Georgia coach Kirby Smart likes to say that the Bulldogs run the same offense with freshman Justin Fields as they do sophomore starter Jake Fromm.
Technically, that might be true, but LSU coach Ed Orgeron said what has become evident as the season has progressed.
“I think you have to be prepared for both, they are different,” Orgeron said at his Thursday night press conference. “There’s a different game plan for each, some plays are the same, some plays are different.”
Fromm, 18-2 as a starter, is expected to be the first quarterback under center for the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 SEC) against the No. 13 Tigers (5-1, 2-1) Saturday (3:30 p.m., CBS; News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB).
“With Fromm they are coming right at you, play-action, pro style,” Orgeron said. “And with Justin, more quarterback reads, more of a quarterback that will scramble out of the pocket, more option plays.”
LSU’s “Death Valley” is a storied stadium known for its crowd noise, but Smart said won’t play into which quarterback Georgia uses.
“Justin handles the offense and the communication really well,” Smart said, asked about Fields playing more in home games than road games this season. “He’s the right guy to get in there in situations. He continues to grow as a player, he gives us an element we don’t have, and certainly has done a good job with the snaps he’s gotten.”
Smart turned to Fields to jump start the offense in the second quarter when Fromm was struggling against Tennessee two weeks ago, Jeremy Pruitt successfully scheming him up with press coverage and blitzes. It was the first and only time in Fromm’s career he didn’t throw a TD pass.
Last week, however, Fromm looked sharper than ever in a 41-13 win over Vanderbilt, throwing for a season-high 276 yards on 17-of-23 passing with three touchdowns.
A 75-yard pass from Fromm to receiver Terry Godwin — that traveled 50 yards through the air — took the top off the Commodores’ defense in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs’ offense looked as sharp as ever.
It was one more thing for Orgeron and his high-paid defensive coordinator to take note of on film.
“(Fromm is) smart, can throw the deep ball, play action pass, he’s protected well, he is surrounded by great athletes, he can move in the pocket, bootlegs, nakeds, waggles, all that stuff (and) can run if he has to,” Orgeron said earlier in the week, “and then if they want to go dual threat quarterback they will bring in Justin Fields, so they have got it all.”
Fromm 83-of-114 passing (72.8 percent), 12 TDs, 2 Ints, 1,200 yards, 7 Sacks
Fields 18-25 (72 percent), 2 TDs, 0 Int, 200 yards; 17 carries, 133 yards (7.8 avg.), 3 TDs
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