ATHENS — Well, that certainly was unexpected. The fact Georgia defeated South Carolina wasn’t surprising — they were heavy favorites — but nobody could have seen a 52-17 shellacking coming, especially given it came over their No. 1 tormentor, Steve Spurrier. For my column on the game, click here. My three “Short Takes” follow:
1. Meet Greyson Lambert, Starting quarterback: I had doubts. Fans had doubts. Maybe even coaches had doubts. But Lambert affirmed he was the right choice by Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer as Georgia’s starting quarterback, completing an implausible 24 of 25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. His only relative misfire was an overthrow on third down from the South Carolina 12 in the first quarter when Jeb Blazevich was well covered in the end zone. Was this really the same quarterback who went 0-for-5 in the first half at Vanderbilt? “I felt confident against Vanderbilt too,” he said. “I just had to go through a rough patch.”
2. Malcolm Mitchell a happy camper: The Bulldogs had no shortage of offensive stars, as you would expect on a seven-touchdown, 576-yard day. But Mitchell was one of the biggest stars with eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown (exceeding what he had in his first two games: seven for 88 and a touchdown). Mitchell also vented following the Vanderbilt game about the team’s lack of a passing attack and, it follows, his inability to have an impact on the offense. His follow-up comments after the South Carolina game: “Ah, my message. I shouldn’t have said what I said at the time, the way I said it. Because it’s a team; I’ve got to show support. When I read what was stated in that article it seemed like I was bashing the team and that’s something I never want to do. Now if it got him to throw the ball … (didn’t finish sentence). Nah, I’m kidding. But I appreciate him trusting me. That’s the relationship you want to have with your quarterback. And I hope all the other receivers have that trust in him as well, because it’s not just me out there running routes.”
3. The end for Spurrier: Steve Spurrier can retire after the season, secure in the knowledge he will go down as one of the greatest college in college football history. He hasn’t said that he plans to do so but three lousy performances by his team to start the season — an ugly win over North Carolina, a home loss to Kentucky and a lopsided defeat to Georgia — makes you wonder if he wants to stick around. The truth is that the Gamecocks just don’t have many great players. This isn’t a matter of whether Spurrier can still X-and-O with his counterparts. It’s whether he wants to work that hard at 70 years old to recruit the players he needs. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was the last time he will have coached a game in Athens.
•Recent ramblings Dawgnation: Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance Dawgnation: Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech over Irish, Georgia over South Carolina (but not by 17) Dawgnation: Tech has something Georgia would like — comfort at quarterback position MyAJC: An impressive opening by Dan Quinn’s new Falcons AJC: Short takes: Gruden praises Falcons’ defense after win Dawgnation: Georgia looks like a shaky 2-0 with its passing game Dawgnation: Short takes: Another Georgia win but QB issues continue AJC: Weekend Predictions: I can’t block this Falcons’ upset from my brain AJC: Poll: I say 9 wins for Falcons, national media mixed, what say you? MyAJC: Falcons’ late roster scramble not a good sign AJC: Fredi Gonzalez needs to make more of his losing hand Dawgnation: Lambert good but didn’t do enough to cement starting job Dawgnation: Lambert, lightning and the joy of Keith Marshall MyAJC: Kennesaw State’s little startup off to a dazzling start AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets roll, Spurrier escapes, Petrino goes down AJC: Falcons won Julio Jones trade but would like to forget 2012 draft Dawgnation: Greyson Lambert’s big test won’t come in opener, it will be later AJC: Hello, football: Thoughts on UGA, Tech, Kennesaw, both GSUs Dawgnation: It’s Lambert over Ramsey for now, but assume nothing for future at Georgia AJC: Falcons were never going to let Julio Jones get away MyAJC: Gomes provides some needed comic relief to Braves’ season MyAJC: Brian McCann makes his perfect return to Atlanta AJC: Ready to start picking? ‘Sack Schultz 2015’ now open for business Dawgnation: CFB Special: Mark Richt, empty nester, is seeking that winning feeling again Dawgnation: CFB Special: Your flawless game-by-game predictions for Georgia AJC: Arthur Blank says he’s backing away — this I’ve gotta see Dawgnation: Richt having fun with stonewalling but UGA’s QB debate a real problem MyAJC: Falcons have issues, so Matt Ryan can’t be one of them