JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Georgia’s pass game was the gold standard in the 36-17 win over Florida Saturday at TIAA Bank Field.
Sophomore Jake Fromm silenced his critics and validated Kirby Smart’s decision to stand behind him, turning in a 17-of-24 passing performance good for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Sophomore receiver Jeremiah Holloman was Fromm’s key target, making four catches for 48 yards, including 2 touchdown catches of 16 and 12 yards as the Bulldogs sped away for the victory.
Quarterback Jake Fromm was clutch throughout, pacing an 8-of-14 third down conversion rate with strong throws and accurate pre-snap reads.
Receiver Jeremiah Holloman’s two touchdown catches went for 16-yards in the first quarter and a 12-yards in the third quarter. His second touchdown came in tight coverage and required Hollomon’s focus to keep a foot inbounds. He also had a 15-yard reception on third-and-11 in the fourth quarter.
Receiver/Special teams ace Mecole Hardman had just two catches for 10 yards, but Hardman downed a punt at the Florida 1-yard line to set up a turnover and a field goal. Hardman also set up Georgia with strong field position with punt returns of 23 and 28 yards, and he returned a kick 26 yards.
Linebacker Monty Rice was Georgia’s most reliable tackler on the second level, making 11 stops and forcing a fumble.
Tight end Isaac Nauta made some big catch-and-run plays at the end of the first half with four receptions in a row for 66 yards to move the Bulldogs into position for a field goal before halftime.
Offensive lineman Kendall Baker was pressed into action at left tackle because of injuries, and the senior responded with a solid performance to protect Fromm’s blind side.
Running back D’Andre Swift posted his first 100-yard rushing performance with 12 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive back Tyrique McGhee had the game’s only interception and also forced a Florida fumble.
Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was steady as ever, making field goals of 21, 22 and 18 yards while putting six of his seven long kick attempts into the end zone. Blankenship also had a squib kick that was not returned.
Linebacker Natrez Patrick missed at least three tackles, some of which led to long gains for Florida. It’s an area Kirby Smart will continue to drill next week leading up to the Kentucky game.
The Georgia power run game was embarrassed, unable to score on six run plays from the 1-yard line, leading to a field goal with seven seconds left in the third quarter that made it 23-14. Holyfield was stopped three times for no gain. Fromm was stopped twice for no gain, and Swift lost a yard on his carry.