I tweeted out Saturday night that Jacob Eason would not start for Georgia again this season.
Twitter's 140 characters don't allow for a lot of explanation, so I need to clear a few things up in the aftermath of saying that Eason shouldn’t or won’t start again this season.
For one, that statement is not an indictment on anything Eason has or hasn’t done; the young man got injured and that is wholly out of his control. The situation at Georgia is turning from a Jimmy Garoppolo taking over for the eventually-coming-back Tom Brady, to Tom Brady starting because Drew Bledsoe got injured. There was never a doubt that Brady would take back over for Garoppolo once his four-week suspension by tthe NFL was up, and he did just that in Game 5. Bledsoe was the No. 1 pick in 1993 and the solidified starter for New England in 2001 before getting injured in Week 2. Bledsoe never started another NFL game, I don't think I need to tell you how it worked out for Brady beginning with a Super Bowl title in his first year as a starter. A dramatic comparison, maybe, but comparable nonetheless.
The second thing in regards to the statement is that some qualifiers need to be attached: Jacob Eason shouldn’t start again if the offense continues to improve upon the identity formed in the first four games. Jacob Eason won’t start again if Jake Fromm continues to be as poised, efficient, effective and confident as he was at Notre Dame and against Mississippi State (Fromm had a 172.03 QBR against the Bulldogs and at one point was 8-of-8 passing).
I’m not going to get into an argument as to who the better quarterback is because, frankly, none of us know what the 2017 version of Eason looks like. Would the offense be clicking the way it is with him at the helm? Maybe. What we know for sure is that the offense is clicking the way it is with Fromm at the helm and handing the reins back over to Eason could throw a wrench in that.
Kirby Smart and the undefeated Bulldogs need to continue dancing with one of the key cogs who brought them to 4-0.
A couple more observations in the wake of Saturday’s Bulldog-on-Bulldog crime:
- Georgia’s defense is legit and I’m not just saying that because the team’s winning, the hits have been thunderous and they seem to be one step ahead of the opposing offense at best, and in step at worst. Notre Dame is averaging 293 yards rushing a game and 38 points per game. Georgia held ND to 55 yards rushing (on 37 carries, so those Fighting Irish lived up to their name) and 19 points. Mississippi State is averaging 171 yards passing, 267 yards rushing and 36 points per game. Georgia held MSU to 103 yards passing, 177 yards rushing and a field goal. Also, and this might be the most impressive part to me, the Bulldogs defense isn’t just showing up for the big-time opponents as they held Samford to 22 yards rushing on 23 carries, and 23 points below those Bulldogs’ scoring average.
- Rodrigo Blankenship has turned from a cult hero into an absolute weapon for Georgia. Life is easier on defenses that get to start drives with favorable field position, and Blankenship consistently kicking it for touchbacks gives the Bulldogs a from-the-get-go advantage.
- Remember Georgia’s red zone woes? The Bulldogs are have made 13 trips inside the 20-yard line thus far this season and scored 13 times, 10 of those scores have been touchdowns.
- I’ve demonstratively stood in judgement regarding the use of the “Wilddawg,” but I’m going to keep my mouth shut from here on out. Nick Chubb stood behind center, ran left and went untouched into the end zone on a really good Mississippi State defense. I knew Chubb was going to catch the snap and run, you knew he was going to catch the snap and run, Todd Grantham knew he was going to catch the snap and run, but none of that knowledge mattered thanks to incredible blocking and Chubb’s keen eye for a lane.
ANOTHER FORMER GAINESVILLE STAR MAKING HIS WAY IN THE NFL
Maybe it’s a byproduct of TJ Jones not being “homegrown” like Gainesville-native DeShaun Watson, but his professional exploits go largely overlooked around here, and I’m as guilty as anyone. Jones is in his third season with the Detroit Lions and had his best game of the young 2017 season Sunday against Atlanta: three catches on three targets for 63 yards. Despite being undersized compared to a typical NFL wide receiver, Jones has made his way in Detroit and is a key contributor, but more importantly he’s someone Matt Stafford trusts.
GEORGIA TECH SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED IN COASTAL DIVISION
Miami is the popular pick to win the ACC Coastal and play Clemson in the ACC title game, but Georgia Tech is dangerous and proved it against Pitt on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets offense gave the ball away four times - a recipe for disaster no matter who the opponent - but the defense yielded no points in the wake of the turnovers. Tech is always going to run the ball well (the Jackets amassed their 372 yards-per-game average before the start of the fourth quarter Saturday), but defense has been their achilles heel. Opponents of the Jackets get limited offensive opportunities because of Tech’s ability to control the clock. The ability to stop opponents not just on those limited possessions, but the extra ones granted them by turnovers, makes Tech dangerous.
GHSA RETURNING HOOPS FINALS TO MACON
State championship basketball and wrestling returning to Macon is a good thing for the city, as for the coaches, players, fans and media, I guess we’ll just have to see. I know for a fact that Stegeman and McCamish were stellar venues and enjoyed by all parties, but it’s only a party of one (the GHSA) that gets a say.