Watching the G-Day replay

“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.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Watching the G-Day replay

  1. That’s exactly what I thought. Eason didn’t look good in the 1st half, but that was probably more from the matador impression of our offensive line. He looked really good in the 2nd half, and you’re right about the talent. He has an arm that no one in the country has (thank you, Mike Bobo). Fromm impressed me with everything he did. I stand by my first impression. I would like to see him redshirt to get a year of separation. I want Fromm as a 4th year junior or 5th year senior over Jake as a true freshman. Of course, if Eason gets hurt for an extended period or McGarity suspends him for something “that’s so Georgia,” he needs to be ready to play.

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    • hotandsauceydawg

      I don’t see that happening. You really think a 5 star Elite 11 Qb like Jake Fromm will be ok sitting it out for years? No way, especially if Eason keeps starting while putting up the kind of numbers he did last season, Fromm would be gone in flash. Smart’s gonna have to pick his guy, and unfortunately, we’ll likely lose the other to a transfer, but it puts us in great shape for this season. If Smart is planning to start Fromm, which I suspect may be the case right now, he did the wise thing letting Eason start and not even rotate the 1’s with Fromm, so Eason has no thoughts of transferring and feels safe and secure. If Smart if planning to start Eason, you can see why he started him with the 1’s and did not rotate, that also makes sense.

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      • … If Smart is planning to start Fromm, which I suspect may be the case right now, he did the wise thing letting Eason start and not even rotate the 1’s with Fromm, so Eason has no thoughts of transferring and feels safe and secure.

        Nothing brings out the troll like G-Day. See you, fella.

        Liked by 1 person

      • He’s not going to be sitting for years. He’ll sit for one year, likely get a lot of snaps in ’18 as a redshirt freshman, and have a clear line to the starting job in ’19-’21. Why in the hell would a QB decide to throw away a year of eligibility as true freshman if you aren’t going to start? If Eason holds Fromm off, he gets 3 years as a starter as opposed to 2 as a redshirt. Last time I looked 3 > 2. If one of them transfers, he has to sit for a year anyway and be subject to the staff’s decision on restricting a transfer.

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        • mydojo

          @eethomaswfnc. I could see a scenario where Eason starts (after all, Lambert did get to start last season-Kirby does seem to favor giving the incumbent the opportunity to hold their spot) and either:
          A) has a solid season and Fromm redshirts, then Eason goes Pro after his 2018 season and Fromm takes over as starter his sophomore season.
          B) Should Eason struggle, Fromm would probably burn his redshirt and get his chance this season, I’d see maybe rotating them in that scenario until one emerges.

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  2. Timphd

    Just watched for the first time. I know it has been said already, but damn, what offensive line? All that happy talk seems like bullshit to me. Come on down Freshman class of o linemen, and hurry please.

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  3. Macallanlover

    Agree with the balance in this post Senator, both of these QBs have strengths and weaknesses and discussions can be held without there being a vendetta against one, or blind worship of the other. I said last winter that I felt Fromm would hit campus ahead of where Eason was last year, and I think he did. At the same time, Eason has the ability to make throws some “wow throws” that few QBs could ever make, and he has done that in both spring games so far. But there are many very successful QBs who never had an Eason level arm so we have to evaluate the totality of their work.

    The 13 games of experience Eason gained last season makes him the clear leader to start at this point, but experience is not that valuable if you don’t benefit from it by applying that knowledge. There have been many comments this spring by those at practice indicating Eason is seeing the whole field now and understanding the offense better, that will be necessary for us to take advantage of all our weapons. My concern from watching on Saturday was seeing the same indecision and panic when under pressure at times, at least partially offset by 2-3 “wow” throws.

    We are better off going into this summer at QB because: 1) Eason 2017 is better than 2016 and, 2) Fromm is better than wither Lambert or Ramsey, imo. That is good for UGA’s chances to improve. Neither are family members, or personal friends, so I don’t care which leads us to victory, and neither should others. The popular line has been “if Fromm is on the field, we are in big trouble”, that is only true if he is there because of an injury to Eason and coaches were forced to play Fromm. If Fromm gives us the best chance to win, coaches should play him. He certainly lacks Eason’s experience, but he isn’t so far behind that he would be a disaster. We are fortunate to have both, we have certainly entered years where we did not have this level of talent. Understand everyone having a preference, folks shouldn’t get hammered for pointing out the positives of either QB, they both wear Red and Black.

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    • doofusdawg

      I can see a situation where Kirby tries to spin that Fromm is the dual threat (change of pace) guy. This would obviously involve Fromm running a lot more zone reads and even some rpos. Perhaps that is why Johnson was brought in.

      This concept could potentially placate both quarterbacks and allow for Fromm to contribute without demoting Eason.

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  4. hotandsauceydawg

    I agree with some of your observations.
    Eason- Numbers after 2.75 quarters were really bad. He hit some long passes the last 1.25 quarters to inflate his numbers. Overall, his timing was off, he locked onto receivers, which got no separation for receivers. Also held onto the ball too long, slow reader of defenses. Threw into double, triple and crowds way too often. Still struggled with his accuracy, I saw him throw a lot of balls away, and then just didn’t connect on others due to lack of separation. The interception was a bad read and throwing into double coverage. Jacob struggled with these issues with Chubb and Sony in for 13 games last season, so we know it wasn’t a fluke type of thing. On the positive, he had 4 nice passes and drove the team for a late score, played really well the last 1.25 quarters of the game.
    Fromm- Seemed poised under pressure, completing several passes with heat coming and din’t throw a pick. Looked off receivers getting tons of separation. Never threw into double coverage. Pre-read was so good he rarely had to go through progressions and quickly made decisions resulting in only 2 sacks. Was accurate and threw 5 or 6 amazing passes. Smart said Fromm did the same thing in the last 2 scrimmages, so it wasn’t a fluke. Fromm did hold onto the ball too long a couple of times, getting sacked, and needs ot learn which receivers to target (not guys who drop it every time) other than that, Fromm was very impressive and looked the part better than any Qb at UGA I’ve seen in a long time, I was floored by Fromm, I knew he was good, but wow..

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  5. dubyadee

    I can’t be the only one that has noticed that Eason looks more poised and has great accuracy when flushed out of the pocket and running toward a sideline, If he was a little quicker, we might even be able to scheme into it.

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  6. Calidawg

    “He’s got a helluva ceiling. The challenge for Jim Chaney is raising Eason’s floor.”

    This is what’s scary. Chaney does not inspire confidence, at least not lately in his career. I’m still scratching my head at this hiring decision, but will happily eat my words if we have an offense this season that, you know, can score touchdowns on a semi-regular basis. I’m not even asking for Bobo/2014-era 40+ points a game numbers, although with our stable of running backs and a second year QB, that shouldn’t be too much to ask.

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    • I would argue that raising floors is one thing for which Chaney has a good track record. He did a fine job with Nathan Peterman’s first starting year at Pitt, for example. And Dawg fans should never forget Beyond Crompton. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • mydojo

      @calidawg Agree on Chaney, that’s a real headscratcher. He didn’t do a thing to impress anybody last year. Have any of his offenses ever put up big numbers? As far as 2017 goes, I don’t see the offense improving, as it’s pretty much the same skill players qb, wr’s, te’s, and backs that averaged 24 a game, just no big producers there as we all saw last season. The offensive line looked on gday about the same as last year, what 7 or 8 sacks and none of the backs got any space? I don’t see the off line getting better either, even after the bigger but zero experienced line recruits get in here. I couldn’t wait to see Eason and the much improved off line after the hype about how much better they all got in a dozen practices? Sure didn’t look like it to me. Looks like Hardman could replace I mck, but I mck didn’t do a whole lot last season under Chaney either, I know we return a lot of starters but did we even have 1 player on either side of the ball make all-SEC? If so, I must have missed it. Looking like another 7-5 season where the starting offense scores @20 points a game like they did on gday. Kirby’s a bust man.

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      • … but I mck didn’t do a whole lot last season under Chaney either…

        McKenzie led the team in receiving last season.

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        • mydojo

          I meant on a national scale, I McK had a 100 wr’s average more yards per game and a higher per catch average. But you’re right, he was top 50 in td’s, good point.

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  7. doofusdawg

    The thing that struck me the most is the depth on both sides of the ball. That and the fact we have a great group of upperclassmen. Excited and actually confident that Tucker will run a smothering hard hitting aggressive defense.

    Only concern is still Cheney. It’s encouraging that he will use the slot guy because that creates space and they think that’s good. I just can’t see why they don’t use the same logic in the running game.

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    • mydojo

      @doofusdawg I think the defense will be at least a top 25 defense. We don’t know if they are better yet, say top 10 or top 5, they did give up 600 yards passing for one thing, and they only forced one turnover. Yes, the run defense was solid, but chubb or Michel didn’t play for the most part. Looked a little better with red zone defense (thank God!), but remember Chubb & Michel weren’t there in those situations. Didn’t see many tackles for loss, but plenty of sacks, then again this off line isn’t that good. richard lecounte looks like a beast though for sure. And Walker sacked Fromm twice and pressured him 2 other times and had 2 tfl’s. Aaron Davis and Reggie Davis both looked solid again..

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  8. Captain Obvious

    the minnesota golden gophers called: they want their gopher balls back that eason was throwing in the dirt on saturday

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  9. CB

    “Fromm reminded me a bit of Hutson Mason in getting the pre-snap read down and throwing quickly based on that.”

    I hope that’s the only time I hear at UGA qb compared to Hutson Mason.

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  10. Seeing the fumble on Fromm’s first throw to the WR….sigh….i know, means nothing but still….please dont do that again whoever the WR was

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    • Shane#1

      That was Simmons, who had some key drops last year as a frosh. I like the fact that Fromm (or Cheney) kept going back to the kid until he started making some very good catches. NFL QBs would call a pass almost immediately to a WR after he dropped a pass. Showed confidence in the WR and built his confidence. That’s old school. I was impressed with the front seven on D. When Thompson and Smith return it should be a hell of a defense.

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      • Macallanlover

        Agree about the defense, it will carry the load this year and put the offense in good position to put up better results, imo. Still doesn’t solve the issue of OL play or scheme. As for Simmons, I hope the rest of the game Saturday builds his confidence after the fumble on the first pass and drop on the second. I liked that he got the chance to prove himself. Reports out of practice are that he is able to get open, just has to become consistent with his hands and ball security. I think both he and Mecole will help the receivers that played for Black team on Saturday, overall we may not have

        We may be another year away from the blocking getting more respectable but I do think they will be improved this season, and wouldn’t be surprised if 1 of the incoming freshmen tackles gets some playing time.

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  11. AusDawg85

    Still no QBR results!? Clearly the Senator is a Kirbynista and withholding critical information from the public. Someone should file a FOIA so we’ll know by August who should start.

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