UGA’s QB competition remains intense, undecided
ATHENS — Georgia’s quarterback quandary will continue into the third week of the season.
That was the word from coach Kirby Smart, who was asked what the rotation at that position might look like Saturday as the No. 16-ranked Bulldogs (2-0) travel to Missouri (1-1) for their SEC opener. Senior Greyson Lambert started Georgia’s first game of the season while freshman Jacob Eason started and played most of the game Saturday against Nicholls State.
“It’ll be based on how practice goes and how our game-planning goes,” Smart said at his weekly news conference Monday. “(The game plan’s) not in place right now. Once we put that together, we’ll decide which ways we want to strategize, which ways we want to attack. Who’s going to be better at doing that? That will play itself out during the week.”
So far neither quarterback has distinguished himself with his play. Eason has completed 59 percent of 32 passes for 335 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Lambert has completed 63.6 percent for 56 yards and no TDs or interceptions. Obviously, Eason has had more opportunities to throw and has played more overall.
But Smart has been adamant that it’s not passing stats that he and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney are focused on. Their evaluation is based more on “operation times” as far as interpreting the signals from the sideline, communicating with the offense and making sight adjustments, whether it be audibles at the line of scrimmage or receiver progressions.
Just the fact that the Bulldogs have turned to Lambert at the end of each game and the end of three of the four halves so far is an indication that they trust the senior more in that regard. But Smart said the coaches believe in Eason’s decision-making ability as well.
“He’s got everything that Greyson’s got; it’s just a matter of what we want to display,” Smart said. “We don’t go into any game with the full playbook, but he’s done everything Greyson’s done. There’s nothing we hold back from him. He’s certainly not as advanced as Greyson, as comfortable as Greyson, at doing those things. But we don’t hold anything back from him.”
For what it’s worth, Eason and Lambert were bracketed on the official depth chart UGA released Monday. Last week, Lambert was listed as the starter, though Eason actually started in the game. Odds seem good that both will play again this week.
“I don’t think it’s a distraction,” senior center Brandon Kublanow said. “We had it last year, so it’s nothing new to us. I know both of them are great quarterbacks. Whoever’s in is going to make great plays. So it can’t really be a distraction for us.”