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Desmond Howard: Jake Fromm is the key to Georgia’s playoff success

Georgia QB Jake Fromm
Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

If the Georgia Bulldogs want to win the national title, ESPN analyst Desmond Howard says true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm must take on a bigger role.

I think Fromm is going to have to play big,” Howard said Wednesday on “Mornings with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino” on WCNN-AM in Atlanta. “I think anybody going up against them is going to try to look at the (first) Auburn game, when Auburn took them to the woodshed. Try to figure out a game plan tailored around what Auburn did, which is stop the run, control the line of scrimmage and make Jake Fromm beat you with his arm.”

Fromm has thrown for 200 yards in just three games this season. He threw for 326 against Missouri, 224 against Georgia Tech and 201 against Mississippi State. He had one of his best games in the Bulldogs’win over Auburn in the SEC championship game, going 16-of-22 for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

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The running game has been the Bulldogs’ key to offensive success. Georgia averages 263.5 rushing yards per game — 11th nationally — and is tied for the SEC lead with 36 rushing touchdowns.

Georgia meets Oklahoma and likely Heisman winner Baker Mayfield in the Rose Bowl. Mayfield already has one College Football Playoff appearance in his career, and Howard says that experience could help him in Pasadena. He also wonders if the stage could overwhelm Fromm.

“You have Baker Mayfield, so obviously he’s a veteran,” Howard said. “He’s going up against Fromm, who is a freshman. You would think that this freshman must be the weak link going into the game, so you want to expose the weak link.”

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(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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