Although the faces were all different, Saturday’s encounter was much like the one the two teams played in 2013, when the Bulldogs administered a 45-6 pounding in the midst of an 8-5 season. Appalachian State is now a member of the Sun Belt Conference and has bowl victories in two straight seasons.
It was a bittersweet victory for the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday.
Fromm threw his first career touchdown pass – a 34-yarder to Javon Wims – to put the Bulldogs up 14-0 early in the second quarter. Mike Hart scored two touchdowns in the second half to help give MI a 32-31 lead, but Appalachian State but put together a seven-play drive over 69 yards to notch a 24-yard field goal to reclaim the lead with little time remaining.
Appalachian State is no stranger to the big stage, and the atmosphere inside Sanford Stadium probably won’t be enough to intimidate the Mountaineers as they embark on their quest to return to the status of giant slayer. The Mountaineers were especially stingy defensively against the Southeastern Conference Volunteers, holding them to only 127 rushing yards.
Georgia’s stout and experienced defense played the largest role in limiting Appalachian State’s offense to less than 300 yards and minimal points, but the Mountaineers caused themselves plenty of grief with penalties, committing 11 for 105 yards. “But we don’t know how long it will be”. Big back Nick Chubb and shifty, speedy change-of-pace back Sony Michel give quarterback Jacob Eason the assurance that he won’t have to win this game exclusively with his arm. “You’re not going to like the outcome against a team like that when you’re in those situations”.
The run game: App State can not expect to be successful with the kind of run production they received against the Bulldogs.
“I think it’s a great challenge”.
Fromm did exactly what was asked of him: He played within the constraints of the offense, doing so as efficiently as the coaches could have hoped – note that he finished with a quarterback rating of 168.7.
“I thought Sony’s draw play that we busted out after they jumped offsides was a huge momentum change in the game”, head coach Kirby Smart said. Appalachian State went into Tennessee and gave the Volunteers all they could take, before losing a close one. Georgia’s balance and diversity on offense will keep Appalachian State’s defense off balance all evening long.
“We got a stable of running backs, we got me, Nick, we got so many young guys that’s able to step in and run the football well”. “I’m glad we finally get to look to it because I was never looking past App. State”. Georgia opens SEC play on September 23 with a home matchup against Mississippi State.
Georgia announced Eason was out “for now”. Lamb, the son of Mercer coach Bobby Lamb, completed 18 of 27 passes for 128 yards and ran for 66 yards and a touchdown. Needing a drive to setup a game-winning field goal, Chad Henne completed a 46-yard pass to Mario Manningham to set up a 37-yard field goal.
Hennigan tied for the team lead with four catches that produced 28 yards, and Williams had one reception for 7 yards.