COLUMBIA, S.C. — Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields entered Saturday’s game against South Carolina in the fourth quarter, essentially getting his feet wet in an SEC environment.
Fields first-ever road appearance came with 13:25 left and the Bulldogs holding a 41-10 lead in what was ultimately a 41-17 victory.
There were more Georgia fans in Williams-Brice Stadium than Gamecocks fans at that juncture.
Bulldogs safety J.R. Reed had intercepted Jake Bentley on the previous play, sending even the most loyal of Carolina fans to the exits.
Fields was unable to generate a first down on his first series, going three-and-out as the Bulldogs went conservative with the play calling.
Fields finished 1-of-1 passing for 8 yards, also carrying the ball one time for 3 yards.
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart had said there wasn’t a set plan to play Fields, but most felt he would do what he could to give the freshman some action.
“It’s just a situation where there’s no plan,” Smart said on Monday. “We’ll go with how things go and how the flow of the game goes.”
Fields entered last week’s game on the fourth series with the Bulldogs leading FCS member Austin Peay 17-0.
Georgia scored touchdowns on three of the four series Fields played in the 45-0 victory.
Fields was 7-of-8 passing for 63 yards against the overmatched opponent. But his nerves and inexperience also showed. The young quarterback took off running on three of the first six snaps, which wasn’t exactly in the script.
“I thought early in the game he was a little nervous, [and] he had a couple of plays where things broke down a little bit and he created,” Smart said. “Maybe he didn’t like his first read and took off. I encouraged him to not take a hit and his first play he ran over like two guys. So I told him that was not really what we were looking for.
“But he took better care of himself the rest of the time.”
Fields suffered a sprained ankle last week, but Smart said he was able to play through it.
Smart surely reminded Fields — and Fromm — before Saturday’s game at South Carolina to be cautious when running the football.
“That’s a conversation we’ve had with both quarterbacks,” Smart said last week. “We’ve got to be careful because we only have two [scholarship] quarterbacks.”