Fromm re­places Ea­son, leads Ge­or­gia to vic­tory

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Charles Odum Associated Press Sports Writer

ATHENS — There was no panic on the Ge­or­gia side­line when start­ing quar­ter­back Ja­cob Ea­son limped off the field.

Though he’s a fresh­man, backup Jake Fromm al­ready has con­vinced his coach and team­mates he’s not eas­ily in­tim­i­dated.

Fromm led three first- half touch­down drives after Ea­son sprained his left knee, help­ing No. 15 Ge­or­gia beat Ap­palachian State 31-10 on Satur­day night.

Ea­son was in­jured on a late hit in the first quar­ter and needed help leav­ing the field. Coach Kirby Smart said more will be known about the sever­ity of the in­jury on Sun­day.

Ea­son said Fromm “did ex­actly what I thought Jake Fromm would do” in mov­ing the of­fense.

“There has not been a mo- ment that’s been too big for Jake Fromm since he’s been a lit­tle kid,” Smart said. “He’s al­ways been that way.”

Fromm com­pleted 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards and a touch­down after en­ter­ing the game in the first quar­ter.

“He showed tremen­dous poise for a fresh­man,” said wide re­ceiver Javon Wims. “The sit­u­a­tion wasn’t too big for him.”

Nick Chubb ran for 96 yards, in­clud­ing scor­ing runs of 1 and 7 yards.

Sony Michel added 87 yards rushing and a touch­down for Ge­or­gia in the opener for both teams.

Fromm threw a 34-yard scor­ing pass to Wims for his sec­ond of three straight touch­down drives in the first half. Chubb and Michel gained mo­men­tum as an un­der­sized de­fense for Ap­palachian State ap­peared to wear down. Fromm wasn’t as­sured of play­ing time in the game or even the sea­son be­fore Ea­son’s in­jury. Smart said this week he had no plan to cre­ate time for Fromm, adding “Ja­cob Ea­son is our quar­ter­back.”

That plan changed be­fore all the fans could find their seats at San­ford Sta­dium.

With 6:30 re­main­ing in the first quar­ter, Moun­taineers de­fen­sive tackle Myquon Stout drew a per­sonal foul penalty when he hit Ea­son late out of bounds. Ea­son limped back onto the field be­fore col­laps­ing be­hind the line of scrim­mage.

Ea­son was helped to the side­line and then taken to the locker room. He did not re­turn to the side­line.

Ap­palachian State quar­ter­back Tay­lor Lamb played on the Ge­or­gia prac­tice fields when his grand­fa­ther, Ray Lamb, was Ge­or­gia’s co­or­di­na­tor of high school re­la­tions. Lamb, the son of Mercer coach Bobby Lamb, com­pleted 18 of 27 passes for 128 yards and ran for 66 yards and a touch­down.

“It was a cool ex­pe­ri­ence,” Lamb said. “I came to games as a kid and I know a lot of guys on that foot­ball team there, a lot of alumni from the school.

“So it was cool to see those guys and play in San­ford Sta­dium.”

Fromm was out of the game when Moun­taineers safety Des­mond Franklin in­ter­cepted a pass from Brice Ram­sey. The turnover set up Lamb’s 20-yard scor­ing run with less than 6 min­utes re­main­ing.

The take­away

Ap­palachian State: The Moun­taineers’ small de­fen­sive line was strong early but ap­peared to wear down on a warm night, al­low­ing touch­downs on three con­sec­u­tive drives. Ap­palachian State, the pre­sea­son pick to win the SunBelt Con­fer­ence, couldn’t dent the Ge­or­gia de­fense un­til late in the game.

Ge­or­gia: The Bull­dogs, held with­out a first down on two drives with Ea­son, found their mo­men­tum while run­ning their up- tempo at­tack with Fromm. The Bull­dogs built a 21- 0 half­time lead. Smart’s trust in Fromm showed in the third quar­ter when the fresh­man com­pleted a 21-yard pass to Wims on a fourth- and- 3 play. It was Fromm’s night, but Ge­or­gia’s de­fense also ex­celled by al­low­ing only 284 yards, help­ing the Bull­dogs play up to their No. 15 pre­sea­son rank­ing.

Fresh­men de­buts

Ap­palachian State started three fresh­men on of­fense, cen­ter Noah Han­non and wide re­ceivers Thomas Hen­ni­gan and Ma­lik Wil­liams. Alex Acey in 2011 was the last true fresh­man to start at cen­ter for the Moun­taineers. Jay­lan Bar­bour (2014) was the last fresh­man re­ceiver to start.

“They just got here in July, so to come in here in this en­vi­ron­ment, I thought they played well,” said Ap­palachian State coach Scott Sat­ter­field.

Ge­or­gia started fresh­man An­drew Thomas at right tackle. The Bull­dogs’ last true fresh­man starter on the of­fen­sive line was John Theus in 2012. First- year re­ceiver Mecole Hard­man and tail­back D’An­dre Swift had their first catches.

Up next

Ap­palachian State: Re­turns home to Boone, North Carolina, to face Sa­van­nah State on Satur­day.

Ge­or­gia: Vis­its Notre Dame on Satur­day night.

Cur­tis Comp­ton / At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion via AP

Ge­or­gia run­ning back Nick Chubb (27) goes over the top into the end zone against Ap­palachian State dur­ing Satur­day’s game.

John Amis / The Associated Press

Ge­or­gia run­ning back Nick Chubb (left) rushes as Ap­palachian State line­backer An­thony Flory reaches for him dur­ing Satur­day’s game in Athens.

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