ATHENS — Former Auburn national championship coach Gene Chizik suggested Georgia add more to the playbook for freshman QB Justin Fields this week.
“Give him a package, you probably expand it a little bit,” Chizik said on the SEC Network on Saturday night. “You got him in enough [Saturday] to get him indoctrinated, but it’s little by little, baby steps each week.”
Chizik would know about developing and utilizing talented dual-threat quarterbacks, having coached 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton at Auburn.
Newton won the Heisman Trophy, the national championship and was the first overall pick in the NFL draft all in one year under Chizik’s direction in the SEC with the Tigers.
Fields has already drawn some comparisons to Newton, as he was the top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 signing class.
Still, sophomore Jake Fromm is expected to start at quarterback for Georgia against South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Chizik said the Gamecocks will be prepared for Fields’ ability to run the football when or if Smart subs him in for Fromm.
Fields was 7-of-8 passing for 63 yards and a TD, but he also had three carries for 33 yards.
“I think [South Carolina] is going to know what to expect when it comes to the game,” Chizik said. “He didn’t show a lot [Saturday] in the quarterback run game, but you know they are going to have it.
“They’re going to have the zone read, they’re going to have different things like that, that’s what you worry about the most.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart indicated the Bulldogs’ quarterback substitution pattern remains fluid.
“It’s just a situation where there’s no plan,” Smart said. “You know we gotta go with how things go and how the flow of the game goes.”
Chizik said South Carolina will be challenged by Georgia’s playmakers.
“To me, you look at Georgia and their offense and how explosive they are,” Chizik said. “If you can’t pressure Jake Fromm, you’ve got issues back there, they’ve got some weapons on the perimeter.
“We’ve mentioned Riley Ridley, now you’ve got Demetris Robertson, [Mecole] Hardman had a great touchdown, and [Terry] Godwin will be back next week, so it’s gonna be a tall order for their defense.”