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Fromm Silences Critics Against Florida

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Facing a vaunted Florida defense that slotted in the top ten nationally in both sacks and interceptions, Fromm was efficient and effective alike.

In a season where he has received some relative criticism despite already having a resume worthy of a prime positioning in SEC history, Jake Fromm answered all questions and silenced all naysayers on Saturday in Jacksonville. While many entered the weekend wondering if Fromm could lead Georgia to victory against 6th-ranked Florida, his stat-sheet stands as a statement. Fromm completed 20-of-30 passes for 279 yards, with two touchdown and zero turnovers. He, most importantly, is now 3-0 against the Gators.

Facing a vaunted Florida defense that slotted in the top ten nationally in both sacks and interceptions, Fromm was efficient and effective alike. He was calm and composed, poised and productive; simply put, Fromm was himself. Amidst all of the volatile talking points and, to a certain extent, being overshadowed by the recent play of his Jacksonville counterpart Kyle Trask, Fromm's performance was a steady continuation.     

"Jake delivered, just like he has done most...all three years he has been here," explained legendary former UGA head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. "He's a winner."

Now three games into his Georgia-Florida career, Fromm is 41-of-61 passing for 620 yards, with six touchdowns, one interception and three wins. He, the past two years, is 37-of-54 for 519 yards, with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Fromm won with a signature performance on Saturday, one of the best showings of his career, while meeting the heavily-discussed 30-attempt threshold.  

For a quarterback who won at Notre Dame in his first-ever start, beat Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, threw 30 touchdowns and six interceptions in his last full season, has an SEC Championship and left the field on the final possession of a national championship game with his team leading, the concerns regarding Fromm playing well on the big stage were unfounded. Again, he managed the moment as Georgia won an important game. The Bulldogs, peaking entering the stretch run, are the frontrunners for Atlanta and control their own destiny for another appearance in the College Football Playoff.

In today's college football, perhaps just doing your job very well, minus the flashy highlights, isn't appreciated. Fromm and the Georgia offense controlled the tempo of the game with long, sustained drives and limited Florida's corresponding opportunities. The Bulldogs held the football for nearly 36 minutes. Part of Fromm's appeal is that he can succeed in settings where he isn't always the schematic focal point. When called upon, see Georgia's third-down passing rate and 12-of-18 conversions overall, Fromm almost-always comes through.   

Situational value is also a Fromm staple. After Florida scored an early fourth quarter touchdown to draw within one score, and the momentum in the stadium clearly took and orange-and-blue hue, Fromm responded. He, following six straight runs, Fromm made the play of the game with a 52-yard touchdown strike to Lawrence Cager. It was a season-defining sequence for Georgia. For good measure, Fromm then converted the following 2-point conversion to, of all options, Cager.

Fromm's developing relationship with Cager might prove to be a key progression for the Bulldogs. The Miami-transfer caught seven passes for 132 yards and the aforementioned touchdown against Florida. As Georgia's talented-but-inexperienced receiver rotation continues to adjust to a new scheme, Cager's emergence has come with a boost. After the Bulldogs' victory over the Gators and ahead of upcoming matchups with Texas A&M, Auburn and the likely winner of the Alabama-LSU game, the Fromm-Cager connection will be one to watch.

Fittingly sealing the win with one more signature throw, Fromm, on a key 3rd-and-7 with under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, found tight end Eli Wolf 22 yards downfield for the final answer following a late Florida touchdown. It was a remarkable throw, with Fromm heaving from his back foot in the face of a heavy rush. Georgia ran onto the field in celebration mere seconds later.     

Without the gaudy macro production, but with the critical micro effectiveness, Saturday was, in some ways, the quintessential Fromm performance. Above all else, as usual, it resulted in another Georgia win.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports