The views of the author are not necessarily the views of AllOnGeorgia.
This past Saturday, I sat in the stands at Sanford Stadium for the Georgia-Tennessee game.
There was this fan on the row behind me, six or seven seats to my left, who was struggling to keep his cool in more ways than one.
For starters, the stifling heat created by the sun that shined high above the stadium almost made sitting in our lower-level East end zone seats unbearable, at least in the first half of the game until the shade made its way over to us as the afternoon progressed.
But, he also was bothered by Georgia’s constant changing of the quarterbacks. “Come on. Leave him in a whole series,” he would say.
He was talking about the Bulldogs starting a drive with freshman phenom Justin Fields at quarterback and then pulling him to put starter Jake Fromm back in the game as Georgia approached the Tennessee end zone.
This was something we really hadn’t seen out of Georgia this season when it came to playing both quarterbacks.
Going into Saturday, Fromm had started every game with Fields getting some snaps here or there or coming in to finish out the game in so-called mop-up situations against inferior opponents like Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State.
Against the Volunteers, however, Fromm still saw more time on the field, but the Bulldogs put Fields in with more regularity than it had in all of the previous games.
Of course, UGA head coach Kirby Smart continued to be his coy self when it comes to the quarterback rotation.
I was told by one respected journalist that he pointed emphatically at a long-time reporter who asked about the QB plan in the post-game press conference and basically said what he has already said several times.
And, that would be “there is no plan.”
You don’t believe Kirby doesn’t have such a plan, I would hope.
That’s Dog poop.
You know this detail-oriented coach who seems to have a plan for most everything else has a plan for something as important as who will play quarterback for the Bulldogs on Saturdays.
You can bet there’s a plan. The Georgia coaches see what the quarterbacks are doing in practice, of course.
And obviously, they watch game film on the next opposing team and formulate a plan of attack against the next team on the schedule based on what they think they can do with their own personnel and what they will need to dig out of their own playbook to be successful that particular Saturday.
So, when it comes to the all-important quarterback position, they know what they want to do and who they want to have doing it, based on practices and film study that week.
In Georgia’s case, they knew what they could do with Fields against Tennessee based on all of that.
It also would seem that Fields is progressing such that perhaps Georgia was willing to use him more against the Vols than they have previously and you figure they knew what they could do with him based on watching film of the Vols.
Sure, UGA might not have a specific script like putting him in on the third series of each half regardless of the situation, which is something coaches often do especially with the quarterback spot.
But, you can bet your paycheck for the week that Georgia knew how it wanted to use Fields against Tennessee. It was just a matter of when that would happen in the game based on the way the game was playing out.
The first time he came onto the field, UGA was deep inside Tennessee territory, and Fields simply handed off to a running back on one play and left the game. Some fans didn’t understand that.
But, it was a simple strategic move. His presence at least created a thought in the minds of the Vols that Fields might just keep the football himself, which Georgia figured may help the guy they gave the ball to in that situation turn the carry into a bigger gain.
As the game went on, Georgia sometimes started drive with Fields and then went to Fromm the closer they got to the Tennessee end zone.
Other times, it was the opposite. Fromm would give way to Fields, who actually scored two rushing touchdowns in the game when the Bulldogs were inside the red zone.
On those two occasions, he reminded me of Cam Newton and Vince Young. Those are two big-bodied quarterbacks like Fields who defensive players really don’t want to have to tackle when they have time to build up a head of steam and when they can smell the end zone and the six points that come with scoring a touchdown.
And, then before game’s end, you also saw Georgia rotating Fields and Fromm on seemingly every play.
It worked, but I will admit that usually I am not a big fan of such a thing, at least when it comes to quarterbacks.
Steve Spurrier used to do that at times in his Fun N Gun offense at Florida, and of course the Evil Genius was always an offensive genius.
Now, there were times he did that when he really didn’t know who his starting quarterback or better quarterback was.
In Georgia’s case, I think the depth chart at quarterback is pretty clear. Fromm is the No. 1 and Fields is a pretty good No. 2.
Sure, the Bulldogs have sputtered a little bit offensively the last two games, but it isn’t necessarily because of who is or isn’t playing quarterback, I don’t think.
But, at the same time, it looks like the Georgia offense is evolving right before our eyes on Saturday afternoons.
And if Saturday’s game plan is any indication of things to come, Fields will become more involved in future plans, especially if the Dogs feel like they can use his talents to expose a weakness of the opposing defense.
Ideally, Fromm will play well and Fields will come in and do what he does to make the UGA offense more dynamic and more of a problem to defend in future games.
And, there won’t be a controversy, nor will there be a plan as Kirby likes to say.
We’ll all just know that Fields will be involved in some sort of plan from week to week and will have to accept that we’ll get to see the plan as the games unfold each Saturday afternoon.