“Jake had really good composure and did a good job of going through the right reads and hitting his guys,” Eason said Saturday. “If you’re going to be good, it’s got to come from yourself, but I think Jake did a good job of coming in and pushing me. He pushes me and I push him, and our off-the-field relationship has grown because of that.
“We’re tight. We came in the same way, being highly regarded.”
Eason, who beat out Lambert after last season’s opening win over North Carolina, completed 204 of 370 passes (55.1 percent) as a freshman for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a four-game stretch against conference foes when he wasn’t picked off, but his efficiency rating for the season ranked just 13th in the league.
His efficiency rating for the first half of G-Day was even worse, but Eason regrouped somewhat to finish 16-of-36 for 311 yards with two second-half touchdowns.
“When the defense knows you’re throwing the ball, you’re going to throw it at a lesser percentage,” Smart said Saturday, referencing an offense with one combined carry from Chubb and Sony Michel. “Jacob understands our offense better now. He knows the checks. He knows where to go with the ball. He understands when to put us in the right play, and that part I’m pleased with.
“You can’t judge him based on today.”
When asked about Fromm’s performance, Smart said he still gets that “deer in the headlights look” when a defender gets free in the pocket, but he didn’t hide his excitement.
“Jake is a great competitor,” Smart said. “He’s in the huddle and has great spirit. I had to jump him in the second scrimmage because he threw a touchdown pass and started yelling at the defensive end. I told him that we don’t do that here, but I don’t want to take the fire out of the kid.
“He gets juiced in competition, but he’s got to control the emotions.”
Taken in all, that’s actually a pretty good summary of both quarterbacks’ day Saturday.
I may have come off sounding a bit more harsh about Fromm in my Observations post than he deserved. As someone noted in the comments last night, many of the plays where he read only one side of the field were designed that way, and Fromm reminded me a bit of Hutson Mason in getting the pre-snap read down and throwing quickly based on that. There were at least a couple of occasions where he went through his progressions across the field.
In short, he’s pretty polished for a true freshman quarterback who’s only been through a dozen or so spring practices. That being said, it’s a lot easier making those throws against the second team secondary (minus Hardman, to boot) than against a starting SEC defense, so let’s not throw any ticker tape parades quite yet.
As for Eason, I still maintain he’s making good progress as far as reading defenses and adjusting. He also did a nice job on extending one play rolling to his right and hitting a wide open Terry Godwin for a big gain. His line didn’t do him any favors, although as I mentioned yesterday, his performance picked up noticeably when the pass blocking stabilized. The thing with Eason is that there were three or four passes he tossed that made my jaw drop; the number of college quarterbacks who are capable of doing similar work can be counted on one hand, if that.
He’s got a helluva ceiling. The challenge for Jim Chaney is raising Eason’s floor.
As for the rest of what I garnered from the replay, it was mainly reinforcing how stout Georgia’s front seven on defense look — and, unfortunately, how that couldn’t be said about the offensive line. Also, if you watch, read this Jason Butt piece about the options Chaney has in the slot. That may have been the one bit of strategery for which he tipped his hand.
Lemme know if you see anything else of note.