Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Georgia Bulldogs Preview and Prediction

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A troubling blow for Georgia on Saturday night - starting quarterback Jacob Eason being helped off the field in the first quarter of its season opener - was softened by the poise and presence shown by the true freshman who replaced him.

"Georgia is coming off a solid year last year and they've got a ton of players back, basically their whole defense and, of course, their quarterback". Chubb and Michel combined for 1,970 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns last season. The tandem not only did a good job of running the ball, but they made it easier for Fromm to stay upright in the pocket with key blocks on pass rushers.

Georgia: The Bulldogs, held without a first down on two drives with Eason, found their momentum with Fromm.

Nick Chubb (96 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries) and Sony Michel (87 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries) led a Georgia rushing attack that rolled up 223 yards on 43 carries.

Sophomore QB Jacob Eason went down with a knee sprain in the third offensive series, but freshman Jake Fromm stepped in in efficient fashion. We've got a lot of improving to do in that area and we have to get more players that can play.

The Bulldogs went on to win the game, 31-10.

With every completion, the cheers grew louder and so did Fromm's confidence.

If the grades were exclusively based off of the stat line at the end of the game, the wide receivers group would probably have ended up with an F. As a group, they caught just four passes for 88 yards, 81 of which belonged to Wims. After that, Fromm led the Bulldogs to three consecutive drives that ended in touchdowns. And both backs are capable of putting up big numbers on the ground, particularly if the Mountaineer defense starts to wear down in the second half. "That's a point of emphasis for us to raise on defense where we need huge improvement", defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said during the preseason.

Entering the third quarter, more of the same continued for the Mountaineers. Gaillard did get called for a few false start penalties, but that should be corrected by the time the Dawgs head to South Bend. You don't give up on a teenager with Eason's dimensions.

"Fromm executed a lot better when he got in", Satterfield said.

"You never like to see that for a guy", said Nauta. Fromm directed the offense with an efficiency that was often absent with Eason last season. They will be expected to be available against Notre Dame next week. While the Mountaineers possess more than enough talent on both sides of the football to repeat as Sun Belt champions in 2017, they simply don't match up against the superior talent and depth of this particular SEC opponent. It's a daunting challenge for any visiting quarterback, much less one who was directing a high school offense a year ago. Sudden change, things like that, we practice it, so it was really natural for him to come in.

Beyond pride, the Bulldogs may be counting on Fromm sooner than anyone imagined.

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