Jacob Eason wasn’t good but this isn’t time to blame quarterback

The focus on Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason needs to be shifted to other areas on the team. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

The focus on Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason needs to be shifted to other areas on the team. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

OXFORD, Miss. — There will be moments this season when Jacob Eason, because of his talent, size and fearlessness, will be able to rescue a flawed and wounded Georgia team, as he did last week against Missouri. And then there will be games like the one Saturday that remind us: 1) He’s a freshman; 2) This team just isn’t good enough in any area to overcome freshman quarterback mistakes.

The Dogs looked like anything but a top 25 team — or remotely like an SEC contender — Saturday against Ole Miss. They were boat-raced 31-0 in the first half, looked up to a 45-0 deficit in the third quarter and ultimately lost 45-14.

Yes, the new Georgia under Kirby Smart looked like the old Georgia under Mark Richt … or worse. For my complete column on the game, click here.

But I wanted to write a little separate here on Eason. He was not good against Ole Miss. In the first quarter, he forced a ball into coverage and threw an interception that was returned for a touchdowns and dropped Georgia into a 10-0 hole. He completed only 16 of 36 passes for 137 yards with zero touchdowns. He made some bad reads and missed some open receivers. In his defense, Georgia receivers dropped at least three passes, including a would-be touchdown (Jayson Stanley).

Smart’s post-game analysis of his freshman: “He didn’t run the offense efficiently. He’s got to get better. He’s got to command the huddle and communicate better. I think he grew up some, took some shots. It’s the first time he’s really been hit. He got rocked a couple of times. But he still fought.”

Of Eason’s interception, Smart said: “He saw the wrong coverage. He threw it to the wrong guy. And hey, you can throw it to the wrong guy. He’s gotten away with that some. But he threw behind him and to the wrong guy, which is lethal.”

That said, Smart would be the first to tell you that when a team loses by such a lopsided scorer, it’s not on one player, even the most important player. Eason was sacked three times and took a beating, The offensive line  neither protected well nor run-blocked when it needed to most. The defense may be worse.

This just isn’t a very good team right now. Down 31-0 at halftime and what did Georgia do to open the second half? Went offside . . . on the kickoff.

Next week is the Tennessee game. Is this about to get worse? Maybe.

Nick Chubb left Saturday’s game in the second quarter with a sprained ankle and never returned. Smart said Chubb wanted to come back in and wasn’t able to. But we’ll never know if the lopsided score merely dissuaded Smart from putting Chubb back in.

Without Chubb or a running game, Georgia is a mediocre team. Even with Chubb, they may not be a very good one. The natural inclination in football is to look at a quarterback’s poor numbers in situations like this and say, “It’s his fault.”

But anybody who believed Eason would be able to rescue a bad team this season wasn’t being realistic. The Dogs have too many other areas that need fixing.

GAME COLUMN: New Georgia looks a lot like the old Georgia

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77 comments
OH:IO
OH:IO

Anyone know Chuck and Duck's 40 time?

OH:IO
OH:IO

Down goes the Mad Hatter.


I guess the Wisc. win was not a big deal after all. 


The SEC! SEC! is a clown conference. 

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

Take Alabama out of the equation and they are mediocre at best.

Jse1960
Jse1960

Seriously dude? I get your bias, I went to Ohio State as well, but a clown conference...the results of the past 10 years kind of tell a different story.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Jse1960 A little jabbing back and forth is good for college football, but OH:IO is obsessed with bitterness for some reason. Nice to read a sensible post. We're aware of the strength of your conference regardless of the taunts. If OH:IO believes what he writes he knows nothing of college football.

charlestonian77
charlestonian77

it was like xmas day yesterday.; i laughed. i cheered. i pranced around the house. all while watching the dwags 'build' a deficit of 45 points. can a shut out be possible i hoped.  the football gods let me down on that part.

then i saw a yahoo headline. 


'uga is humbled ":

WRONG. lmfao.

you want a humbled team?  gt was humbled by clemson. that is being humbled.

uga?  uga was not humbled by old miss.  uga got bent over and reamed. REPEATEDLY. 

bill cosby would have been proud of what old mississippi did to the dwags yesterday

.

they had to go baaaaaaaah-ck to athens in shame.

yay.

The Doom
The Doom

Its still early but so far as a head coach Kirby is indeed looking like Will Muschamp 2.0. 


Blaming it on lack of talent is not an argument. Georgia has top 10 class after top 10 recruiting class stacked on top of each other.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Please go ahead and list all the 4and 5 star o- linemen that were signed in all those top 10 recruiting classes over and over

1......

2????

3,???

TOJacket
TOJacket

You're right! .....he reminded me of Muschamp?........man the dawgs went from Coach Mannequin to Coach Meth.

TOJacket
TOJacket

But I would take KS over Richt.

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think any O Linemen were playing defense. Come to think of it, no one on the whole team was playing defense.

The irony in all of this is you all will be playing a team next week who went down the same path your team will most likely go down....

FlatTire
FlatTire

Give us a list of 4and 5 star dline depth we have had in all those top recruiting classes?

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

More then Ole Miss I'm sure. I don't care enough about uGA to look anything up. Are you telling me out of a decade of top 15 to top 10 nationally ranked recruiting classes all you signed were skill position players? What did you all do, sign 4 and 5 star RB's, WR's, and QB's and just played walk ons on the lines?

Get real. I have a hard time believing you're this naive and or stupid.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Voltaire?   I guess when Smart mentioned the depth issues in the pre-season on the line  he was talking about Fulton County University

OH:IO
OH:IO

Too funny


dogs fall to #25 in the AP. 


That's right butt up against "others receiving votes".


Told you it was coming. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

I would like to know those criticizing the defense please inform us how well Pruitt did with Alabama's roster against ole miss?

Or Tennessee Florida Alabama last year

The Doom
The Doom

@FlatTire 

Ole Miss's offense scored 36 against Bama. Their defense scored a td. 

And of course Bama scored 48. 

I think Ole Miss probably woulda hung 60  on the dawgs had Hugh Freeze not called off the dawgs, no pun intended, in the 3rd qtr. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@FlatTire Don't confuse them with facts.  Your talking to the flat earth society with Blowhio as President..

FlatTire
FlatTire

The ole miss defense scored on uga too

Alabama has far more talent and ranked #1 and ole miss still ran up a bunch of points

TOJacket
TOJacket

Go eat some more paint chips

TideDawg
TideDawg

Kirby Smart recruited the defensive players on the Alabama NC teams. Don't let the Ole Miss game cloud the fact that he can, and will do the same at Georgia. He didn't build those Tide defenses in one year. 80% of Alabama's players are 4 & 5 star players. That makes building a defense of NC quality a lot simpler. Right now he's coaching what he has to work with and Sat. they were overwhelmed.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Yeah sure and uga's defense was stellar last year too

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

I disagree. Following your argument to its logical end, Alabama's defense and recruiting should start to go down since Kirby is no longer there. Does anyone here believe that will happen? No.

If I'm not mistaken, uGA and Alabama both run a similar defense so in theory the transition should not be that difficult for a defensive minded coach. Florida's and Michigan's coaches had good success in their first seasons in new regimes with similiar talent to Georgia. They have had several top 10 recruiting classes in succession so there is NO EXCUSE for what happened Saturday at Ole Miss.

Keep it real, the guy is not a good head coach at this point.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Evidently you missed the Florida game or that meltdown vs Tennessee

Tell us how well Pruitt did with Alabama's roster against ole miss last week????

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

Stellar? No. Do you honestly think last years Georgia D would have given up 45 points before the offense even scored? Do you think they would have almost lose to Nichols State?

So far it appears you all have Will Muschamp 2.0.

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

He shut out Kent this Saturday while Kirby's team almost lost to Nichols State.

HootyGoot
HootyGoot

Eason, Eason, Eason! What about our defense? They got trampled. All the Rebs had to do was send a receiver down the field and throw the ball up and nobody was there to stop them. If Kirby Smart has all the knowledge and ability to build a top notch defense he better get after it. These guys looked pitiful..........pitiful. Shame on our defensive coordinator..............whomever he may be!

TideDawg
TideDawg

@HootyGoot Yes! It was pitiful, but you can't make players great by saying they are. Good players are beaten by great players. Ole Miss has great receivers. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

Our defense was trampled 4 times last year too

TideDawg
TideDawg

Jacob Eason is now fully aware of what the SEC is all about. He got hammered but he didn't quit. He's a freshman but the Dawgs faithful thought he could do it all by himself. No QB can do that. Put Tom Brady at QB Sat. and he would have lost. Once the game was out of control,Ole Miss put in some reserves. That equalized the talent level and Ga. put up 14 points. That's the difference ... Ga. did not have the same skill position players as the Ole Miss starters. Fans are angry and Schultz wants to make things worse with his writing. He's going to try and ridicule Smart at every opportunity. Smart may not be the coach that you want him to be, now, but I believe I would give him a chance to build the team that you want. A freshman QB and a freshman coach......what did you expect? A National Champion their first year?

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TideDawg


Chuck and Duck has not played a late November cupcake. There is more to experience in the oh so vaunted SEC! SEC! 

John1066
John1066

Who is Chuck and Duck you've referred to in your so many posts? Why do you feel the need to be on this back and forth? Probably the Ohio St faithful kicked you out of their conversations because even they don't want you around.

davidg32
davidg32

Eason has a great arm, but it takes a lot more than that to run an offense.  He frankly reminds me a lot of Matt Stafford his freshmen year...throws off-balance a lot, tries to force balls into tiny gaps, fires the ball sometimes when he needs to take a little off to make the pass more "catchable"...all the things that a lot of freshmen quarterbacks do.

Add to that the fact that the receivers are dropping balls that could be caught.  (Some would be very good catches if they held on, but still....you've got to make a good catch now and again to help your QB get on track.) 

Right now, I think Lambert would be a better choice to start...and let Eason get some experience playing the "mop up" minutes at the end of the game.  (Of course...the way the team looks this year...when the mop up minutes roll around, we might well be that team that has gotten mopped up.)

TOJacket
TOJacket

I say play him......can't get experience on the sideline.....and you guys aren't winning anything this year?

FlatTire
FlatTire

Lambert ok please go back and look at his numbers last year then tell us you think he would have done better yesterday. Lol if you think so

TideDawg
TideDawg

What a sick excuse Jeff Schultz is for a sportswriter. That entire article smacks of his resentment and anger because he(as the great AJC know it all) has not been allowed to speak to Jacob Eason. Yeah! He's taking his vengeance and anger out on the Dawgs team for being rebuffed by Smart. Read between the lines, he is happy at the outcome of that game. Georgia was not picked to win by any knowledgeable sports figure. They didn't win....they lost miserably no doubt about it. Without all of the drops, and miscues The Dawgs still would have lost because they were out manned at the skill positions. Schultz says they are no different from last year. That's true! Basically they are the same team with the same players that Richt recruited. You don't change that in one recruiting season. Schultz is a poor sportswriter, as are many. He writes about outcomes of games and has no knowledge of what it takes to build a team, prepare a team, and try to get a team ready for a big game. He only writes about who wins or loses with only his ridiculously poor perspective on why they win or lose.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TideDawg


Actually, I don't think Chuck and Duck would have much to say. "Like my hair?", perhaps. 

Gandolph
Gandolph

@TideDawg You know, Obama successfully blamed George Bush for his failures for almost 8 years now so I guess that this team is Richt's fault.

Voltaire?
Voltaire?

For the most part, being an avid college football fan can be depressing unless you're an Alabama or Ohio State fan.

Jse1960
Jse1960

I've been an OSU fan since I started college in 1979. Believe me that over that time span there have been plenty of depressing losses. Without those though the great wins wouldn't be as great.

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

It's a shame Eason selected Georgia.  Georgia will have another bummer season.  All the hype about the new coach and you let a very good coach go, double dip loser move.  Eason will be fine, the Doggies won't.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR  yea please tell us again how great UGA has been the last decade; 

Belk Gator Independence Outback Liberty bowls  

0 Conference Championships

0 times beating every team in the SEC East in the same season

Big game loss over and over on national tv


oh boy