Posted: 2:01 am Sunday, September 18th, 2016
By Jay Black
Jacob Eason throws 3 TD passes in the Dawgs 28-27 win over Missouri.
COLUMBIA, Mo. — At least Georgia doesn’t have a QB controversy anymore.
Greyson Lambert, it was fun while it lasted, but I’m afraid the kid is here to stay.
“The kid grew up tonight,” said UGA head coach Kirby Smart. “The quarterback grew up a lot and he became a better player.”
Kirby might be the only guy in Bulldog Nation who is calling Jacob Eason something other than his proper name right now.
Ok, maybe a few people are throwing “savior” around because — let’s not kid ourselves — Georgia stole this thing. And they needed their freshman stud to bail them out.
“It’s almost a story book ending,” said offensive tackle Tyler Catalina. “We fought our butts off. We never doubted for a minute we knew what we could do.”
Catalina might not have had any doubt, but he was on a very short list. Because for about three hours and 45 minutes Georgia was the second best team on this field. They were about to blow it.
Missouri had more passing yards in the first half than any opponent did over an entire game since LSU in 2013.
The Dawgs forced five turnovers. They didn’t get any points.
They don’t have a kicker.
Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who used to get 100 yards any time or anywhere, had to combine totals to hit that mark against the Tigers.
UGA might have a serious problem on the offensive line.
And Georgia is 3-0.
“I still can’t believe it happened,” said Isiah McKenize. “I still can’t believe that it’s over and we won.”
If Eason is the big hero, then McKenzie is the little one.
Last season the 5-foot-8, 170-pounder had 10 catches for 123 yards last season. Here in Columbia, McKenzie had 10 catches for 122 yards.
He’s now over 300 receiving yards and on pace to easily break 1,000. McKenzie had three of the four TDs. Two through the air and one on the ground. The guy known strictly as a return ace is proving he’s a legit SEC weapon doing everything else.
When Eason had to make a play on fourth-and-10 with 1:29 left in the game, guess who got the call?
“He threw a good pass I had to adjust and come down with it and secure it,” said McKenzie. “It feels good to help the team out and come out on top.”
If all goes right for Georgia fans, McKenzie’s career day (for the third straight week) will be the accomplice to the break through moment in the career of Jacob Eason.
David Greene’s came of age against Tennessee. Matt Stafford made his move against Georgia Tech. Did Jacob Eason might have just announced his arrival to the SEC in his first game in the conference?
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” said UGA radio analyst Eric Zeier.
Eason already put himself in the record books throwing 55 times against Missouri. That’s tied for third most in school history. But that’s nothing to brag about, because with Chubb and Michel, this kid should never be that busy.
55 passes is desperation and it’s a huge problem.
Georgia’s got a lot of issues to fix. This team is not perfect. Right now they aren’t great and they might just be a little bit better than good.
A team that has to run the football, can’t. It’s defense got lit up in the first half by an offense that’s still under construction.
Missouri QB Drew Lock had the Georgia secondary on skates for two quarters. It was coming 20 yards at a time. 322 yards in 30 minutes. That’s a lot. He could have (and maybe should have) thrown for 500 yards.
And yet he lost.
Halftime adjustments say a lot about a team and it’s coach. Somebody figured out a speed bump and Lock only threw for 54 yards in the final half (it didn’t hurt that Missouri decided it would try to run the ball, just because it was bored).
Georgia has it’s issues. If Ole Miss wins by 20, I won’t be surprised. Not will I be shocked if they are 4-0 at month’s end.
Anybody can win when they play great. The Dawgs did against UNC.
But sometimes it says more when you steal one. Georgia committed felony larceny tonight.
And the suspect on the wanted poster is only a freshman.