Philosophically, though, there’s a much wider gulf between the two men. Like Georgia, Vanderbilt has been bouncing between quarterbacks this season. Unlike the Bulldogs, the Commodores have no plans to rotate Saturday in Sanford Stadium.
“I believe the guy who gets the most reps in practice is the most prepared to play, and he needs to be in there,” said Johnson, Vanderbilt’s fifth-year head coach. “There are times in the game you want to run a play you haven’t tried yet, and if you’ve got the second-team guy in there, he may not even had a chance to run it in practice that week. We like to stay with one if we can.”
The Commodores (2-4, 0-3 SEC) will start Chris Nickson, a mobile sophomore who has 728 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions on 67-of-120 passing. Freshman Mackenzi Adams played well after Nickson suffered ankle and thigh injuries last week against Ole Miss, but Nickson is healthy again and will start, Johnson said.
While Georgia has a plan to get backup Matthew Stafford in the game, Johnson hopes Adams never sees the field.
“If Chris gets a little nicked up or has to come out for a series, we wouldn’t have any problem going with Mackenzi,” he said. “We won’t hesitate if we have to put him in, but hopefully we won’t have to unless we’re way ahead.”