I have started to get really excited about the football season, and today we are only 12 days away from kickoff in Sanford stadium. It is always fun to take the number of days from kickoff and match it up with a past or current UGA player. For most Georgia fans you cannot think of the number “12” at Georgia without thinking of John Lastinger. In case you didn’t know, John Lastinger, played quarterback right after Buck Belue. Georgia had some great teams and big wins in the 80s but the 1984 Cotton Bowl really stands out for me. Texas was ranked #1 and Georgia was a really good team but no one thought they would go into Texas and upset the Longhorns without Herschel Walker.
Well thanks to great defense and a muffed punt Georgia did just that. With little time on the clock John Lastinger ran the ball in the end zone to give Georgia the lead. It may be the best end to a career that any Georgia player has ever experienced. And therefore it will always be 10 to 9 in Texas for UGA fans. Alright enough about the past, we are 12 days away and there doesn’t seem to be a clear choice as the starting quarterback. Is this good or bad?
During the Mark Richt era Georgia fans have been pretty spoiled when it comes to quarterbacks. The era started with David Greene who was followed by DJ Shockley. Afterwards fans got to see Matt Stafford and Aaron Murray both hold down the position for almost 8 years combined. So for the first time in a long while Georgia has some uncertainty at quarterback. Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta, and Greyson Lambert are all competing right now to win the job. Ramsey and Bauta have been in the program for a while and deserve a shot of course but the arrival of Lambert sort of tells me the job must be wide open. Please understand that I do not go to practice and my job is not to report on UGA football. So anything I am saying here is only speculation and a personal opinion. I have no sources and no one on the inside giving me information. But I think Georgia is going to start the year with a two quarterback rotation. Mark Richt has done this before with David Greene and DJ Shockley in 2002. I wasn’t a real big fan of it then for many reasons, and I still remember the interception that DJ Shockley threw in GA/FL game that year. Most fans remember Terrance Edwards dropping the ball but I remember that interception as the game changer. Despite the quarterback rotation, Georgia had a special year in 2002 but I wonder how special it could have been if UGA was undefeated. Shockley is one of my favorite players, but I just feel that David Greene was the leader of the team in 2002 and he should have played every snap. The same can be said for Shockley in 2005. Maybe I am wrong but I think Ramsey and Lambert are going to share playing time when the season starts. Competition is always good and the coaches know better than me who needs to be on the field. But a team needs the quarterback to be a leader and the quarterback needs to have confidence. I just think it is hard to have both things happen if you rotate two quarterbacks.
Have you ever noticed that some fans seem to always think the best quarterback is the back up? I sure have noticed it and I think those people are idiots. I have been hearing fans call for the back up since the 80s. The end of the Dooley era and Ray Goff’s early days were wrought with QB controversy and the results speak for themselves. Hopefully, I am wrong and there will be a clear #1 quarterback in 12 days that will become a leader. At the end of the day, Mark Richt knows what he is doing when it comes to coaching quarterbacks. But Georgia better have the position figured out by the time South Carolina comes to Athens or it could be a long night. The last thing I want to hear Saturday night against South Carolina are Georgia fans calling for another guy to come in and play quarterback. I do not know who the quarterback will be but he will have my full support and I will pull hard for him even when the chips are down. I just wish other fans would do the same.