ATHENS — Jake Fromm didn’t post the flashiest statistics in a 27-0 win over Missouri, but his efficiency was hard to question as he ran his record to 32-6 as Georgia’s quarterback.
Fromm was 13-of-29 passing for 173 yards and 2 TDs against the nation’s No. 4-ranked pass defense at Sanford Stadium on Saturday night. A closer look reveals he was even more effective than those numbers indicate.
Fromm was 8-of-15 passing on third downs — and he would have been 9-of-15 with another 68 yards and an added TD pass had freshman George Pickens not lined up improperly. Pickens, a freshman, lined up off the line of scrimmage, drawing a flag and costing himself what would have been a third TD catch.
“I think we’re so close to executing on all cylinders,” Fromm said after the game. “Sooner or later, we’re gonna break it out, and it’s going to be really fun to watch.”
It was Fromm’s third consecutive game without a turnover. The junior QB executed the script handed him on a frigid night, leading his team into College Football Playoff contention for a third straight season.
The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) figure to move up into the top four, if not top five, when the CFP committee releases its next set of rankings at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night.
Georgia plays at No. 11 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday in what’s likely a must-win game for the team to return to the College Football Playoffs.
It will be the second straight week the Bulldogs have faced a Tigers’ team that’s coming off a bye week. Auburn, like Missouri, will be a rested group with an additional week to prepare.
Fromm is confident Georgia will continue to show improvement on offense.
“When we come in the locker room, everybody knows that we can play better, and you just have that feeling,” Fromm said. “We are so close, inches, we just have to execute a little bit better.”
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart believes in Fromm, but he’s the first to admit Georgia must continue to show improvement.
“We’ve got to do some things better, we’ve got to play better in the red area,” Smart said. “We’ve got to find a way to score touchdowns when it matters most. Thank goodness we’ve got a very consistent field goal kicker who continues to come through.”
Rodrigo Blankenship matched his career high with four field goals in the win over Missouri.
But for Fromm, Smart and the Bulldogs, touchdowns will be the focus in the days preparing for the trip to Auburn.
Fromm ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency last season, and he’s currently 21st despite losing his top five pass catchers from the 2018 season.
Here are Georgia football offensive ranks compared to Alabama, LSU, Auburn:
4. LSU ………. 535.9 yards per game
2. Alabama……48.6 points per game
19. Georgia…….222.1 yards per game
2. Alabama…….196.47 rating
Third down efficiency
2. Alabama ………55.2 percent