At one time Florida hoped the next time they saw Justin Fields he’d be in their locker room wearing Orange and Blue. Instead they’re planning on seeing the talented freshman quarterback across the field at TIAA Bank Field this Saturday.
Fields was tone of the top rated players in the country regardless of position last season. His arrived at Georgia with two other blue chip quarterbacks (Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm) on the roster but Fields moved into the backup role when Eason transferred to Washington.
Fromm won the job last season when he replaced an inured Eason and held on to the job as Georgia won the SEC East but head coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney have used the freshman Fields. On the season Fields has completed 72% (18-25) of his pass attempts for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He’s primarily been used as a running threat with 18 carries for 136 yards and three more scores.
Fields has only been in on 43 of Georgia’s 453 plays this season but Florida isn’t going to forget about Fields this Saturday.
The talk about playing Fields more reached its peak after a loss to LSU. Fromm completes just 16 of his 34 passes for 209 yards, one touchdown and a career-tying high two interceptions. Smart took the politically correct route this week, saying they would play the quarterback that they believe gives the team the best chance to win.
Fields has mainly been used as a runner. He’s played in every game but has only thrown more than two passes in three contests and those games were against Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State. Smart’s comments on the quarterback situation would dictate that things are status quo in Athens, but Dan Mullen isn’t going to just trust
“I’m sure we’ll see him. I think he’s played in a bunch of games this year. They’ve used him primarily as a runner in that aspect. But you have the opportunity to create some new wrinkles within your scheme, within your system. So we’ll see. If we get more of him in the game.”
Another thing to consider is how Florida struggled with the only other true mobile threat quarterback they faced this season. Kentucky’s Terry Wilson ran for 105 yards and a touchdown all while throwing for 151 more and two scores against Florida. That game seems as if it happened a whole season ago given the strides that Florida’s defense has made but something Georgia will see on tape as they prepare for the game.
“It brings a different dynamic to the game,” linebacker David Reese said of Fields’ mobility. “Anytime you have a dynamic quarterback that can run and pass it’s a threat. It’s probably one of the harder things to stop. Kentucky had one of those also and that didn’t play out so well. Just knowing that we have to come and get that quarterback.”
Florida may not see a ton of Fields on Saturday but if Georgia does decide to throw a wrench into their normal gameplan the Gators will be ready for it.