The Georgia Bulldogs have jumped out to a 2-0 start in 2015. Back-to-back wins against Louisiana-Monroe and Vanderbilt have given everyone a look at what we already thought about this year's team — the defense is good and the running game led by Nick Chubb is great.
The question that is on everyone’s mind is if newcomer Greyson Lambert can get the job done at quarterback. After a good warm up in game one, Lambert only managed to complete 52 percent of his passes (11 of 21) for 116 yards against Vanderbilt. With South Carolina coming to town Saturday and a home matchup against Alabama in two weeks, with a tune-up against Southern sandwiched in between, the Bulldogs and head coach Mark Richt have to figure out sooner rather than later if Lambert can carry this team through a very difficult SEC schedule.
The good news is that Chubb looks like he is in midseason form. But we’ve seen this story before. The one where the Bulldogs have a good defense and a solid running game but lackluster quarterback play keeps them from their season goals. Yeah, that was exactly the case last year. Yet in 2015, the Bulldogs may be falling into the same trap that cost them a trip to Atlanta in 2014.
Now I understand it’s only two games into a long season but South Carolina will be looking to bounce back after a loss to Kentucky and for some odd reason the Ol Ball Coach seems to have Mark Richt’s number. If Lambert is going to show that he gets this offense and can lead this team to the SEC Championship Game, a strong showing against South Carolina would certainly be a good start.
Lambert seemed to struggle to get anything going last week against a Vanderbilt defense that is improved from last year but let’s not give them too much credit. The Commodores did lose to Western Kentucky in week one. Lambert doesn’t need to be a Heisman finalist for Georgia to do well. But he does need to show that he is capable of moving this team down the field without turning around and handing it to a running back to do so. In fact, Lambert didn’t complete a pass in Saturday’s game until his fifth series and that includes a series that Brice Ramsey was under center in relief and completed a couple of passes. If you give a Steve Spurrier-coached team five series until your quarterback completes a pass, he’ll figure a way to make you pay. And let’s not even talk about what Nick Saban would do with a start like that.
Lambert has to show improvement this week. If he doesn’t, Richt will be forced to call on Ramsey, who couldn’t beat out Hutson Mason last year and couldn’t win the starting job in spring practice or fall camp either. Chubb can do a lot of things, but he can’t do everything. It’s impossible in today’s game to not pass the ball consistently and win a championship. If the Bulldogs find themselves in a state of flux at the quarterback position after this week, it could end up being a long season for Georgia fans.
Georgia hosts South Carolina on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in a game that can be seen on ESPN.
— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.