ATHENS — The first thing Brian Schottenheimer did when he met with the media after Tuesday’s practice was marvel that the sun was back out, after a week of rain. The next thing he did was settle in his seat for what he knew would be many questions about the struggles of Georgia’s offense, and especially the quarterbacks.
When it came to the latter, Schottenheimer didn’t leave much room for doubt: Nothing is changing about the pecking order. Greyson Lambert will continue to start, Brice Ramsey will continue to play, and there are no plans to play Faton Bauta, unless injuries require it.
“Our whole thing has been Greyson starts all the games. We did not really talk seriously about Faton. Those other two guys had had the majority of work (in practice),” Schottenheimer said. “But we know one thing about Faton, if we call upon him I’m certainly very, very confident that he’ll go out there and play very well. But we expect the other two guys, starting with Greyson, to perform better. That’s their job, that’s their role, and I think they’ll bounce back this week and do that for us.”
It was already known that Lambert would start his sixth straight game. Ramsey has also appeared in every game, including in the first half for all but one game. The idea, Schottenheimer sad, is to give Ramsey “meaningful snaps.” That shouldn’t affect Lambert’s psyche, he added, because he’s been through a snap-sharing arrangement before, last year at Virginia.
“We believe in competition. But like I said Greyson doesn’t need to look over his shoulder in terms of who’s starting the game,” Schottenheimer said. “Greyson needs to worry about going out there, moving the team. He knows Brice is gonna come in at some point. And a guy like Faton has just gotta be ready. … Nothing’s changed. That’s the thing that we believe in. That rotation is what it is, and that’s the way it looks moving forward.”
Or as Schottenheimer put it at another point: “It’s not just about his performance. There’s a plan for Brice to play.”
Ramsey went 1-for-6 with two interceptions against Alabama, though Schottenheimer said one of those picks – the one returned for a touchdown – was a good throw. Head coach Mark Richt has described the play as a “miscommunication.”
“The thing about Brice when he goes in there is, he makes good decisions. The talent’s there obviously,” Schottenheimer said. “Brice’s deal is whenever he gets inserted he just wants to go in there and move the team. There’s no special secret or way of moving the ball. … He’s done that for the most part this season.”
What about Lambert, who had his worst showing (10-for-24 for 86 yards and an interception) of the season? Schottenheimer pointed out that Lambert struggled at Vanderbilt too and came back to break a “longstanding” NCAA single-game completion percentage record the next week.
“So I think that shows one thing about his makeup and the way he can bounce back,” Schottenheimer said. “And hey, you’re gonna have lumps. You certainly don’t want to lose a game like that the way we did, but I think the focus has been good this week, and it’s been important for us to put that behind us and get ready for Tennessee.”
It was Schottenheimer’s first media appearance in three weeks. The previous one came after the team’s other poor offensive performance, at Vanderbilt.
But this time the showing helped result in a loss, and it was a more complete offensive breakdown: Other than Nick Chubb’s 83-yard touchdown run late in the game, the running game also was a no-show.
“We obviously didn’t play very well. We know that,” Schottenheimer said. “It wasn’t just the quarterbacks. We didn’t coach very well. I didn’t call a very good game. But the thing we have to do, and we have done, is put it behind us. It’s one game. It can’t become two games.”