ATHENS — Brice Ramsey is human. He admitted Saturday that he was hurt to not be named Georgia’s starting quarterback. And he let it affect him, at least for a short while.
“It was obviously tough,” Ramsey said following the Bulldogs’ lightning-shortened 51-14 win over Louisiana-Monroe. “I kind of lost focus later in the week. I kind of had to regain it back. I realized, like, at any time I could be thrown in there in the fire. So I got my head back on my shoulders, got back to work and got an opportunity. Fortunately I was able to capitalize on it.”
Ramsey got just one opportunity to the pilot the offense on Saturday and that was late in the second quarter with the Bulldogs already holding a 28-0 lead. But Ramsey made a couple of big-time throws to convert on third down, the second one going 31 yards for a touchdown to Sony Michel.
The first one came when Ramsey was facing third-and-17 at Georgia’s own 48. He had been dumped for a six-yard loss on the previous play when guard Isaiah Wynn failed to block down and pick up a middle linebacker blitzing up the middle.
Ramsey stood tall in the pocket on third down and fired a rope down the middle of the field, which freshman Terry Godwin hauled in for a 20-yard gain and a first down. Ramsey’s TD pass to Michel also came on third-and-long. With nine yards to go at the 31, Ramsey waited to the very last second to slip a screen pass through two defenders to Michel, who side-stepped a tackle and shook another defender on the way to the end zone.
“It felt good to get those conversions,” said Ramsey, who finished 2-for-2 for 51 yards. “Getting the touchdown was huge. I’m obviously fighting every day, competing to do all I can. So hopefully I will end up being more opportunities.”
Head coach Mark Richt said Lambert will continue to be the starter and he would make “no promises” to Ramsey as far as playing time or a rotation. He said they had intended to get Ramsey in one series earlier and that Ramsey would have played more in the fourth quarter had the game not been called.
Meanwhile, both Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer know exactly how their backup is feeling. They had a meeting with Ramsey during the middle of last week after the redshirt sophomore struggled to focus in practice.
“We just had to sit down and talk,” Ramsey said. “I talked to my family and then I had a conversation with the coaches. Finally was able to get back on track. I had like one bad day and then was able to turn it around.”
The message was simple: Keep competing and anything can still happen.
“I’m doing everything I can in my power and trying to prove to them every day in practice or with the drive I had (Saturday) that I’m the guy,” Ramsey said. “… Obviously I have a lot of confidence in myself. At the end of the day, we’re all teammates, we all want the best for each other and we all want the same thing, which is to win a championship. I think it’s only right for us to compete and push each other.”
Meanwhile, the quarterbacks’ teammates are convinced they can’t go wrong either way.
“Great competitors, both of them,” said senior wideout Malcolm Mitchell, who caught a 28-yard TD from Lambert. “I think we’re ready to compete as a unit. I think Lambert did well and I think all the quarterbacks will continue to do well, to be completely honest.”
Said senior linebacker Jordan Jenkins: “You could see that Greyson is a great competitor. But Brice is a great competitor, too. That gap between them was just so small. I hate to face either one of those guys.”