ATHENS — Time was winding down in the fourth quarter on Saturday night when Greyson Lambert‘s stats flashed on the scoreboard. On Georgia’s sideline, tailback Nick Chubb got guard Isaiah Wynn’s attention.
“Chubb pointed up and said, ‘I didn’t even know he did all that!’ And I looked and said, ‘I didn’t even know he did either!” Wynn recalled on Monday.
Yes, completing an NCAA record 24-of-25 pass attempts, including a Georgia record 20 in a row, drew amazement from all quarters. Still, for all the deserved attention that’s received, here’s perhaps an even more amazing stat:
The number of times Lambert’s offensive line allowed him to get hit.
“I think it was twice,” right tackle Kolton Houston said, adding: “Both of them were sort of his fault.”
The result was zero sacks, which meant, for the second time in three weeks … Another trip to Ben & Jerry’s.
In a tradition started by Aaron Murray, the Georgia quarterback takes his offensive line for ice cream after a zero-sack game. Lambert did so after the season opener, which was also his debut. (Backup Brice Ramsey did get sacked that game, but Lambert overlooked that.) Last week Lambert was sacked once, so no treat.
As last Saturday’s game went on, an excited Lambert approached his linemen.
“I remember him coming over in the second half, saying: ‘We’re almost at ice cream,'” Theus said. “Just joking around a little bit. But he definitely let us know he appreciates it. I don’t think anybody likes taking hits, especially quarterback, they’re kinda defenseless. So he definitely appreciates us, and lets us know it.”
The players went Sunday afternoon, just as they did a couple weeks back. Right tackle Kolton Houston brought his dog, Dixon, and the two shared Cookies N Cream. Wynn got three flavors, stacking them on a cone.
Lambert hasn’t set any cost limit on how much each of his teammates can get … not yet.
“We haven’t discussed it but I’m pretty sure later on in the season it probably will (come up),” Wynn said.
The only play where Lambert came remotely close to being sacked was on a roll-out in the second half. He found an open receiver before being thrown down by a South Carolina defender.
“I think Kolton was open on that one,” Theus said Monday night.
“I was running a post,” Houston deadpanned. “Shoulda hit me.”
When you beat a rival 52-20, you can afford some joking around. Theus was asked if he wanted to say I-told-you-so to the naysayers who had criticized Lambert and Georgia’s passing game.
“I want to, but I don’t think we can,” Theus said, drawing some laughter. “I mean, obviously we got asked the questions last week. But I know what I said and I’m pretty sure what he said is we have confidence in the guy. We had seen it in Day 1 of camp this summer. We’ve seen a lot more of him than anyone else has. We have faith in him, we know what he’s capable of, and he proved that on Saturday. Now everybody else sees it as well.
“So now we won’t be asked those questions, at least for this week.”
Several players said they didn’t notice anything different about Lambert before or during the game. Theus said Lambert was as “confident, calm and collected” as he’s been since he arrived on campus on July 13.
“To me it was just normal Greyson, doing what he do,” Wynn said.
But Houston opined that Lambert – who indicated after the game that he was aware of the criticism – was indeed motivated to prove people wrong.
“Just coming from a man, you don’t want to go to work the next day and everybody tell you you’re terrible at your job,” Houston said. “So as a man you’d have pride. He had something to come out and prove, and I think he did a really good job with that.”