NASHVILLE — Statistically speaking, former Georgia quarterbacks Justin Fields and Jacob Eason had better season-opening performances than Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.
Fields completed 18 of his 25 passes for 234 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also added a 51-yard rushing touchdown against Florida Atlantic. Eason put up even better numbers as he completed 27 of his 36 pass attempts for 349 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Fromm, on the other hand, threw for only 156 yards and just 1 touchdown in a 30-6 win over Vanderbilt.
“It’s tough to tell, we’ll go back and watch the film and really kind of look at the decision making,” Fromm said of his performance afterward. “Didn’t want to force any throws, but if there’s throws I needed to make out there, I need to make them.”
The three quarterbacks are going to be compared against each other all season given their shared history, as Fromm ended up beating out both former 5-star quarterbacks in his time in Athens. The television broadcast ran a graphic called “The Fromm Effect” which detailed how Fromm winning the Georgia job forced a number of quarterback transfers around the country.
When discussing the three quarterbacks, detractors of Fromm routinely bring up what he can’t do, especially in comparison to Eason and Fields. Fromm’s arm isn’t the RPG that Eason’s is, while his athleticism compared to Fields is about what the difference is between Tom Brady and Cam Newton.
Both Eason and Fields displayed those athletic traits on Saturday, creating a number of highlight plays. That isn’t to say that Fromm didn’t have his own highlight play, as his lone touchdown pass was a dime to Demetris Robertson in the back of the endzone.
QB Jake Fromm ➡️ WR Demetris Robertson!!
— Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) August 31, 2019
Fromm also had a 53-yard pass to Robertson in the game, but it was wiped out due to a holding penalty.
Just moments before that pass, ESPN analyst Jordan Rodgers compared Fromm’s skill set to that of Peyton Manning, given all that he does for Georgia at the line of scrimmage.
If Fromm wanted to, he could’ve audibled his way to more passing yards and attempts against Vanderbilt. But that wouldn’t have been what’s best for the Bulldogs.
So he spent much of the night directing and rerouting Georgia’s running backs to where the defense wasn’t. And his traffic cop routine led the Bulldogs to a staggering 323 rushing yards.
“People don’t know what he did,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “He put us in really good football plays. Some of those explosive runs were because he knew where to put us.”
All three quarterbacks helped lead their teams to victory on Saturday. Eason did so against an FCS team, while the flow of Fields’ game actually mirrored that of Georgia’s 30-6 win over Vanderbilt. A strong start, followed by a less than pleasing finish.
Georgia didn’t need Fromm to be a superstar against Vanderbilt. The defense gave Vanderbilt fits all night, while Georgia’s running backs ran wherever they wanted to.
Fromm had a few near misses that could’ve led to a bigger statistical night, particularly with 5-star freshman George Pickens. The Bulldogs have to replace their top five receivers from a season ago, so as Fromm continues to get more comfortable with his new pass catchers, he’ll go on to have bigger performances.
Earlier in the week, Fromm and Smart were both asked about their thoughts on Fields and Eason, given both were making their debuts for their new teams. The Quarterback and head coach each deflected the questions, stating they were focused on the Georgia team and Vanderbilt game.
After the win though, Smart made it clear how happy he is to have Fromm as his quarterback.
“It’s so comforting to have a starter whose been there for his third year and isn’t going to put you in bad plays,” Smart said.