Aaron Murray looked excellent, going 12 of 17 for 122 yards and a TD, while the backups Mason and Lemay (and even walk-on Parker Welch) looked pretty solid themselves. Although Ealey and incoming hopeful star Isaiah Crowell weren't playing, Caleb King looked good with 30 yards on 5 carries and Ken Malcome had similar numbers (7 for 39) and a TD. The receivers didn't look spectacular, but they looked like a solid group that should be able to get things done with Murray throwing it to them. Orson Charles and Tavarres King, while not of AJ Green caliber (but who is?), are still capable of being SEC stars themselves. And of course Branden Smith was the star of the offense (is that right?) while catching and running the ball. The defense had plenty of standouts from Alec Ogletree (7 tackles), Reuben Faloughi (3 sacks, 3 TFL), Chase Vasser (7 tackles), and walk-on Connor Norman, who had 5 tackles and a very nice interception.
Now that that's all out of the way, WHAT ABOUT THE OMEN?
Last year I noticed a trend from recent G-Day games that showed how higher scoring spring games generally lead to better seasons. Based on the point scoring, last year's G-Day seemed to predict between a 9 and 10 win record for the Dawgs. But there was one problem: in the previous five G-Days, the Red team always won, but in 2010, the Black team won. I wondered if that could lead to some bizarro Bulldog season with catastrophic consequences. Unfortunately, it did.
Below is a chart of each G-Day, first listing the points scored by the winning team, then the total points in the game, and the following season's record.
2011: 18 points (29 total) ????????? (Black team wins)
2010: 17 points (24 total) 6-7 record (Black team wins)
2009: 13 points (16 total), 8-5 record
2006: 14 points (24 total), 9-4 record
2008: 17 points (20 total), 10-3 record
2005: 21 points (33 total), 10-3 record (winning SEC)
2007: 34 points (55 total), 11-2 record
Last season was filled with catastrophe. First, there were plenty of off-season arrests through the spring and summer, then a crazy NCAA investigation led to the Dawgs losing AJ Green for the first four games. Very unfortunate fumbles and other strange happenings (along with just plain bad coaching or play) ended up in a losing season.
So while a few more points were scored this year at G-Day, which would alone predict between a 10 win season, the Black team has won again. Things are different this year, though. While in the past, the Red team has almost always been the first team offense, this year the teams were drafted and randomized, so the winner doesn't really matter as much. So far, this has been a great spring for the Dawgs, with no real bad news and a "Dream Team" recruiting class. So maybe things will turn out different in 2011. The good news is, this entire trend is hopefully ridiculous and only worth discussion for fun.
I'll just hope that the 2011 Bulldog squad won't worry about any trends or records from the past, put last year's catastrophic results behind them, and look toward an SEC Championship (and perhaps more) in the fall.