JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Greyson Lambert is smart and analytical enough to graduate from Virginia in three-and-a-half years. He’s usually willing to give the long answer that media members seek.
But when the Jacob Eason question was raised on Saturday, Lambert wasn’t biting. The answer was as short as the odds many put on Lambert beating out Eason this year.
“I’m looking forward to competing,” Lambert said, then looked away, waiting for the next question.
Lambert did say later that he would help Eason any way he could. But if Lambert’s meaning was that he’d like to enjoy the win and answer the Eason questions later, that was understandable.
Here’s the thing about Lambert: Yes, he was inconsistent as Georgia’s starter this year. Yes, he did not put up eye-popping numbers, save for one record-breaking performance. And yes, there was much celebration when the five-star Eason re-affirmed his commitment last month.
But Lambert’s ability to win the job was doubted last summer when he transferred from Virginia, where he had lost the job. And he did win the job at Georgia, and while it was up-and-down, this much is inarguable:
He finished the season with just two interceptions, less than anybody in recent memory at Georgia who has started at least 12 games. And Lambert was 10-2 as the starter.
He was asked after Saturday’s game if he felt underappreciated.
“I’m just blessed to be here, man. I don’t want to get into all that,” Lambert said. “I’m just happy to be with this team, happy to get this win, and win 10 games with this team.”
The way Lambert played in Saturday’s game might have been a perfect summation of this season:
- Only 115 passing yards, as he finished just short of 2,000 yards for the season.
- Some missed throws early in the game.
- But a beautifully thrown pass to Terry Godwin for a touchdown late in the first half.
- And, of course, zero interceptions.
Penn State took away Georgia’s run-pass option by having the linebacker “playing games” before the snap, Lambert said. So it became more of a running game, which was enough to win, and that’s also a perfect summation of this Georgia season.
Brice Ramsey, the favorite to win the job last summer, got one series, completing one of two passes. Ramsey plans for now to stick around and try to make it a three-man competition.
“He’s a guy that’s got a lot of talent. So does Greyson,” John Lilly, the offensive coordinator in the bowl. “Obviously we’ve got some other guys, they have some other guys for the future. I think it’s gonna be a heck of a competition.”
Lambert is used to it. He competed for the job at Virginia, and did so again this year, when he arrived at Georgia on July 13, about three weeks before the first preseason practice.
“It’s been a whirlwind, definitely, since July,” Lambert said. “But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I like it all. I like the whole experience of getting here, competing and trying to do something that hasn’t been done in awhile. I wanted to come here and try to win a natty. Got one more year to try to do that.”