Look, I know how it goes sometimes. You’re blogging, you get this clever idea about a topic – in this case, mixing the lemons of Georgia’s current indecision over whom to start at quarterback into the lemonade of turning that into some sort of multi-quarterback system, whatever the hell that might be – and the next thing you know, you’re churning out something like this:
The last time Georgia used a two-quarterback system prior to last year—when Lambert and Ramsey rotated early before Lambert took over full time—was in 2006, when Matthew Stafford was a true freshman in the Classic City.
In that season, Joe Tereshinski opened the season vs. Western Kentucky as the starter, with Stafford and Joe Cox rotating in throughout the first half of the season before Stafford took over as the full-time starter on Oct. 21 vs. Mississippi State…
I know that’s ten years ago, I’m old and my brain doesn’t function as smoothly as it used to, but I sure don’t remember that being a season when Mark Richt trotted out some sort of organized blueprint of how to use his three quarterbacks. It was more like a scramble to buy time in transitioning from DJ Shockley to the incoming stud Matthew Stafford. Let’s relive the actual moments of the first half of that 2006 season for a moment, shall we?
- Georgia 48 Western Kentucky 12. Tereshinski started, Cox came in during the second quarter when the game was 24-0 and Stafford played mop up in the fourth. What a coach would normally do in any blowout of a cupcake opponent, in other words.
- Georgia 18 South Carolina 0. Tereshinski hurt his ankle on the first series of the game and Stafford – not Cox – played the rest of the way in his stead.
- Georgia 34 UAB 0. JTIII missed the game because of his ankle and Stafford started in his place. Joe Cox did not appear.
- Georgia 14 Colorado 13. With Tereshinski still MIA, Stafford started, wet the bed and was yanked. Joe Cox, in one of his career highlights, entered the game in the latter part of the third quarter and rallied the Dawgs to a last minute win.
- Georgia 14 Ole Miss 9. Again, no Tereshinski. Cox, rewarded for his heroics against Colorado, started and was ineffective. He was replaced by Stafford, who was also ineffective.
- Tennessee 51 Georgia 33. The UT game marked Tereshinski’s return, which was anything but triumphant.
- Vanderbilt 24 Georgia 22. Tereshinski started; Stafford finished. No Ginger Ninja.
- Georgia 27 Mississippi State 24. Tereshinski was benched and Stafford was named the starter for this game. That turned out to be the case for the rest of the season and Cox would not start another game until Stafford left.
Is that a system? If by “system” you mean randomly throwing shit up against a wall until something sticks, you may be on to something, but the reality there is that Richt was forced to work on the fly because of an injury to Tereshinski and inconsistent play from the backups. He went to Stafford full time when it became apparent that it was time to look to getting the true freshman plenty of reps in order to prepare for the 2007 season. So, yes, while there was some rotating, there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it and it wasn’t part of some purposeful plan of Richt’s.
I only mention this because if Kirby Smart perceives what happened that season as some sort of useful template in the way Sallee does, 2016 is gonna be a longer year in Athens than we’re hoping for. But 2017 will be awesome, right?