Chip Towers gets to the heart of why that’s such an ignorant perception of Jake Fromm.
But there’s a difference in “can’t pass” and “don’t need to pass.” And Georgia simply hasn’t needed to or chooses not to, in most cases. Thanks to a salty defense and one of the best running back corps in America, the Bulldogs have gotten all the offense they’ve needed by keeping the ball on the ground.
Georgia is second in the SEC in rushing yards with 284 per game. The Bulldogs are best known for senior tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but they actually utilize five backs most every game, including dynamic freshman D’Andre Swift.
So the Bulldogs always are going to see to run the ball first. They’ve been forced to pass only twice this season. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm had 326 yards and two touchdowns in a 53-28 win against Missouri and completed 55 percent of his passes for 141 yards with a TD and an interception in the win at Notre Dame.
South Carolina appears to be a run-stopping defense. It is fifth in the conference while giving up 137.6 per game. But Florida, which was then ranked third in the SEC, thought it was, too. Georgia ran for 292 in the 42-7 win over the Gators.
Last week, Florida’s Chauncey Gardner dissed Fromm’s ability to throw the ball by saying, “I get it, he throws a lot of slants.” Fromm attempted only seven passes against the Gators. As it turned out, one of them was somewhat of a slant to running back D’Andre Swift from the slot position. Swift caught it and proceeded to truck Gardner, who came up from his safety position to make the tackle. Gardner had to be helped off the field.
Aside from the defense carrying the load, aside from the potent running game and aside from the special teams competency that’s taken pressure off the offense this season, there’s one thing to keep in mind about young Mr. Fromm: every time this team has needed him to step up, he’s done so. Whenever I hear the can’t pass talk, I keep going back to what might have been his most pressure-packed completion of the season, the 30-yarder to Javon Wims that set up the winning score in the Notre Dame game (dial this clip up to the 14:37 mark).
That is one clutch throw. So, yeah, you just keep on underestimating Fromm. He won’t mind.