Stop me if this sounds familiar:
Georgia trailed in total yardage.
Georgia trailed in first downs.
Georgia gave up more points in the fourth quarter than they’d given up all day.
Georgia won anyway.
On a rainswept field, Kirby Smart continued his crusade to contend for a national title without any of his team’s fans actually enjoying it.
Jake Fromm had another tough game, finishing 11 of 23 for 161 yards and a touchdown. It was Fromm’s third straight game completing under 50% of his passes. He hadn’t done that in any of his fifteen prior efforts. On the one hand Fromm struggled early with the weather, as did Kellen Mond.
On the other hand he also missed James Cook being criminally open on a swing pass, airmailed a couple of balls, and briefly got yelled at in the fourth quarter by D’Andre Swift when he handed the tailback the ball just in time to get absolutely smothered on an RPO he should have kept. We’re trying to do things with Jake Fromm we have not previously. It’s necessary, because what we were doing with him was not working.
But it is painful to watch a guy who came into the season hailed as the most cerebral QB in college football look this apprehensive with the ball in his hand in what may well be his last few games in red and black. There’s always a chance that things continue to gel as we lurch into Atlanta. But more and more it’s become clear that the biggest offseason news out of Athens was likely JJ Holleman’s absence from the Bulldog roster. This has been a season in which the ‘Dawgs have consistently been one receiver short of an offense, and the ongoing series of adjustments to that have continued to be uncomfortable.
While Fromm continues to struggle, D’Andre Swift on the other hand got to 100 yards on a late third down run to ice the game, and finished with 103 on 19 carries. Brian Herrien added a tough 30 yards. George Pickens continues to emerge as a go-to downfield target, leading all UGA receivers with 57 yards and a touchdown on two receptions.
The defense continues to impress, allowing only 274 yards of offense on the day. 201 of them came in the second half. Some of that is scheme, a lot of it is offenses turning it loose late to get back in games. All in all I remain immensely pleased with this unit. Will they hold LSU to 13 points? Not a chance. But if we lose in Atlanta it won’t be to Georgia Tech, and it won’t be due to defensive breakdowns.
Four Rodrigo Blankenship field goals isn’t going to beat LSU. But Georgia did do some things fans have been clamoring for on offense that may yet pay dividends. The toss sweep made its most prominent appearance of the season. There were a couple of slant routes thrown and by golly we even completed one of them. As alluded to earlier Jake Fromm remains something less than Lamar Jackson in the RPO game. But it’s a work in progress.
A win is a win, especially against a top 25 SEC team. But next week the ‘Dawgs take on a Georgia Tech team that’s 3-8 even in an ACC that’s been abysmal even by ACC standards. There’s really no excuse for not coming out and beating the Nerds so badly their great grandchildren have a nervous tick when they see pictures of J.R. Reed. If Georgia fiddles around and lets the Jackets into the game in the fourth, you have my permission to panic. For now, Georgia just keeps salting away wins over ranked opponents, and now have as many of those as any team in America.
Enjoy your night, and . . .