The Georgia Bulldogs have lost three of the last four games, seeing its preseason favorite status dwindle down to a possible third-place finish in the SEC East this season (remember, Tennessee has a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Bulldogs). Knowing there is little time to waste now, Georgia head coach Mark Richt says Greyson Lambert will get the start at quarterback today against Kentucky, but others should be expected to see some playing time as well.
This season, the transfer from Virginia has completed 64.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,276 yards and nine touchdowns, with two interceptions thrown. In Lambert’s last start, against Missouri, he completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 178 yards, but the Bulldogs managed to score juts nine points in a tight 9-6 victory.
Lambert had been Georgia’s starter for the first seven games of the season, but he was replaced in the starting lineup by Faton Bauta last week in Jacksonville against the Florida Gators. Bauta completed 15 of his 33 pass attempts for 154 yards and he was picked off four times in the 27-3 loss.
There was a nice little stretch of time in recent years when Georgia head coach Mark Richt did not have to worry about who his starting quarterback would be entering a season. Aaron Murray provided the Bulldogs head coach with a certain level of comfort most coaches can only dream of having every summer. But Murray has been gone for a couple of years now and once again Richt is one of many coaches around the nation trying to figure out which player will be best suited to be the starting quarterback of his offense. Time is starting to run thin.
“I’m a patient guy, but the clock is ticking,” Richt said Saturday when meeting with members of the media during fall practice. Richt appears to be no closer to naming a starting quarterback than he was when fall camp opened up.
Georgia’s quarterback competition was thrown under the spotlight in the spring game, knowing the running game should be just fine with Nick Chubb. The spring ended with Faton Bauta, Brice Ramsey and Jacob Park all vying for the job, which Richt expected to continue to play out over the summer anyway. Park has since left the program and Georgia has added Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert. Lambert would seem to be a likely candidate for the job, although Richt has not jumped to any such conclusions.
“I’d like to know and have peace,” Richt explained. “I mean I’m waiting for some peace.”
Here’s hoping Richt finds some peace soon enough.
The quarterback situation at Georgia got a little more crowded recently with the addition of Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert. Now there is just a little bit more room in the quarterback pool in Athens. Jacob Park, a redshirt freshman, intends to transfer from the Bulldogs for the 2015 season. 247 Sports was among the first to report the news of the pending transfer.
Park spent the 2014 season as a member of Georgia’s scout team, which led to him earning the Scout Team Award from the coaching staff. Thought to be a player in the quarterback competition this spring, Park saw fewer first-team reps than others vying for the starting job in 2015. It is unknown at this time where Park will land, and he still currently appears on the Georgia football website’s roster. If he transfers to another FBS program, he will have to sit out the 2015 season before being eligible to play again next fall due to NCAA transfer rules. If he transfers to a program from the FCS or another lower level, he will be eligible to play this fall.
As for Georgia, the quarterback field has been narrowed to three candidates. In addition to graduate transfer Lambert from Virginia, Georgia’s Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta are expected to compete this summer after the spring left no clear leader in the quarterback pack.
The Georgia Bulldogs gave rising star running back Nick Chubb just one carry before removing him from the game. The Bulldogs also held out Keith Marshall and Sony Michel for the game due to injuries. We all know Georgia is going to have a strong running game, so there was no real need to put anyone at risk in the spring game. That allowed for a good opportunity for the passing game to be put to the test.
Georgia has no Aaron Murray to count on this season, but that does not necessarily mean the Bulldogs have a problem at quarterback. Saturday afternoon’s spring game in Athens put all three options to work. Faton Bauta had a particularly solid afternoon with good timing with his receivers but did not show off much deep down field. Brice Ramsey showed off a solid arm but lacked consistency with his accuracy. Jacob Park was the third man in, which likely means he will be a backup in the fall, but he played well when given the opportunity.
So, where do things stand now?
“I think it’s still a race,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said after the game, according to Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report via Twitter. “There’s no question it’ll go through summer and fall before we settle on one.”
Not a bad way to go about it when dealing with a full-fledged quarterback situation. It is also not unexpected for Richt to see the passing game sit where it currently does. This will sort itself out over the summer leading up to the start of the 2015 season.
“Has any [QB] mastered their craft yet? No, but that’s not expected.”
Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie had some good highlights, but a hamstring injury brought an early end to his afternoon. The severity of the injury does not figure to have any long-term impact for the fall, but he should sit out the final two practices Georgia has scheduled in the coming week.