Greyson Lambert hadn't been in a groove like this before.
Not in high school. Not at Virginia. Lambert seemed confident and comfortable from the first snap he took, which went for a 6-yard completion to tight end Jeb Blazevich. From there it continued into a record-setting day he won't forget.
In No. 7 Georgia's 52-20 rout over South Carolina, Lambert wowed the Sanford Stadium crowd by going 24-of-25 for 330 yards and three touchdowns. After an incompletion on his fifth passing attempt in the first quarter, Lambert reeled off 20 consecutive completions against a South Carolina defense that never seemed to adjust to Georgia’s passing attack.
Lambert’s streak of 20 passes set a school record previously held by Mike Bobo (19). Following the game, head coach Mark Richt was told Lambert passed Bobo, Georgia’s former offensive coordinator and now the head coach at Colorado State, in the record books before a smile broke out over his face.
“I’m glad he got Bobo’s record,” Richt said with a laugh. “That’s awesome.”
Lambert also set an NCAA record by completing 96 percent of his passes, which beat the previous best of 95.8 percent by Tee Martin (Tennessee) and Geno Smith (West Virginia).
Lambert said he was unaware he broke any records until the game was finished.
“I didn’t until I took my pads off and saw the stat,” Lambert said. “I didn’t realize the records. I had no idea. I didn’t expect any of that to happen.”
Lambert put in this performance after a 0-of-7 start against Vanderbilt a week ago in which he took a ton of criticism following the game. Lambert looked like a different quarterback behind center on Saturday, hitting receiver after receiver throughout the game.
“Just to be as precise as he was, you need good protection, good route-running, you need good scheme,” Richt said. “You need a lot of things to happen. But you physically have to put it on the money. There were very few balls that weren’t right on the money.”
On his lone incompletion, Lambert had a wide-open Malcolm Mitchell on a shallow crossing route with Georgia’s quarterback admitting to getting “greedy” and wanting to try for the touchdown to Blazevich.
Coming off a down performance a week ago, freshman tight end Jackson Harris said Lambert didn’t allow last week to affect his week of preparation.
“I don’t really think Vanderbilt fazed him too much,” Harris said. “He did a good job blocking out all the noise. It shows the type of worker he is. He was on to the next week.”
Lambert made sure to get Mitchell the ball plenty as the playmaking wide receiver had eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia running back Nick Chubb carried the ball 21 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns, giving him at least 100 yards for the 11th consecutive game.
The Georgia defense forced the Gamecocks into being a one-dimensional team on the ground. South Carolina only totaled 84 passing yards while using an option attack late in the first half to total a good bit of its 174 rushing yards as a team.
"They totally dominated us tonight," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. "Their offense was very good. We weren't very good on defense or on offense really. We didn't throw the ball very well, we didn't run the ball very well. We got clobbered."
The Bulldogs (3-0, 2-0) were the first to score on a 30-yard field goal from kicker Marshall Morgan in the first quarter. With Georgia and South Carolina (1-2, 0-2) tied up after the opening period, the Bulldogs scored 14 unanswered points on touchdowns from Nick Chubb – a 2-yard run – and Sony Michel – a 21-yard run – in the second quarter.
The floodgates opened early in the second half after Georgia held a 24-13 lead. The Bulldogs scored 21 points in a row thanks to two receiving touchdowns from Michel, both from 11 yards out, and a 7-yard rushing touchdown from Chubb.
Lambert's career has been rocky to say the least. It didn't pan out the way he thought it would at Virginia, where he played in 16 games but lost the starting job this past spring. After last week, questions emerged as to whether he should be the guy to lead Georgia for the remainder of the season.
Then Saturday happened. Lambert was nearly perfect and said it was the most comfortable he's ever been playing the position.
"Everybody did their role and we were able to get great execution as a team," Lambert said.