ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt decided on Saturday to share some quarterback data for the first time in the preseason.
“Nick Robinson went with the 3s and went 4-for-4,” he said after the Bulldogs’ closed scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “That’s it. No more stats.”
That was Richt’s attempt at having fun with the Bulldogs’ quarterback competition. But the rest of his comments made it clear that he’s not real thrilled with the situation.
“Walking away from the practice I feel like I know less about what to do than I did going in,” Richt said following the two-hour workout. “That’s just my first impression. We’ll watch the film and we’ll make a determination.”
Richt said Brice Ramsey, Greyson Lambert and Faton Bauta continued to share snaps evenly with the No. 1 offense. With two weeks left until the regular season, he did not seem prepared to make a cut down to two, but he would like to soon.
“Obviously we’ve had 17 or 18 practices, so there’s a lot of things to start making some judgments by,” he said…. “Is it time for racking them right now? I don’t know. We’ll watch the film and Coach Schottenheimer and I will have a nice discussion what we think the next course of action is. We’ll just see.”
Players interviewed after Saturday’s scrimmage did not add much insight to the situation.
“Whoever’s gonna be back there Week 1 we’re gonna go win with it,” senior tackle Kolton Houston said. “Regardless of who it is, … I mean it’s football. I could care less which quarterback it’s gonna be. Same with the other 10 guys on offense. We’re gonna win with whoever they put back there.”
Said senior defensive tackle Josh Dawson: “They’re all just fighting and competing each and every day. We try not to worry about who’s at quarterback. We just try to run Coach Pruitt’s defense and play Georgia football.”
Richt indicated he’s a little bit frustrated that one of the three quarterbacks hasn’t stepped up and separated himself from the pack.
“I’d like to know and have peace,” he said. “I’m waiting for some peace. When I have to make big decisions and I have little time to make it, my goal is I like to pray about it, I like to think about it and then I like to have some peace that, hey, this is the right thing to do. I don’t have that peace right now.
“I’m a pretty patient guy, but the clock’s ticking.”
Once again, Richt intimated that more than one quarterback will likely play in the opener and that the pecking order will have to be determined in game play.
“I’ve got a feeling it’s going to play out on the field in games,” he said. “It might be the first guy that goes in plays his tail off and we have peace then. If that doesn’t happen, then maybe we’ll let another guy have a chance.”
Houston said Georgia fans need not fret about it too much.
“Regardless of which quarterback it is, it’s not like those three quarterbacks are terrible,” he said. “They’re good quarterbacks. People are putting all this emphasis on the quarterback race but it doesn’t matter which quarterback it is, they’re all three good. So it’s not like we’re choosing from three bad quarterbacks. We’re choosing from three good quarterbacks. Whichever one ends up winning it they’re gonna be the guy for the job, they’re gonna deserve to be able to start.”
Other than the lack of clarity in the quarterback competition, Richt indicated it was a good and productive scrimmage. He gave the nod to defense for stopping the offense in one-minute situations and said the offense failed to score on its first two drives of the day but finally came through on the third.
Richt lauded the Bulldogs’ running game, saying that Nick Chubb stood out and got 13 carries and also complimented Sony Michel and Keith Marshall. He said Malcolm Mitchell “made a couple of nice plays.”
There continues to be indications there is a significant drop off between the first and second offensive lines. Or, conversely, that Georgia’s edge pressure is exceptional and deep.
“Defensively, whoever was the edge rusher with the No. 2 defense was having a good day,” he said. “We were kind of struggling with our protection. I saw a lot of (outside linebacker Davin) Bellamy in that spot.”