Justin Fields jogged out onto the field for the first time on Saturday during Georgia’s first drive of the second quarter. He took a snap, handed the ball off to Brian Herrien for a two-yard run, and then turned around and jogged right back to the bench.
It was quick, but it was indicative of one of the strangest aspects of Georgia’s 38-12 win over SEC East rival Tennessee: the randomness of the quarterback play.
“They both are good passers. They both are good decision-makers. They’re both good football players,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said of Fields and Jake Fromm. “There was no rhyme or reason for why we did what we did. It was more of what the game called for and what would give us the best chance to be successful.”
Though his first play was a short handoff, Fields eventually made the most of his playing time when given more chances later in the game. After Fromm drove the Bulldogs down the field to the Volunteers’ 12-yard line at the beginning of the third quarter, Fields entered the game and rushed for a touchdown on the very next play by breaking a tackle before diving over the goal line with the ball in his outstretched arms.
“There was no rhyme or reason for why we did what we did. It was more of what the game called for and what would give us the best chance to be successful.”
- Kirby Smart, Georgia head coach
The Bulldogs did not have any passing touchdowns on Saturday, but when Fields was in the game they had two rushing touchdowns by the quarterback. The game necessitated that quarterbacks be able to avoid the pressure, and Fields repeatedly showed that he was more than capable.
“I think Justin provided a spark that was needed at times,” Smart said. “He’s a very diligent worker, and he’s coming in to learn things and pick them up. He gives us an asset to the offense that sometimes provides us with the spark we need.”
While Fields had his two rushing touchdowns, he was only responsible for five of the Bulldogs' 190 passing yards. The other 185 belonged to Fromm, who, more than once, was the one jogging off the field while Fields came in to finish the Georgia drive.
“I mean, that’s just kind of the way the game played,” Fromm said. “It’s up to Coach Smart, so whichever way it falls, it falls.”
Smart was adamant after the game that there was no set plan in place that would dictate how the quarterbacks would be used, or how they will be used in the future. As he said, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason against Tennessee. According to the Georgia coach, that is exactly how he wants it to be moving forward.
“The plan is, there is no plan,” Smart said.