It didn’t seem like much for Jake Fromm, even if the game situation was quite serious.
Facing a fourth-and-12 with less than two minutes to go in the annual G-Day spring game, Fromm looked at his primary read and launched a pass down the right sideline. The ball perfectly landed in rising sophomore receiver Mecole Hardman’s hands and in between safeties Jarvis Wilson and Deangelo Gibbs. The play went for 38 yards and put Fromm’s Red team in field-goal position.
With 1:07 left to play, place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Red team, consisting of the first-team defense and second-team offense, a 25-22 lead and eventual win.
Fromm put on a show for the Georgia fans in attendance, which was released at 66,133. The freshman early enrollee from Houston County completed 14-of-23 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns. His go-to targets were Hardman (three catches, 62 yards), J.J. Holloman (three catches, 77 yards, one touchdown) and Tyler Simmons (five catches, 114 yards, one touchdown).
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More so than Fromm’s performance, however, the Red team’s first-team defense got the better of the Black team’s first-team offense, even if quarterback Jacob Eason’s yardage total signified otherwise. In a pass-happy intrasquad scrimmage, the Red team tallied five sacks and an interception. Eason passed for 311 yards but completed only 44 percent of his passes. While he threw for two touchdowns, his interception was overthrown into the hands of safety Aaron Davis after facing a heavy rush.
“We’ve been getting each other better all spring,” defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter said. “Iron sharpens iron, offense and defense. We’ve had practices where they did really well, and we may have not done so well. And then we’ve had practices where we did well and they didn’t. We’ve been doing really well in our third down. We need to work on stopping the run, holding the offense and getting better.”
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was pleased for the most part with how the defense played during the spring game. Smart said there were some things that could be cleaned up on the defensive side of the ball, however.
“Didn’t always tackle well and got some balls thrown over our heads, but they really competed and challenged each other more than maybe we had done earlier in the spring,” Smart said. “So overall, I was pleased with the day, excited about the growth of our team. I really saw some players getting better throughout the entire spring.”
While the offense had its moments, Georgia’s defense looked like the group returning 10 starters to its 2017 season. While the game-plan wasn’t to run much, the Black team totaled minus-2 rushing yards on 20 attempts, although 5 of those came on sacks.
When it came to the running game, Georgia didn’t give one carry to either Nick Chubb or Sony Michel. They combined for two catches for 11 yards. Brian Herrien carried the ball 11 times for 18 yards and Elijah Holyfield toted the ball 15 times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Walk-on Prather Hudson led the spring game in rushing with seven carries for 45 yards.
The G-Day game concludes Georgia’s spring. It will resume practice in August, with its first regular-season game Sept. 2 against Appalachian State at Sanford Stadium.