The Georgia Bulldogs ended the 2019 season by starting 2020 in grand style. Despite 12 players and three starting offensive lineman sitting out the Allstate Sugar Bowl — some nursed injuries while others prepared for the NFL Draft — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm, who is turning pro following his junior season, led the Dawgs to a 26-14 victory over Matt Rhule’s Baylor Bears on New Year’s Day.
Fromm finished his final collegiate game 20-of-30 passing for 250 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. This was the 26th time in Fromm’s career that his team won and his passing efficiency rating was at least 150. Only Heisman Trophy finalist Jalen Hurts (27) had more such games since 2017 in college football.
The Warner Robbins, Georgia, native also became the fourth QB in Georgia football history to reach 8,000 career passing yards. You can rattle off statistics all day about how great Fromm was for Kirby Smart the last three seasons, but all you need to know about him came during an interview with ESPN reporter Holly Rowe before that Sugar Bowl win in New Orleans.
In the hotel lobby, Rowe asked Fromm what his team’s focus was heading into the Sugar Bowl, to which Georgia’s leader smiled and gave a perfect response. Rowe followed up by asking how Fromm stays so positive no matter where he is, and his answer was nothing short of brilliant.
“It’s the Holy Spirit in me,” Fromm said through a smile. “I’m trying to live out the most God-like life I can do, so I’m just trying to influence others and build relationships with others and hope they can see Christ in me.”
“O.K., well now I’m going to cry. That was beautiful,” Rowe said.
Holly Rowe Interview with Georgia QB Jake Fromm
“For the New Year, let’s all be a shining light in this world like @FrommJake. Honestly brought me to tears today with his positive, lovely spirit. Many blessings to this young man. @GeorgiaFootball should be so proud to have him leading this team.”
— Holly Rowe, via Twitter
“One good goal [for the New Year]? Let’s go live out the best we can,” Fromm added. “Let’s try to go and influence others, help lead people to Jesus, and hopefully do the best we can with influencing them and hopefully shed a little light in their lives.”
There aren’t many quarterbacks I’d rather have leading my team than this guy.
Freshman wide receiver George Pickens didn’t let a fight with Georgia Tech and SEC Championship game suspension sully 2019’s final game, as he hauled in 12 catches for 175 receiving yards and one touchdown. Pickens put everyone in college football on notice and was named the game’s most outstanding player.
Another freshman, running back Zamir White, filled in seamlessly for an injured D’Andre Swift and set career highs with 18 carries for 92 rushing yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put the game out of reach.
Georgia’s defense held Baylor to 295 total yards of offense and forced three turnovers as the Bears scored a season-low 14 points.
If this bowl game was Fromm’s last hurrah for the fans in Athens, he put a bow and ribbon on one of the greatest careers any Dawg has ever had.
This article was originally published January 2, 2020.