2008 Spring Game Reviews - SEC
Alabama S Rashad Johnson
Alabama S Rashad Johnson
Posted May 5, 2008

What happened in the SEC spring games? John Harris reviews the final scrimmages of the spring season.

Spring Preview 2008

SEC Spring Game Reviews

Spring Game Reviews

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By John Harris



Although Tim Tebow got Erin Andrews attention, it was the jitterbug from Lakeland who had everyone else’s.  Running back Chris Rainey made his presence known in front of a national television audience and helped lead the Blue to a 28-14 win over the Orange in the annual Orange and Blue Debut.  He accounted for 76 yards rushing and one touchdown through the air, in which he embarrassed the Orange secondary with his jock-dropping quickness.  Tebow, albeit on a day he was sick as could be, completed 13 of 21 for 200 yards and two touchdowns.


The annual G-Day game had some unexpected rain showers, but the rain held off long enough for the Red to beat the Black 17-3.  Quarterback Matt Stafford kicked off the scoring, completing a 30-yard pass to receiver Michael Moore for the Red team that had the first team offense and the second team defense.  The Black offense was led by running back Caleb King who ran for 31 yards on only six carries.  UGA fans have waited an entire season to see King, who was one of the top recruits in the class of 2006.


In the team’s annual Blue-White spring game, the White eked out a victory over the Blue 23-22 on quarterback Curtis Pulley’s 17 yard touchdown run.  The former quarterback turned receiver turned quarterback left the pocket with just over a minute left to give his team a one point win.  Pulley did all he could to prove he’s the right guy to replace Andre Woodson, completing 12 of 26 for 134 yards and a touchdown, while his main competition, Blue quarterback Mike Hartline struggled completing only eleven of 28 attempts for 124 yards and a touchdown.

South Carolina

The annual Garnet and Black spring game appeared to be a rout early as the Black team took a 31-7 lead.  The Garnet team furiously roared back in the second half, only to lose to the Black 37-34.  Not surprisingly, the Gamecock quarterbacks threw the ball 65 times, led by Garnet signal caller Chris Smelley.  He led the Garnet to a 34-31 lead late in the modified fourth quarter, only to have quarterback Zac Brindise drive the Black 83 yards on ten plays for the game winning score.


After losing quarterback Erik Ainge to the NFL, the pressure of moving the Vol offense falls on quarterback Jonathan Crompton.  If the Orange and White game is any indication, the Vols won’t miss Ainge in the slightest.  Crompton completed 13 of 20 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns on the day.  His post-game surgery will set him back a few weeks, but he should be back for summer workouts.  Crompton led the offense to five touchdowns as the White roared to a 38-16 win.


Even without Jonathan Goff. and Curtis Gatewood the D was fine. Graduation may have hit the Vandy defense hard, but this unit put on a show in the Black and Gold spring game/scrimmage.  The Black defense held the White offense out of the end zone on the game’s first ten possessions.  Broderick Stewart led the defense with two tackles for a loss and a sack, while Chris Johnson led the team with five stops.  Running back Jared Hawkins led the offense rushing for 44 yards on seven carries.



Okay, so maybe Alabama fans are getting a little complacent, with only 78,200 fans showing up this year for the team’s annual A-Day football game (last year 92,000 found the time to show up on campus).  The Crimson squad defeated the White squad 24-14 as quarterback John Parker Wilson led the Crimson to the win.  JPW finished the day completing 17 of 34 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns, but also one interception.  His favorite target on the day was Mike McCoy, who caught six balls for 101 yards, but running back Terry Grant made him look good on a 75 yard catch and run for a touchdown.


It’s hard to say how much ice quarterback Casey Dick was going to need for his arm after the annual Red and White spring game.  Shoot, he threw the ball more times in one spring game than he did for half of a season in 2007.  And, therein lies the distinct difference in Arkansas’ offense under Houston Nutt and the current offense under Bobby Petrino.  Dick completed 33 of 49 passes for 404 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Red to a 45-14 victory.  Running back Michael Smith took advantage of a Darren McFadden/Felix Jones-free backfield, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.


The battle for the starting quarterback position was on full display during the team’s annual A-Day game.  The Blue defeated the White 30-14, but the result took a backseat to the battle waged by quarterbacks Kodi Burns and Chris Todd, who both spent time with each team.  Burns completed 14 of his 21 passes for 142 yards and had 37 yards rushing, while Todd completed 18 of 27 for 190 yards.  Although each one threw a touchdown, Burns left as the offensive MVP.  Which means, what?  Absolutely nothing.  This battle will wage war again in fall camp.


The national champs used the spring to try to fill some major holes, in particular the one at quarterback.  During the team’s annual spring game, the reviews were mixed for Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch, while Ryan Perrilloux was held out, again, for off-the-field transgressions.  Although Les Miles wanted to see much better play from his signal callers, he can take solace in the fact that he may have the deepest corps of runners in the SEC.  Richard Murphy ran for 145 yards and had three touchdowns to lead the White to a 38-10 win over the Purple.

Ole Miss  

Houston Nutt’s first Grove Bowl had a little bit of everything, but when it was all said and done, the Blue team beat the Red squad 40-14.  Dynamic Dexter McCluster was all over the place and was superb, catching eight passes for 106 yards and rushing for 35 yards.  He wasn’t without help as former University of Texas recruit and soon-to-be starting quarterback Jevan Snead completed 20 of 26 passes for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Mississippi State  

Touchdowns were tough to come by in Starkville for the annual Maroon and White spring game.  Shoot, it took overtime for one team to just cross into the end zone.  That one score was enough for the Maroon to register a 6-0 win.  Quarterback Chris Relf completed a 25-yard pass to receiver Co-Eric Riley on a day when the offenses struggled mightily.  The defensive star of the game was Cortez McRaney who had five tackles for a loss and three sacks.