In a program that holds a reputation for running the ball, sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm and the Georgia receiver corps have continued to play a key role in the success of the offense.
When Georgia faces Alabama on Saturday in the SEC championship game, the ability to both run and pass the ball will be a key component for the Bulldogs.
Georgia ranks seventh in the SEC in passing offense, with 196 completions for a total of 2,652 yards. Alabama, in comparison, ranks second in the SEC. The Crimson Tide have 237 completions for 3,985 total yards. But the two teams' completion percentages are separated by a small fraction. Alabama has completed 69.7 percent of its passes, while Georgia completed 69.5 percent of its passes.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was asked to compare the two team’s receiving corps in his press conference on Monday, but Smart said he doesn’t like to compare them against one another.
"I have a lot of respect for Alabama's wide-outs. I think they're tremendous,” Smart said. “I think they're probably the best unit we've faced. They're talented, man. They get vertical. They run routes. They stick their feet in the ground and they have a good guy throwing it to them.”
Yet, he also acknowledged the ability of Georgia’s receiving corps. While there isn’t a sole standout receiver, the depth at the position allows Fromm the opportunity to target multiple receivers throughout the game.
That group consists of receivers like junior Riley Ridley, who leads the group with 34 catches for 450 yards this season. Following closely behind is junior Mecole Hardman who has 32 catches for 519 yards. Jeremiah Holloman, Terry Godwin and Tyler Simmons also add to the depth of the position group.
Smart praised Fromm and the receiver group for their skill in the run-pass option, the vertical passing game and overall timing of the plays. He also said they have succeeded in connecting well in different routes, like the press man route or the off man route.
“I think Jake [Fromm] has a trust with that group, and they trust him that the ball is going to be there on time,” Smart said. "And let's give them some credit. They run good routes and get open and catch the ball.”
The capabilities of the receiving corps is a part of what has made the offense find success throughout the season, with general execution being an important factor. Fromm said as the season has continued, they have played cleaner and more together as an offensive unit.
“Our guys are great. We have a great group of guys in that receiver room who make some great plays,” Fromm said. “They’ve done it all year. So I’ll take my guys in a street fight any day. So let’s go out and let’s go prepare for battle.”