Georgia's G-Day Game featured an entertaining QB battle between Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm
Georgia culminated its spring practice with the annual G-Day Game on a picturesque Saturday afternoon between the hedges, in which the Red team defeated Black 25-22.
There were plenty of positives throughout the afternoon as well as a few negatives. Highlighting the scrimmage was the intriguing quarterback battle between Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm.
This competition has been a major talking point for Kirby Smart this spring. Although Eason arrived in Athens to much fanfare and started nearly every game for the Bulldogs as a true freshman, Fromm appears to be making a serious push for his job. Quarterbacking the red team, Fromm finished 14-for-23 for 277 yards and two touchdowns.
While Eason’s physical tools captivate scouts and coaches, alike, Fromm played in an offense that is more similar to Georgia’s in high school which has lessened his learning curve a bit.
G-Day gave fans their first chance to see the kind of improvements Eason has made in his first full offseason with the Bulldogs as well a look at the team’s newest highly-touted quarterback. Both players had their good and bad moments, but Fromm finished with the better numbers.
The true freshman stood in the pocket well and precisely delivered the ball where it needed to be. One of the highlight plays of the game occurred when Fromm hit fellow first-year teammate J.J. Holloman on a 42-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
Holloman is another player who’s been impressive this spring. Georgia has a need at receiver, and Holloman offers a physical presence with speed and soft hands. On the drive following his touchdown catch, Holloman leaped over his defender to pluck the ball out of the air and draw loud cheers from those in attendance. He will have a role on this team in the fall.
Eason’s day was a little more inconsistent. He finished 16-of-36 for 305 yards with two touchdowns. Not everything was the sophomore quarterback’s fault, however, as the offensive line still looks like a major work in progress and his receivers dropped a few passes.
When Eason was given time, he looked much more comfortable with the offense. He progressed through his reads quickly and read the defense well. There were still some obvious misses, and a bad interception, but Eason has developed nice touch on his throws and his deep passes were much more accurate.
Of course, Fromm’s outing comes with a major asterisk: He played against the Bulldogs’ second string defense. Despite Smart’s statements to the contrary, Georgia’s defense should be one of this team’s strengths. On several plays, Eason simply had nowhere to go with the ball, which is a testament to the secondary, not an indictment of the quarterback.
Both quarterbacks played well, but Fromm’s day was better. Had their situations been switched, however, Eason could have easily stood out while Fromm may have struggled a bit more. Spring games aren’t an equal playing field, which makes it hard to make a direct comparison.
What should be taken away from the afternoon is that Georgia’s quarterback play should be much better in 2017 than it was last fall, regardless of who is behind center.
Outside of the quarterback situation, there were some obvious standouts and a few areas that still need to be addressed.
Holloman was a clear winner for the afternoon, finishing with three catches for 77 yards and the touchdown. Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield each received plenty of work and continued to prove that Georgia’s backfield is one of the strongest strengths of any team in the SEC. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were targeted on screens too.
Aside from a few drops, the Bulldogs’ receivers played well. Terry Godwin led all of Georgia’s receivers with five catches for 130 yards and Javon Wims also made some nice catches, finishing his day with 96 yards. Sophomore Tyler Simmons saw plenty of balls thrown his way, and he finished the scrimmage with five receptions for 113 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Georgia’s offensive line remains the biggest question mark. If Smart and his staff can find a winning combination up front, this team is capable of winning the SEC and could be a dark horse to accomplish even more.