Georgia’s in the same situation it was a week ago.
Two quarterbacks – possibly three if Georgia’s game against Nicholls State goes as expected – will probably play a similar amount of reps. But who Georgia decides to open the game isn’t as certain as it seemed just a day ago.
On Wednesday, Georgia flipped its quarterback order in practice, electing to work Jacob Eason with the first team ahead of Greyson Lambert, who spent the previous two days with the second unit.
This is the first time Eason has been seen with the first team since the final week of the preseason. The chance that Eason could earn his first start against Nicholls State exists, although his reps might just be a way to keep him up to speed in practice since he’ll inevitably play at some point.
Smart may or may not make a decision at quarterback before the game. If so, he hasn’t felt the need to announce it at this time.
"When we feel comfortable about who’s going to go out there for the first play, then we’ll name it," Smart said. "But we’re not that comfortable about that right now. I don’t think it’s as pressing an issue right now because both of them have played now. So it’s not as in the forefront."
And both quarterbacks played well in Georgia’s 33-24 win over North Carolina last Saturday. Eason completed 8 of 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown and Lambert completed 5 of 8 passes for 54 yards.
The offense as a whole didn’t change too much when either quarterback was in. Receiver Isaiah McKenzie said everything remained the same in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage when either quarterback was in the game.
"I guess when they both get in, it's the same usual calls,” McKenzie said. “It's just a switch, I don't know. it's doesn't change though."
While Eason had the better statistical day, five of his completions came from behind the line of scrimmage. Those plays happened to go for 65 yards, thanks to a 23-yard run after the catch from receiver Terry Godwin and two shovel passes on jet sweeps to McKenzie for a total of 30 yards.
Therefore, it’s not as easy as looking at the stat sheet to see which quarterback had the better day.
"Definitely not as easy as saying that because there’s so many more things that went into that game that didn’t work out right with Jacob out there," Smart said.
Eason did, however, make the biggest throw of the game in a crucial moment. Down 24-23 in the fourth quarter, Eason looked off the safety and threw a perfect pass down the right sideline to McKenzie for 51 yards.
The play helped set up a 29-yard field goal from William Ham that put gave Georgia the lead.
"I know to the public eye he made a couple bigger throws. He got an opportunity to make a couple bigger throws," Smart said. "So that’s the be-all and end-all. There’s a lot of functioning of the offense that’s got to improve. For both of them. And for the guys around them. The total communication on offense has got to go up: Whether people are calling out the right Mike (linebacker), calling out the right person to support, blocking the right guy, carrying the ball the right way. There’s a lot that’s got to improve, and that goes for Jacob and Greyson as well."