One disappointing loss, and everyone’s an offensive coordinator.
Coach Kirby Smart was peppered with a host of quarterback-related queries Tuesday in the wake of the Bulldogs’ 36-16 loss Saturday at LSU in a game in which starting quarterback Jake Fromm didn’t have his most productive day, passing for 209 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, and freshman backup Justin Fields didn’t see much in the way of playing time, rushing once for three yards and tossing no passes.
Smart said both Fromm and Fields must play better for No. 8 Georgia’s offense to get in gear and added there were points in Saturday’s game when he pondered expanding Fields’ role.
“We considered it a lot and talked about it a lot,” said Smart, whose team is off this weekend before facing No. 11 Florida on Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla. “The point (in the fourth quarter) after Jake went down there and scored the one touchdown, we considered it once they came back and scored on us, but to be honest with you, the game was kind of out of hand at that point.
“Justin continues to work, and he’s doing a good job. He took good reps today, and he’s getting better. I think both of those kids understand they’ve got to play better for us to play better offensively.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Kirbs. But what are you gonna do about it? I mean, Dawgnation is barking. Can’t you hear it?
“I’m not going to be influenced by outside forces on who to play or what to do,” Smart said. “Nobody knows what happens on a play when a kid throws the ball because the corner ‘cats’ (blitzes) and he throws the ball away. It looks like he missed a guy, (but) that might have been the best play he made all day because we might not have had the corner picked up and it was going to be a sack if he didn’t do that. So you just can’t go off of statistics.”
So while a full-blown quarterback controversy rages outside Georgia’s Butts-Mehre football complex, inside there remains cold, calculated and objective analysis of what the Bulldogs are doing at that position…
“Could (Fromm) have played better? Sure, he could have played better,” Smart said. “A lot of people could have played better. A lot of people could have coached better, too. But that’s over with. We’ve moved on to Florida and that’s what we’re focused on.”
The best motivation the staff may have at its disposal over the next week and a half is simply to tell the players (and each other) that if they’re sick of hearing the talk, the way to shut it down is to take care of bidness in Jacksonville.