Rapid Reaction: Behind Jake Fromm, George Pickens and stingy defense, UGA beats Baylor in Sugar Bowl
After struggling in postseason games the last few seasons, Georgia came ready to play in the Sugar Bowl. The Bulldogs took care of Baylor 26-14. It wasn’t easy or pretty, but it was a complete win over four quarters.
With 13 players out for various reasons, UGA could have mailed it in. Instead, Jake Fromm, George Pickens and the defense came ready to play, resulting in a big Georgia win.
Below are four big takeaways following Georgia’s Sugar Bowl win:
1. George Pickens is a monster: The Bulldogs freshman receiver set career highs in receptions and yards against Baylor’s stingy defense … in the first half. He finished with 12 catches for 175 yards and one touchdown. With Lawrence Cager and Dominick Blaylock out, Pickens would surely be the focus of the Dawgs passing game, and he certainly delivered. Aside from Cager at times during the season, Jake Fromm really struggling finding receivers who could create any separation. Pickens took it to another level tonight, and he flashed incredible upside.
With what could be a host of receiving talent returning in the SEC, Pickens may prove to be better than all of them in the future.
2. Impending Jake Fromm decision: The Georgia quarterback hasn’t had the greatest 2019 season, but he played well Wednesday night. Fromm finished 20-of-30 for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no INTs in the Sugar Bowl. Obviously, all eyes are going to be on Fromm and his looming NFL Draft decision. Most project Fromm to be the fourth quarterback taken in the draft behind Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. If he’s a late first-round pick, does he leave?
3. Matt Rhule was right: Ahead of the Sugar Bowl, the Baylor head coach knew that the Bulldogs defensive would be the best unit his team had faced all season, and Georgia proved him right. UGA’s defense held Baylor scoreless in the first half and yielded just 97 total yards. Things got a little better for Baylor to start the second half, but Georgia’s defense buckled down during crunch time in the third and fourth quarters. Baylor only mounted 295 yards of total offense, including just 61 rushing yards. UGA forced three Baylor turnovers.
4. Big swing of momentum in third quarter: Georgia dominated Baylor in the first half; however, the Bears made a run to start the second. Baylor scored on its first offensive possession of the second half. Then, it stopped Georgia and got the ball back. However, edge rusher Azeez Ojulari came up with a strip sack on fourth down in Georgia territory. On the very next possession, Georgia converted a fake field goal for a first down, and on the very next play, Zamir White punched it in from 13 yards. The fake field goal and touchdown run helped swing momentum back in Georgia’s favor. That was a big moment during the Sugar Bowl.