It seems like we’re always talking about a quarterback race when debating NCAA football, and the Georgia Bulldogs are definitely an interesting topic when those discussions come up. Greyson Lambert threw for 1,959 yards last year to go along with 12 touchdowns against only two interceptions, but last week, new head coach Kirby Smart appeared on a radio show hosted by Paul Finebaum and made a comment that now has a great deal of the Georgia faithful wondering if freshman quarterback Jacob Eason could be thrown into the fray early.
“I have no objections to him starting the first game,” Smart said in the interview about Eason. “I want the guy that gives us the best chance to win to start the first game. Whoever that is, that is 20-something practices from now, so we will know a lot more.”
That’s all it took, and a quarterback race, in some ways, became a quarterback controversy.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Eason has been handed the reins, but the new man on campus and in the locker room has a tendency to be the most popular. Playing what’s arguably the most recognizable position in all of sports with one of the country’s premier programs doesn’t help much either. Recently, the Bulldogs said goodbye to longtime head coach Mark Richt, and a coaching change can sometimes put fans in a position where they’d like to see a complete 180-degree turn from what the team did the year prior. A complete overhaul in Athens isn’t exactly necessary.
The Bulldogs lost three games last year. Two were to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Volunteers, and the other was to the Florida Gators in a game in which Lambert didn’t play. The stage appeared to be too big and the lights seemed too bright for him sometimes, and he was a junior. Doesn’t it stand to reason that throwing an unproven freshman quarterback out on the field in the SEC could lead to some issues? Throwing for 244 yards in Georgia’s spring game doesn’t necessarily mean Eason is ready for the rigorous schedule of the best conference in college football.
Lambert will be entering his senior season come September. He’s experienced, battle tested and ready, and he should be the starter once the season begins. It’s Lambert who gives the Bulldogs the best chance to win. He just needs to play better in big games.