bulldogs
With Fields seemingly locked in as the Buckeyes' starter for two or three years, it forced backup QB Tate Martell to transfer to Miami (from Ohio State) and Mathis to abandon his oral commitment to the school ... and fill Fields' old spot on the UGA depth chart.
It was easily Coach Smart's biggest coup of the winter period ... and that includes 5-star wideout George Pickens scorning Auburn for Georgia on National Signing Day.
On Saturday, Mathis displayed a number of physical gifts – a strong arm, good pocket presence and lightning-quick feet.
On a more surprising scale, Mathis also showcased his hidden talent as a pass-catcher ... after fielding a solid pass from receiver Matt Landers and sprinting in for the 39-yard touchdown (below clip).