JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As Mark Richt gave his postgame press conference on Saturday, two words were written a few yards away on a whiteboard.
“FREE RAMSEY,” someone had written. It wasn’t clear who.
Last year in the same room someone – perhaps the same person, who knows – had written “FREE GURLEY” in almost the same spot on the whiteboard. It was the third game of Todd Gurley’s four-game suspension.
This time it was the eighth straight game that Ramsey, widely considered the heir apparent to be Georgia’s quarterback, had not started this season. But as Georgia’s season unravels thanks in large part to its anemic offense, it’s not clear whether Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer think Ramsey is the answer.
Greyson Lambert started the first seven games, was too inconsistent for the coaches’ liking, and on Saturday the job was handed to Faton Bauta, a sentimental choice among his teammates. (Although Ramsey is at least someone’s sentimental choice, clearly.)
Bauta had good moments, but threw four interceptions, and afterwards Richt or Schottenheimer said they were undecided on who would start Saturday against Kentucky.
“I don’t know what we’ll do,” Richt said. “We’ll definitely have to decide on that. I wouldn’t say that (Bauta will start) and I won’t say that he won’t.”
It’s been a strange season for Ramsey, who has slid to third team on the depth chart but first-team at another spot: Punter. And with Georgia doing a lot of punting on Saturday, Ramsey did well, averaging 43.4 yards on five punts. That was an improvement on senior Collin Barber’s punting this season.
“We were having some issues at that position, just the consistency we were looking for,” Richt said. “I thought he did a nice job tonight.”
But what about quarterback? Ramsey did get one pass attempt, off a fake in the third quarter. It was incomplete, too high for freshman linebacker Roquan Smith. (Why the play called for a pass to a linebacker and not Malcolm Mitchell, who lateraled the ball to Ramsey, was not clear.)
Schottenheimer was asked if Ramsey was an option, considering they’ve already tried the other two guys.
“We’re looking for the answer,” Schottenheimer said. “We’ve gotta look at the film, evaluate the film. I think Brice is excited about some of the stuff with the punting. But again, until we go back and look at the film and kind of compare everything we’ll not make any big decisions.”