Entering the 2017 college football season, sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason was supposed to be the man at Georgia. He was supposed to lead the Bulldogs to double-digit wins and, potentially, the SEC Championship.
But after spraining his knee in Georgia’s season-opener, Eason was replaced by freshman Jake Fromm, who has been been, in a word, spectacular. Fromm has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 650 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception. He’s also led Georgia (4-0) to a No. 7 national ranking.
What does this mean? It means that even when Eason is healthy enough to play, he’ll likely remain on the sideline. Former Georgia quarterback and current CBS college football analyst Aaron Murray believes that’s the right decision.
“I do,” Murray said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “I said it a couple of weeks ago: If he continues to play well – and I (thought) the big test is going to be Mississippi State, a team that I thought was a very talented team. That team was rolling. They beat LSU the previous week. I was like, ‘Man, it’s going to be a tough task for Georgia, but if this kid can pull it out and win, it’s going to be hard to take the reins away from him.’”
Well, Fromm led Georgia to a 31-3 win over Mississippi State this past Saturday, finishing 9-of-12 for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
“I don’t know how you could (bench him) now,” Murray said. “The team’s rolling. The team has a lot of confidence in him and in the direction they’re heading. So I think unless something drastic happens, I think you roll with him. It’s a good problem to have for Kirby Smart to have two young talented quarterbacks back there making a tough decision with. . . . I had a chance to go to Athens (this past weekend) and kind of check out Jake Fromm and was extremely impressed with what he’s been able to do in such a short season so far for him. Four games starting, and he looked great last week. I think Jim Chaney, the offensive coordinator, is just gaining more and more trust with him, with the play-calling. You see them opening up this offense and doing some stuff that I haven’t seen them do in a couple of years.”
The Bulldogs play Tennessee (3-1) in Knoxville this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. They also play a neutral-site game against No. 21 Florida (2-1) on Oct. 28 and at No. 13 Auburn (3-1) on Nov. 11.
Still, Murray believes Georgia will win the East.
“I just don’t think the East is very strong at the moment,” he said. “Florida has just so many question marks. Tennessee, right now, has a lot of question marks. The one thing is we have to go play at Tennessee. That’s always a tough stadium to play in. And we have to go to Jacksonville to play Florida. We always have a tough time down there. And we still have to play Auburn at the end of the season. They’re kind of hitting stride offensively at the moment, and who knows how good that team could be?
“But right now heading into the rest of the season,” Murray continued, “I look at this team and they should be favored in every game they play the rest of the way – and deservedly so. That defense is unbelievable – top-two or three defense in the country, if not the best right there along with Alabama. I think offensively they have a lot of weapons. So I’m excited to see what they can do. I think they’ll be favored in every game, and I think they should be. They have a big chance to go in there and play Alabama in the SEC Championship in Atlanta and give them a run for their money.”