ATHENS — Each week this season, DawgNation is going to present a game ball to the Georgia player whose performance was pivotal to the Bulldogs’ effort that day. That was an especially difficult endeavor on Saturday as the Bulldogs annihilated their overmatched, opening-game opponent, Austin Peay, 45-0.
Obviously there were many, many standouts for Georgia in a game with such a lopsided outcome. But for no other reason than the fact that he made more contributions than any other player in the early goings of the game, Jake Fromm will get the nod in Week 1.
The sophomore from Warner Robins, getting the first start of the season and 15th of his still young career at UGA, Fromm was 12-of-16 passing for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns. His scoring tosses went to Riley Ridley for 10 yards and Mecole Hardman for 59 yards. Fromm did not have a rushing attempt in the game.
Just as easily, this award could have gone to Fromm’s backup, Justin Fields, who had 63 yards on 7-of-8 passing, threw a 12-yard touchdown to Isaac Nauta and also had 33 yards rushing on three carries. He came in on the game’s fourth series, also played the fifth, then exchanged series with Fromm before both left the game for good in the third quarter.
I was tempted to go with transfer wide receiver Demetris Robertson, who averaged 72 yards and a touchdown on his touches Saturday. Of course, that was just one touch. But it was an impressive one as he turned on the jets after going around right end with a counter handoff from the left slot.
There were probably lots of deserving candidates on defense, including leading tackler J.R. Reed with 6 stops. But it was just too hard for anyone to stand out with all the wholesale substitutions.
So we’ll go with Fromm. Probably won’t be the last time.