KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jacob Eason shook off the rust. Jake Fromm directed the victory.
Georgia’s quarterback situation continues to be a source of intrigue, especially with Eason returning to action after missing three full games — but only in mop-up duty in the fourth quarter, long after Fromm and the rest of the team had iced what would be a 41-0 rout of Tennessee on Saturday.
Eason ended up throwing just one pass, an incompletion. He was cleared to play after spraining a ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of Georgia’s first game.
“It was great to get Jacob in there because I thought it was getting the rust off the kid,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the game. “Get him back out there, get him comfortable, get him functioning and he’ll continue to do that in practice.”
Fromm, meanwhile, overcame a shaky start — including an interception deep in Georgia territory — to account for 3 touchdowns. This game turned into a display of Fromm’s running abilities, as he ran for touchdowns of 9 and 4 yards, one on a scramble and another on a run-pass option. He also had a 12-yard scramble on third down to extend the drive that ended in his first touchdown run.
Nick Chubb called Fromm’s scrambles “huge.”
“I think most of them were third downs. We needed a conversion and he came through for us,” Chubb said, adding with a grin: “I’m just glad he decided to slide the last time.”
His passing numbers were more pedestrian (7 for 15 for 84 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception). But it was another victory, running his record to 4-0 as the starter and 5-0 including the opener.
Smart didn’t come out afterward and name Fromm as the starter for Georgia’s game at Vanderbilt on Saturday. But he did talk about Fromm the way that coaches usually do their starters: pointing out what needs to improve in coming weeks.
“Fromm did some good things. He made some poor decisions. I mean there were some plays where he didn’t make the right decision on it,” Smart said. “We evaluate quarterbacks on decisions. Did he make the decision to pull it down and run it a couple times, absolutely, and I thought he did a good job with it.
“Jim [Chaney, the offensive coordinator,] called a good game for him, some zone reads where he was able to get a first down or a touchdown. Those were good calls and good decisions by him. But we have to be more consistent with that. And there’s some throws in there where I don’t know what he’s thinking or what he’s doing; he shouldn’t do that. He knows that. And he knows he can correct those.”