Georgia football: Dawgs’ Biggest Weapon? Jake Fromm’s Mind

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 6: Jake Fromm #11 (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 6: Jake Fromm #11 (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

No. 4 Georgia football defends their SEC Championship this Saturday against no. 1 Alabama. The Dawgs are looking to avenge the loss in the National Championship Game.

If Georgia football fans are honest with themselves, there might not be many areas where their Bulldogs have a talent edge on Alabama going into Saturday’s SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

With the exception of last year’s recruiting cycle, the Crimson Tide have routinely nabbed the nation’s best crop of high school players on an annual basis. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and his staff were able to unseat Tide’s head man Nick Saban in the living room battles last December and February. They will seek to do it on the turf on Saturday.

There’s just one small (or big, depending on how you look at it) problem, and it comes in the form of a Hawaiian with a rocket on his left shoulder named Tua Tagavailoa. Yes, Dawg fans undoubtedly remember the true freshman who looked off safety Dominick Sanders in the middle of the field in that very same stadium before hitting Devonta Smith in the end zone for a heartbreaking end to a magical Georgia season.

Since then, the Tide has shown little sign of subsiding. In his early years at Alabama, Saban built his teams to play much the same way Georgia does now: run the ball, control the clock and play stifling defense. The quarterback’s job? Don’t screw it up.

Sure, that might be shortchanging Greg McElroy, AJ McCarron and Jake Coker a bit, as all had to lead drives in crucial moments of games. But for the most part, that’s how Alabama fought and won. They were bigger, tougher, meaner and just plain better than you. And they knew it, too.

Nowadays, they’re still plenty tough. But they attack defenses in an entirely different way. Tagavailoa makes a regular habit out of hitting all-star receivers down the field for huge plays and touchdowns at a maddening pace. All the while, there’s been a steady and cool customer about 276 miles to the east. His name is Jake Fromm. He’s quite the winner in his own right, having gone 23-3 as a starter.

He’s had his rough moments. There was the awful performance at Auburn in 2017, followed by an equally bad one at LSU this season. When he’s not playing some form of Tiger on the road, however, he’s pretty dawg gone good. His only non-Tiger loss came to the team he faces Saturday.

So what makes Fromm so good? Is it his unflappable poise? Is it his ability to handle adversity? Is it his dynamic leadership ability? The answer to all of those questions is yes, but SEC Network’s Jordan Rodgers, himself once a Vanderbilt quarterback, put it best as color commentator this past Saturday while calling the Georgia/Georgia Tech game. Fromm’s football mind, Rodgers said, allowed him to “play quarterback like a point guard.”

“Jake Fromm might not always go into a play reading and reacting to a defense,” Rodgers said Saturday. “He might walk up to the line of scrimmage and say, ‘Ya know, Terry Godwin hasn’t caught a ball in a while,’ or, ‘Maybe I need to get Mecole Hardman a catch early to get him into the flow of the game.'”

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The ability to assess the morale and confidence of the people around him is Jake Fromm’s best attribute. Fromm knows that when people are happy, healthy, confident and involved in a common mission, those people are capable of anything.

The common mission for Saturday? Revenge. And Georgia has the perfect general with the perfect mind to lead the charge.