Among plenty of Macon-area products playing for Georgia in Saturday’s SEC Championship, Jake Fromm led the way.
Georgia’s sophomore was overshadowed and all of the talk was about Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, a Heisman contender at quarterback. Despite Georgia’s narrow 35-28 loss to the Crimson Tide, Houston County’s own arguably won that battle.
Proof? The stat lines.
Tagovailoa, who was removed due to injury in the third quarter (no, the next move didn’t end in Georgia’s favor): 10-of-25, 164 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions (passer-efficiency rating of 92.3)
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Fromm: 25-of-39, 301 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions (154.3)
Fromm was nearly mistake-free against an Alabama defense that ranks above most the Bulldogs have faced throughout the season. There were check-down passes to running backs, intermediate routes to his athletic playmakers: Jeremiah Holloman, Mecole Hardman and others.
He tied an SEC Championship record, too. Fromm had 10 consecutive completions to match the mark set by former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims in 2014.
Then it was the deep pass on a textbook throw to Riley Ridley for 23 yards and a touchdown. Fromm arguably had a career-best showing after having a career-high four touchdowns in the game prior against Georgia Tech.
Another Middle Georgia native squatted directly in front of Fromm as Georgia ran its offense, and it was just like old times. Fromm’s old teammate at Houston County, Trey Hill, started at right guard for the Bulldogs in the team’s biggest game of the season.
Hill started in place of fellow freshman Cade Mays, who has been dealing with a “stinger,” according to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. Mays has been out for an extended period of time, and Hill’s opportunity came after the Bulldogs lost more offensive line depth with an injury to Kendall Baker.
Hill allowed Quinnen Williams to get past him for a sack on Fromm on Georgia’s opening drive, but was proficient the rest of the way to allow the offense to have success.
Georgia had 454 yards of total offense — 153 rushing and 301 passing.
“Jake did a great job. I think the offense as a whole did a good job — the line protected him and opened up big holes in the run game,” Georgia tight end Isaac Nauta said. “We didn’t turn the ball over. The receivers made plays, and I’m proud of the way they played.”
Defensively, the standout player from Middle Georgia was Peach County product Tyrique McGhee. He had a performance of highs-and-lows as his stat line included one tackle and a pass break-up.
McGhee, who started the season in recovery from a foot injury, has started alongside J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte at the STAR position for the Bulldogs throughout the season. He was defending Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy when he caught his fourth-quarter touchdown to tie the game, and also got beat in the first quarter when tight end Irv Smith Jr. dropped a pass that might’ve resulted in a touchdown.
Malik Herring, who started against Georgia Tech and had five tackles, played a significant number of snaps but didn’t record a statistic.