ATHENS — In only a few months, Greyson Lambert has gone from losing his starting job at Virginia to setting a NCAA completion-percentage record at No. 7 Georgia.
That leaves Lambert with a difficult challenge of following up his record-setting day on Saturday against Southern.
Just when it seemed that a shaky performance in a win over Vanderbilt might endanger his hold on the starting job,
Lambert completed 24 of 25 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s 52-20 win over South Carolina.
He insists he hasn’t “really thought about” what he can he provide as an encore.
Lambert, who transferred after losing his starting job at Virginia in spring practice, said his big day was all about Georgia (3-0).
“It’s not like I just did something spectacular,” he said. “The whole offense did something spectacular.”
But Lambert stole the headlines with his performance.
He completed 96 percent of his passes, a record for a quarterback with at least 20 attempts. Following his only miss, he completed his last 20 passes, setting a Georgia record.
Lambert’s big game was a dramatic turnaround after he completed only 11 of 21 passes for 121 yards with no touchdowns in a 31-14 win at Vanderbilt.
The visit from Southern (2-1) is expected to be little more than a warm-up for Georgia’s game against No. 12 Alabama next week.
Southern quarterback Austin Howard also has been sharp, completing 65 percent of his passes. The Jaguars of the Southwestern Athletic Conference have another player to watch in wide receiver and return specialist Willie Quinn, but they may lack the size and depth to keep pace with the Bulldogs.
“We’ve got to go up there with the mindset and hope we come back with the same number of guys we take up there,” said Southern coach Dawson Odums.
Some things to watch when No. 7 Georgia plays Southern:
CHUBB’S STREAK: Tailback Nick Chubb has at least 100 yards rushing in 11 consecutive games, but if Georgia builds an early lead that streak could be on the line. Georgia has good depth at tailback with Sony Michel, Keith Marshall and others, and coach Mark Richt could pull Chubb and Lambert early. Richt has stressed that preserving the streak doesn’t enter his mind during games. “At the end of the game we just look at the stats and think well he did it again, but we are not sitting there tracking it, I can tell you that,” Richt said.
DYNAMITE: Richt said Quinn (5-5, 150) is “a stick of dynamite as an athlete.” Quinn already has scored on two kickoff returns and one punt return. He also has a touchdown catch. “You try to find ways to get a playmaker the football,” Odums said. “… He has a special talent when it comes to returning kicks.”
12 ON 11: Odums came up with a way his team can keep pace with Georgia. “We’re going to play Canadian rules and they’re going to play American rules so we’re going to put an extra guy out there and give ourselves a chance,” he said.
MY GIRL: Perhaps the passing record wasn’t the highlight of Lambert’s month. His girlfriend, Adeline Kenerly, will be crowned Miss Georgia during a halftime ceremony of the Alabama game. Kenerly, who was the runner-up, moved up when Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell won the Miss America pageant on Sept. 13. Kenerly, a baton twirler with Georgia’s Redcoat Band, attended Wayne County High School in Jesup, Georgia with Lambert.
BRING THE BAND: When Georgia negotiated a $650,000 guaranteed payment to Southern, the agreement included a commitment its famous marching band called “The Human Jukebox” will perform at halftime. The band has performed at six Super Bowls.