How Jake Fromm is taking control of Georgia offense, challenge Tennessee presents
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jake Fromm is ready to take more control of the Georgia offense on Saturday in Neyland Stadium.
The junior quarterback will have more to manage than quite possibly ever before, from the standpoint of the complexity of the defensive looks he’ll see, and the detailed scouting report Tennessee will have via former UGA coordinator Jim Chaney.
“We kind of know what they do, they know what we do,” Fromm said on Monday. “We just have to do what we do a little bit better than what they do.”
The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs (4-0) play the Vols (1-3) at 7 p.m. (TV: ESPN).
Fromm will be contending with the most hostile crowd he’s gone up against since last season’s loss at LSU.
“They do a really good job of packing out the house,” Fromm said. “Their fans do a really good job of being loud, so I’m expecting that and a little bit of crowd noise.”
Fromm is also expecting the play calls to come in faster from the sideline then they did during the 23-17 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 21.
Coach Kirby Smart wants Fromm to have more time for pre-snap reads so he can change plays as necessary at the line of scrimmage.
“Jake takes things that are broke and fixes them, and he makes wrong right,” Smart said. “He’s a leader, he’s a commander in chief, the guy makes good decisions.”
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt made good decisions game planning for Fromm and the Georgia offense last season.
Tennessee held Fromm without a passing touchdown for the first and only time in his career, and the Vols recorded six sacks while limited UGA to a long pass of 23 yards.
Tennessee did that while containing the Bulldogs’ run game, not allowing any runs longer than 16 yards.
“I think they had a really good game plan,” Fromm said, “and I don’t think we attacked ours as good as we could have.”
Fromm’s confidence with changing plays at the line of scrimmage could change the script.
“It’s watching film, it’s knowing defensive schemes, knowing what they are doing, how they are going to get to it, what they want to show, what they don’t want me to see,” Fromm said, explaining the dynamics involved with calling plays at the line.
“There’s a lot of things that go into it — I’m not always right, I wish I was, but I’m not always right and stuff happens, but for us, as long as everybody is on the same page we think we’re going to get into a good play and we can make a bad play a good play, especially with a lot of talent we have.”
Georgia center Trey Hill, who played with Fromm in high school at Warner Robins, said he and his quarterback are most always on the same page.
Hill said he knows when Fromm will audible “nine out of 10 times” once reading the defense himself.
When Fromm audibles, Hill also has to react and change the line call, accordingly.
“Whatever call he makes, I just have to make the opposite call, you have to be on your toes for it,” Hill said. “When you’re out there and the game is on, you have to know the audibles and have perfect timing.”
Fromm’s poise factors in when plays break down, as do other areas he has improved since last season.
“One thing I’ve noticed on film, for myself, is throwing on the run, getting out of the pocket and making some throws,” Fromm said. “So I think I’ve done a pretty good job of getting better from last year and making those throws.”
Chaney has surely taken note, and he might even catch himself taking some pride in Fromm’s performance on Saturday.
Fromm explained that Chaney played a key role in his development, even if his current job requires him to share information on how to stop him on Saturday.
“(Chaney) did a great job of really kind of taking me in, teaching me the game of football, really seeing it from a different perspective, and really kind of introduced me to this pro style offense,” Fromm said.
“I didn’t really have that in high school; I was more spread it out, throw it around, and I kind of got introduced to big boy football and a pro style offense of different terminologies and different passing concepts, so I got to learn a lot of football under him, and I thank him for that.”
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