ATHENS — Kirby Smart hasn’t announced who start at quarterback for Georgia Saturday when the Bulldogs face Vanderbilt, but many assume it will be Jake Fromm. Count Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason among them.
“Listen, we can quit with the coaching dramatics,” Mason said Tuesday, making clear he believes Fromm will start a fifth straight game, even though Jacob Eason is healthy enough to at least return to action.
“Right now, I believe Fromm is the guy,” Mason said at his weekly news conference, which was posted on the school’s Twitter feed. “I believe Eason is an extremely talented quarterback. But that’s up to Kirby who he decides to go with. I mean he’s not fooling me, if that’s what we think we’re doing here. That young man, Fromm’s won ballgames. He just came off a [41-0] win.”
Smart shrugged off a question Monday about whether Fromm would continue to start. He said it would be determined in practice.
“It’s not something we have to announce. We’re not announcing who the starting left corner or right corner is,” Smart said. “We’re going to announce it based on how they practice.”
The media did not see a pecking order at practice on Monday, unless a nondescript ball-security drill was any sort of indicator. (Fromm was first.) Eason also apparently isn’t 100 percent healthy yet. (Smart said Eason is “much closer to 100 percent.”)
Georgia (5-0) has risen to No. 5 in the national rankings with Fromm at the controls, though the defense and special teams have played a big role in that. Vanderbilt (3-2) has lost two straight games but did pull off the upset in Athens last season.
Mason said Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker have done “a great job” this year.
“They’ve got talented players, and their players play hard. What Kirby has done is bring the Alabama mentality to the state of Georgia, to that Georgia program,” Mason said. “The Bulldogs are playing extremely well right now. The Commodores have got to show up on Saturday and play well, as well.”