ATHENS — The Georgia quarterback situation is what it is, which is to say Jake Fromm is the starting quarterback until he’s not.
The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (5-0, 3-0 SEC) are a team that’s in a state of evolution, needing to improve each week according to Georgia coach Kirby Smart,
All positions are on the table for improvement, Smart says, and thus all positions are on the table for change and timeshare.
The Bulldogs ‘ quarterback situation became a quarterback rotation in a 38-12 win over Tennessee, freshman Justin Fields proving a spark and scoring two touchdowns.
Georgia players took note.
“I think they both complimented each other well,” Bulldogs tight end Isaac Nauta said. “Justin came in and did some really good things, he’s grown up a lot since the beginning of the year and he’s starting to get a lot better.
“Jake did some good things as well.”
Senior Terry Godwin, who took another step in his recovering from knee and calf injuries in fall drills, said playing two quarterbacks makes Georgia more dangerous.
“It makes us dangerous, because you’ve got a quarterback that knows what you [defense] are going to do, and a quarterback that’s able to run,” Godwin said. “I mean, both guys can run, but you have a faster quarterback back there, and that’s tough on defense.”
Fromm is 17-2 as a starter and is the unquestioned leader of the offense, but the ex-Georgia assistants on the Tennessee staff knew exactly how to scheme him up.
“We made the quarterback hold the ball some,” said Vols coach Jeremy Prutt, who served as the Bulldogs defensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015 and worked alongside Kirby Smart for six years at Alabama.
“We didn’t get them by protection breakdowns, I through we had some coverage sacks.”
Fromm was 16-of-22 passing for 185 yards, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in the 19 games he has played, and he was sacked three times and fumbled twice.
Fields was only 1-of-2 passing for 5 yards, but he had five carries for 45 yards and two touchdowns, along with a fumble that he recovered.
Most noticeably, Fields sparked the offense’s first scoring drive in the second quarter and finished off two others with touchdown runs of 12 and 15 yards in the third and fourth quarters.
It was the perfect changeup to neutralize Tennessee’s pressure package, and that’s why Smart said he made the move to change quarterbacks throughout the game.
“It was more of a plan to call the game that gave us the best chance to be successful,” Smart said. “That’s what we try to do in a game. We try to call what gives us the best chance to be successful.”
Next up, Vanderbilt, and a Georgia offense that has proven it can move the ball with either quarterback under center.