No longer is Jake Fromm a game manager.
The junior quarterback from the University of Georgia took a step up with his clutch performance against the hated Florida Gators last Saturday at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. Fromm was the difference for the hairy Dogs as they took down Florida, 24-17 in the Southeastern Conference football game of the day.
By no means was it a sinch. The Gators made Georgia work. Florida also made Georgia sweat with a fourth quarter rally.
But it was Fromm who was the star of the game. Fromm, the Warner Robins native, came through for Georgia time after time on third down. The Dogs seemingly had 3rd-and-long all day.
Fromm operated like a surgeon, too. He sliced up Florida’s nationally ranked defense with third down conversion after third down conversion. The talent- laden Gator defense could not stop the Dogs on third down, and that cost Florida the football game.
Georgia and Fromm converted 12 of 18 third down plays into first downs. The Gators were infuriated, and the Dogs moved the chains.
Fromm was the key for the Dogs as he completed 20 of 30 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns as the afternoon turned into night along the St. Johns River.
The Dogs got a whiff of the Maxwell House Coffee plant two blocks away from the ball yard. Georgia also won with the nation watching on CBS television.
Fromm outplayed Florida junior quarterback Kyle Trask, the good ol’ country hard ball thrower. Not even a 21-for-33 passing game for 257 yards and two touchdowns was good enough for Trask and the Gators.
This SEC head-banger belonged to the hairy Dogs, who are the team to beat in the SEC East. But the Gators (7-2 overall, 42 in the SEC) did not beat the Dogs on this day.
Florida didn’t lay a hand on Fromm all day and night. Fromm had no grass stains on his uniform. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Fromm got the ball to the open receivers for Georgia.
The Dog pass catchers got some separation for the first time in weeks and outran Florida’s elite defensive secondary, Marco Wilson, C.J. Henderson and Donovan Stiner included.
The Gators did get nine tackles from senior defensive end Jonathan Greenard and seven tackles from defensive back Shawn Davis. But the hairy Dogs countered with nine tackles from junior linebacker Monty Rice and six tackles apiece from defensive backs Mark Webb and Richard LeCounte.
Georgia also got a hardnosed game from junior tailback D’Andre Swift. He battled for 86 yards on 25 carries. The Dogs found another gamechanger with senior wide receiver Lawrence Cager, who outfought the Gators with seven catches for 132 yards and one touchdown.
The Dogs (7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference) are the favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division once again. Georgia returns home to Sanford Stadium this Saturday for an SEC game against the Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Florida will try to recover with a home contest against Vanderbilt on Saturday at noon in Gainesville. The Gator game will be televised on ESPN.
The author of this article can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer