ATHENS, Ga -- Kirby smart made the safe, conservative decision to start fifth-year senior Greyson Lambert at quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs game Saturday against North Carolina.
The school announced the fifth-year senior would be starting Lambert over true freshman Jacob Eason, a 5-star recruit out of Washington. Junior Brice Ramsey was also involved in the quarterback battle throughout camp.
While most fans question Lambert's effectiveness on offense, the Virginia transfer's experience and ability to protect the football likely lead to him to ultimately win the starting job. Smart said before camp began that he would be picking the quarterback that would give him the best chance to win football games, not necessarily the best player.
"The most important thing to Kirby Smart is ball security," 11Alive's UGA Insider Radi Nabulsi said Thursday, adding he believes Lambert's experience is what ultimately landed him the starting job.
"Greyson Lambert presents the best chance to limit the amount of turnovers due to his increased experience in the position. Jacob Eason could possibly make the wrong decision and turn the ball over."
Lambert threw only two interceptions last season while completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,959 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Georgia's ground game is strong. If Nick Chubb really doesn't have a "pitch count" like Smart said earlier this week, the Bulldogs will likely focus on testing Gene Chizik's rush defense, which struggled for the large part of last season. The Tar Heels had the seventh-worst rush defense in the FBS, allowing an average of 247 rushing yards per game.
That means explosive passing plays won't be necessary right out of the gate. What is more important is not botching a hand-off to Chubb, turning the ball over and trailing early.
"Kirby smart, in my opinion, wants to limit the possible mistakes, not make it easy for North Carolina," Nabulsi said.
While Eason is not the starter, that doesn't mean he won't play against the Tar Heels. Nabulsi said he fully expects to see Eason get in the game and play on Saturday.
In last year's opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Ramsey came in and threw a couple of passes and even a touchdown. But that was ULM. Not really comparable to a neutral-site kickoff game against a Top 25 opponent like North Carolina.