Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jacob Eason will start the season

Hey, it's the big question everyone is asking. So it's only natural to weigh in with a few thoughts.

Some think Ramsey will take the reins until Eason's feet are sufficiently wet. I just don't see that happening. Let's face it, Ramsey is a junior. He couldn't unseat Hutson Mason after a redshirt year, which made some sense given that Richt/Bobo were so inclined to go with the veteran game manager after Mason had stayed and waited for the Aaron Murray Era to close. So that made 2015 Ramsey's make or break year. Maybe Schotty didn't give him a fair shot. Maybe Ramsey just didn't step up and want it enough. 

Probably a mixture of both, but I tend to think it's heavier on the latter.

Others think Lambert will continue on as the starter since he has the most game experience as well as a coordinator that knows how to call plays that use tight ends. And this would be a safe choice to make. Hell. we won ten games last season with Lambert as quarterback. Why not let the veteran guy run things while the kid learns the speed of the game?

Nope. Lambert will back Eason up and just maybe spell him a series here and there. But the freshman will start, and here's why:

UNC has trouble stopping the run. And that's putting it lightly for a defense that finished 122nd nationally in run defense. Chaney can run-run-run and use passing plays Eason is comfortable with to balance things out just enough.

Yes, it's way, way early. But 100 plus days out this feels like a conservative offensive gameplan type of game where we only need Lambert to hold a clipboard. And if Chubb miraculously is able to play September 3rd...we won't even need a quarterback.

“It’s a little easier sell.”

I get everything Kirby is getting at in this Weiszer piece on how opening a season against a big opponent is better for the off season workouts and preparation than putting on a bib before eating a cupcake. Playing a North Carolina is better for everyone, as compared to, say, a bunch of Ragin’ Cajuns from a directional bayou.

It’s better for the fans, even if a trip down to the GA Dome makes Dawg fans wince a little from memories of our last trip down MARTA. It’s better for the conferences that get a national showcase for their teams. It’s even better for euro 2016 fixtures!

But as Smart points out, the main thing is the players have something to legitimately look forward to. The preparation is more intense and allows the coaches and staff to instill a competitive drive for the long months of the off season.

“When you walk in the weight room and you know you’ve got to play UNC the first game, there’s a commitment level I think is greater than other years. That’s one of the advantages of playing in that game.”

Of course, UNC is facing the same prospect of opening up against a Power 5 team. Last year their only regular season blemish was a season opening loss to South Carolina in which Tarhell quarterback Marquise Williams completed three passes to Gamecock defenders. And two of those were to Skai Moore in the endzone.

Georgia will not face Williams as he graduated and moved on. But after losing the 2015 opener and their two post-season games you can bet the Dawgs will face a team ready to start a new winning streak.