The first game of Kirby Smart’s second season at Georgia is in the books, a 31-10 win at home against Appalachian State on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
Big injury to Eason
Sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason left the game with what coach Kirby Smart called at halftime “a little bit of a knee strain.” The injury occurred with 6:30 to play in the first quarter, during Georgia’s third possession. Eason was injured when he was hit out of bounds while scrambling on a second-and-15 play. He appeared to stumble after was pushed by an Appalachian State player while out of bounds.
Eason had been ineffective in his three possessions. He was 1-of-3 passing for four yards and was reverting to last season’s tendency for passes thrown too high and too hard. He also had two rushes for minus-1 yard. Eason was replaced by freshman Jake Fromm and never returned. Georgia fans reacted to Eason’s injury in a variety of ways.
Off the bench comes Fromm
Freshman Jake Fromm replaced Eason, and he looked poised and anything but intimidated by the hurried way in which he made his collegiate debut. Smart told an ESPN reporter at halftime, “He’s a gamer. The moment is not too big for him.”
Fromm’s first possession ended with a punt, but he led Georgia to touchdowns on their next three drives. The second of the touchdowns came on a 34-yard pass from Fromm to Javon Wims. Fromm was 8-of-11 passing for 109 yards on those drives. He finished the game 10-of-15 passing for 143 yards and the one touchdown. He had a QB passer rating of 168.7. With 7:47 to play in the game, Fromm was replaced by Brice Ramsey, who threw an interception on his first pass attempt, which set up the Mountaineers’ touchdown. (By the way, Ramsey threw two passes; both were intercepted; both led to App State scores.)
Chubb and Michel play like ... Chubb and Michel
As expected, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel helped carry the load for Georgia.
In the first half, Michel carried eight times for 71 yards in the first half, including a 44-yard run. Chubb gained 23 yards on six carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run.
To ease the burden from the freshman quarterback, Georgia relied heavily on Chubb and Michel when the second half began. One the two possessions in the third quarter, Chubb had nine carries (63 yards) and Michel eight (16 yards), while Fromm attempted three passes. Neither Chubb nor Michel played in the fourth quarter.
Their final tally: Chubb, 15 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns; Michel, 16 carries for 87 yards and one touchdown.