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Fromm, Smart lunches prompt big performance

“We went and ate lunch a couple times. Shared and broke bread together, because I was concerned about him,”
— Kirby Smart on Jake Fromm

Junior quarterback Jake Fromm had a blast in Saturday’s edition of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.”

After throwing three interceptions in the loss to South Carolina and throwing for just 35 yards in the monsoon against Kentucky, Fromm had a relatively perfect afternoon. He went 20 for 30 for 279 yards and two touchdowns in the 24-17 win over the Gators. The win was the first of his career when throwing at least 30 passes, having been 0-5 in such games prior.

There was plenty of noise surrounding the Georgia offense, or lack thereof, in recent weeks. Fromm and his teammates were aware of the commotion and used it as fuel for their performances in today’s contest.

“You can choose to listen to it, and we can fall apart. Or we can not listen to it and gel together as a team,” Fromm said to his teammates. “I’m extremely thankful that’s what we did. That’s what we chose to do.”

In a game in which Georgia struggled to gain traction on the ground, with D’Andre Swift averaging just over three yards per carry, Fromm’s performance was needed. He was just fine with that.

“I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win a football game, and I think that’s what makes this offense special,” said Fromm. “We’re very versatile. We can do whatever we want to do to win football games.”

With two weeks of preparation available to the team ahead of today’s game, head coach Kirby Smart took the opportunity to meet one-on-one with his quarterback multiple times.

“We went and ate lunch a couple times. Shared and broke bread together, because I was concerned about him,” said Smart . “He doesn’t get frustrated; he handles things very well. But he and I are wired in very similar ways. We’re both very competitive, we both want to win. There’s a lot of the same hard-wiring there. And I think him being able to talk to me and me being able to talk to him, see where we can help him, and what we can help him do from a confidence standpoint—I’m just proud of him. Every time his back’s against the wall, he just comes out swinging.”

Smart continued to talk about his perception of Fromm and his performance against Florida.

“He’s had a lot of people that have questioned him, and he has a chip on his shoulder. Y’all have seen it over and over again, where people doubt and continue to doubt, and he continues to rise above it,” said Smart. “He’s not a silver spoon-fed kid. He’s a working kid. He works himself into it; he wills himself into it. I’m really proud of the way he played and led his team, and proud of a lot of others. I’m not saying it was just Jake, but Jake has a lot of pressure on him.

Fromm took some time to talk about the embrace he shared with Smart post-game, and how the meetings affected their relationship.

“That was awesome. (It was) a huge emotional moment. I’m just really thankful for him. We kind of had some talks over the past week, and for us to kind of gel together and have that moment, that trust in each other, speaks a lot about him and his character. I’m really thankful he’s my coach.”