Posted: 12:03 am Sunday, September 3rd, 2017
By Jay Black
ATHENS – Jake Fromm got way too much hype for a freshman backup. And you can blame that on Kirby Smart.
I guess he knew what he was talking about.
Honestly I sort of rolled my eyes at members of Bulldog Nation who were already wound up about Jake Fromm after watching him tear up a bunch of walk-ons in the G-Day game.
UGA fans were already jumping off the Jacob Eason band wagon, chasing after a shiny new freshman.
To those people, you have a much better argument today.
“I’ve been hearing about Jake Fromm for a long time,” said hypemaster head coach Kirby Smart. “He did a good job in the situation he was put in, to come in and lead and manage the game. That’s what he does best.”
The situation is the third drive of the game. Eason and the UGA offense look really sluggish after two 3-and-outs. Fans were already starting to grumble, because, that’s the way it works.
Drive three isn’t looking much better with Jacob running for his life with no one open, drifting toward the sidelines.
He gets out of bounds and then gets hit. Flags go up. Eason wobbles around trying to get back to the huddle and then goes down.
It should have been a nightmare scenario. It still could be.
But instead of the Dawgs offense getting complacent, cold and calculating, coordinator Jim Chaney stepped on the fast forward button.
I can’t type as fast as the Georgia offense was moving up the field. There was no fear in letting this kid step on the gas and let it rip.
I see why.
Smart told Chuck Dowdle at halftime that the plan was go up tempo from the start, they just couldn’t get anything going with Eason. Well the sure did with the other guy.
The Fromm led Dawgs scored on the first three drives that he started. Short passes, long passes. Tight ends. Receivers. Running backs. He hit them all.
By the half it was 21-0 and the kid from Houston County had made his point.
There’s a QB controversy in Athens now after Georgia wins 31-10.
“We knew he was gonna do good for us and he’s a good player,” said tight end Isaac Nauta. “So we were excited.”
Of course, this is still App State. The lineman might be fast, but they are little. Yes they are a very good team. But that’s the Sun Belt. This is the SEC.
“It wasn’t a perfect outing by any stretch,” said UGA radio analyst Eric Zeier. “But it was pretty special.”
I’m not a football expert on the level of Zeier, but I am an expert on knee injuries. I’ve torn both my ACLs. I know that look. I fear Eason might have it.
I don’t want to speculate on what was torn or what not, but I know the feeling when you just can’t move the knee and must fall.
The official word from Smart at half time was “it’s a little knee sprain.” He added a little more afterwards saying “we are not sure how long Jacob is going to be out. We don’t know the extent.”
But as impressed as we all were with Jake Fromm tonight, the bottom line is the same as it was with Eason a year ago. You are asking an awful lot of a freshman quarterback to lead a team to a title, even a division title. Freshman in the SEC generally don’t mix.
However, this team as a whole is better than what Eason had to work with last year. The defense appears to be loaded. They did what they should do tonight. There was no screwing around.
Nick Chubb and Sony Michel looked like one of the best backfield combos in the country. Both should have rushed for 100 yards. Instead they just got close.
UGA’s offensive line was much asked about with three new starters and they weren’t overwhelmed by the undermanned Mountaineers. But it wasn’t domination.
“Still not all the way there I don’t think,” said Zeier. “We certainly look good. We look big. We look strong. But we are going to need to improve.”
Still, this was a really good win. It’s been a while since Georgia left no doubt.
“That was a long time coming for those kids,” said Smart.
UGA is 1-0. That is good. It might have another good quarterback. That’s good too. But if the Dawgs want to reach the big goals, it needs Jacob Eason.
Next week is the trip of a lifetime for Dawg Nation. Hopefully it’s starting quarterback will be there.