Knoxville, Tenn.–If Greyson Lambert played great against South Carolina and sub par against Alabama, then his performance against Tennessee on Saturday probably was somewhere in between.
Lambert connected on some long passes against the Volunteers and Reggie Davis dropped his potential game-tying touchdown pass. But Lambert also got away with throwing into tight coverage a handful of times and couldn’t lead the Bulldogs to a score on their final drive.
“There were definitely a few reads that I’d like to have back, a few throws I’d like to have back,” Lambert said after UGA’s 38-31 defeat at Neyland Stadium. “Obviously I didn’t’ do enough to put us in position to win the game.”
That may not have been the case if Davis had held onto Lambert’s pinpoint pass with less than four minutes left in the game.
Georgia faced a third-and-nine at its 44-yard line when Davis ran clear of Tennessee nickel back Malik Foreman. Lambert launched a ball that landed softy in Davis’ hands but he dropped it.
“If Reggie catches the ball, we might have been talking about what a heroic game it was for (Lambert),” UGA coach Mark Richt said.
After the Georgia defense forced a Tennessee three-and-out, the Bulldogs got the ball back at their one-yard line with 1:48 to play. Lambert completed key passes of 18 yards to Davis, 19 yards to Terry Godwin and 23 yards to Kevin Towns to move Georgia to the 22-yard line.
After a spike to stop the clock and a substitution penalty against Georgia, Lambert tried to pass to Mitchell in the right side of the end zone. Mitchell appeared to have a chance to catch it before Volunteers safety Brian Randolph arrived in time to knock the ball away.
“We wanted to spread them out and get one or two people on (Mitchell) instead of trying to throw a jump ball where everybody is at,” Lambert said. “I just tried to get him a chance.”
Lambert finished 15 of 32 for 279 yards and two touchdowns. He completed four passes of 20 yards or longer, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to Davis that tied the game early in the fourth quarter.
The Volunteers frequently played man-to-man coverage on the outside receivers, allowing Lambert to take some shots for big gains. But Lambert was just 4-for-12 passing on third down, including 1-for-5 in the first half.
“I didn’t do enough to help the offense move,” Lambert said. “I know we didn’t do well on third down and I take a lot of the blame for that (for) missing a couple of throws.”