Eason out. Fromm in. Georgia looks pretty darn good anyway

Fromm gets the kudos. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

ATHENS — Officially, it was First Down No. 1 of the season that had started with two three-and-outs. In the grand scheme – and we stipulate that we can’t speak too grandly until we know the full extent of Jacob Eason’s knee injury – Georgia’s eighth snap of Game No. 1 might be a play that changes a season.

The initial reaction is to say that no team, duh, would be as good if its No. 1 quarterback is forced to miss significant time. And we concede that what transpired here Saturday – Georgia beat Appalachian State 31-10  – represents a small sample size against a non-Power 5 opponent. But there are those close to this program who believe that Jake Fromm, the freshman from Houston County High, might be Eason’s peer as a quarterback.

Not as a thrower of passes, mind you. Eason’s arm is demonstrably superior. But maybe as a quarterback. And Fromm did nothing in his first collegiate action to make us believe that, should he be the starter next Saturday in Notre Dame Stadium, the Bulldogs would be overmatched.

Chances are that Eason, who had completed 1 of 3 passes for four yards before exiting, would have found his feet against App State. The Mountaineers’ talent isn’t to be confused with Georgia’s. Still, it’s a matter of record that the Bulldogs, who’d gone nowhere, began to make haste once Fromm entered. He completed three passes for modest yardage in his first series. In his second, he found Isaac Nauta for 16 yards and Javon Wims for 25. In third, he stood fast against a fierce rush to loft – that’s the proper verb – a ball that Wims, leaping between defenders, caught at the 2 and extended over the goal line.

That made the score 14-0. The Sanford Stadium audience, which hadn’t taken kindly to those opening three-and-outs, relaxed. Nobody expected to see Fromm play in Quarter No. 1 of Game No. 1, but circumstances intervened. He was the quarterback. Georgia was moving and scoring. (It was 21-0 with 6:56 remaining in the half.) A Georgia guy – not unlike Tarkenton and Goff and Belue and Lastinger and Zeier (sort of) and Greene and Shockley – was taking the snaps. There are worse things than that.

At halftime, Georgia coach Kirby Smart told sideline reporter Chuck Dowdle that Eason “had a little bit of a knee sprain,” which is obviously better than a tear but not nothing, either. Even a Grade II sprain can cost an athlete as much as a month, and over the next four weeks Georgia faces the aforementioned Fighting Irish, Samford, Mississippi State and Tennessee.

(Wait. Didn’t we say that such speculation should be avoided? Do as I say, not as I do.)

Removing the quarterback issue from the mix, it must be said that Georgia looked pretty good. It didn’t mess around with App State, as Tennessee did a year ago, and it didn’t lose to the Mountaineers, as Michigan famously did. It ran the ball well, which you’d figure. Its receivers made plays for Fromm. The offensive line didn’t exactly road-grade, but it got a push. The defense didn’t allow its visitor to come within sniffing distance of a touchdown – or even a field goal — until Brice Ramsey, the No. 3 quarterback, threw the first of two fourth-quarter interceptions. In sum, this was not another Nicholls State.

That said, no team wins anything of consequence without a capable quarterback. Eason was such a big recruit that it was once believed he might buy Mark Richt another year – he didn’t, as it happened – and he was starting in the second game of his freshman season. He had some moments, from the comeback at Missouri to the astonishing almost-win against Tennessee, but he finished 10th among SEC quarterbacks in completion percentage and 14th in yards per pass. He was good for a freshman, which isn’t the same as being good for a quarterback.

His two incompletions were wild high. (As we say of baseball pitchers: Big arm, needs work on his command.) Then he scrambled right and was nudged out of bounds by linebacker Devan Stringer. That was a legal hit. Nose tackle Myquon Stout, unable to halt the momentum that comes from carrying 275 pounds, delivered one that was not. Eason’s left knee buckled as he fell. He rose slowly. Then, in the middle of the field, he crumpled to the turf. He wouldn’t play again.

Fromm entered and acquitted himself nicely. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards. He spent the second half mostly handing off, which made sense. He did complete an out on fourth-and-4 from the App State 36. (Wims was wide open.) Soon it was 31-0 and the Bulldogs were, not to sound like Belichick, on to South Bend. There’s a real chance a freshman from Warner Robins will lead the Bulldogs onto that hallowed sod.

Further reading: Eason got hurt. Fromm looked good. Is Georgia headed for a quarterback controversy?

Reader Comments 0

91 comments
A.B.Mckie
A.B.Mckie

when naming Georgia QB's how can you include shockley who caught passes thrown by Mike Bobo.  Are you some faux historian of Bulldog football?



TOJacket
TOJacket

Sorry Mark...but UGA looked a lot like last year when it comes to offensive side...give my opinion about the Defense this weekend.

E983
E983

Go Irish!!!!

JKToole
JKToole

@TOJacket Now you'e a Temple fan? I believe they were both 10-3 last year. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

Hell, Texas was ranked and look what the Turtles of the B1G EAST did to them, at home. 


Notre Dame? 


Pulease

TOJacket
TOJacket

@OH:IO That's what I said yesterday...like to see the mutts go to Texas and score that many points.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Buschleaguer @OH:IO No...Busch, you guys were laughing at MD. a year ago...How would those dawgs do against Michigan yesterday? Take away 2 pick six and UF gets blown out!!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@JKToole @TOJacket @OH:IO So you think the team that played App.St. would have score 51 points?...my point is you guys say ridiculous sheet about other conferences that your mutts couldn't win either.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Savior Skinny was all hype and then all hair. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Buschleaguer @OH:IO You dawgs say all kinds of crap about his team and then want to get all upset if he fires back....got to take it if you're going to dish it out...I stated on every article I hoped he was fine....we are 2 different posters.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@TOJacket @Buschleaguer @OH:IO No TO. I usually don't say much about the individual  players on Ohio State , especially injured ones.Bucky is always referring to the Eason kid in his posts. Just wish he would not pile on, about a injured player. I mainly make my comments in response to the crap that Bucky posts on the DOG blog. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

Kirby knows football, he knows defense. What Kirby doesn't know is how to successfully get his team ready for the next game. This he will learn from experience....if he survives as a HC. ND is not the powerhouse they once were, but they are good. The Dawgs have got the talent, but can the coach get them ready? As long as Kirby doesn't make any mistakes fatal to the game, they will get better with each game. Big questions.....how will they handle a loss, how will they handle success? That all falls back on the coach. In Saban's post game interview after the FSU game, he was not giddy with a big win. He said he was proud of the way the team competed but they have to get better. He was disappointed in the offense but didn't come out and say it. Coaching is not just Xs and Os the mental side of the game is equally, if not more, important to a winning program.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TideDawg


No, it's Bo that knows football. Kirby is just a dog. 


Notre Dame - "good"? 


Typical dog mentality, unranked but still "good". 

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TOJacket @OH:IO @TideDawg


I remember watching the ND highlight show on Sunday mornings back in the day. I did watch OSU throttle them 2 years ago in the Bowl Game. Think that's the only ND game I've watched in years. I bet NBC lost a boatload. 

TideDawg
TideDawg

Backup QBs get to the games with only half of the playbook. All of the reps in practice go to No. 1, and practice time is limited. Most backups only get enough of the playbook to finish a game with simple plays. Fromm did well, he will be better next week against ND...he better be....the entire team better be improved  or Dawgs go to 1-1 and the luster will be off the expectations of a good season. Jury still out on the OC until after ND. Not much chance to show improvement on offense when your #1 goes down early and you have to rely on a backup. Win or lose, the ND game will tell us what to expect going forward. The only realistic goal in sight for Kirby's second season is to win the East. After ND we'll know if that goal can be reached. GO DAWGS!!!

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TideDawg


Wow. Didn't know you attend all the practices and charted reps. 


Win or lose we'll know what to expect? We already know that. 


Unranked and a toilet bowl but still "good". 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Buschleaguer @TOJacket @OH:IO @TideDawg Not this year...we will have plenty of redneck nation there...they better order the PBR and pickled eggs now huh?...wish your Eagles would have tore up the Tigers but I think they are going to be better this year. We might just wait and beat the dawgs butt at Sanford and son next year. Until then...WE RUN THIS DAMN STATE!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Buschleaguer @TOJacket @TideDawg I'm pretty sure I was on here everyday after our 3-9 season...I'll be fine, I'm not a dawg fan you know...many of them haven't been on here for a long time.

Jayne Higgins
Jayne Higgins

I'm taken by surprise that some one can earn 12126_bucks in 4 weeks on the computer .

░A░M░A░Z░I░N░G░ ░J░O░B░S░


  ░H░E░R░E░  go right here>>>>>>>>>>>http://tiny.cc/online-jobss