ATHENS — Once again, Georgia routed the opponent enough that it was able to give reserves and young players some playing time. There was just one notable exception: Jacob Eason.

The sophomore quarterback and now-former starter had played at the end of the team’s previous routs of Vanderbilt and Tennessee. But when Georgia went in for the finishing drive against Missouri last Saturday, freshman starting quarterback Jake Fromm remained in the game.

Coach Kirby Smart, asked why on Tuesday night, said it had more to do with the situation in the game. They didn’t want to send Eason in there just to hand the ball off.

“Really just didn’t think about it much,” Smart said. “There was that last drive, we were handing the ball off, we weren’t going to throw the ball, trying to get a first down. I don’t think that’s a big concern right now.”

It was the first game that Eason has been cleared to play but has not seen the field. He started the season opener, when he injured his left knee in the first quarter and proceeded to miss the next three games. Then he was cleared for games at Tennessee and Vanderbilt, playing in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

“I think given the opportunity to go in and develop and throw the ball it’s different. At that point we weren’t going to do that,” Smart said on Tuesday. “We felt like in the Vandy game we could. In that game we weren’t going to. So we let the other guy finish it off.”

Eason has thrown 7 passes this season, completing 4 for 28 yards.

Fromm replaced Eason in the opener and has held the starting job since Eason returned. Fromm was named the SEC Freshman of the Week after his performance at Missouri. Fromm currently leads the SEC in passing yards per attempt (9.6) and QB rating (170.42).