Fromm throws 2 TD passes as No. 3 Georgia routs Austin Peay
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Jake Fromm threw two scoring passes while sharing time with freshman Justin Fields and No. 3 Georgia showed off some new firepower in rolling past Austin Peay 45-0 on Saturday.
Georgia (1-0) flashed big-play potential, including a 59-yard touchdown pass from Fromm to Mecole Hardman and a 72-yard scoring run by Demetris Robertson, who was making his debut.
Fromm completed 12 of 16 passes for 157 yards, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Riley Ridley. Fields, one of the headliners in coach Kirby Smart's top-ranked class of signees, made his debut on the Bulldogs' first second-quarter possession and started the second half.
Fields completed 7 of 8 passes for 63 yards, including a 12-yard scoring pass to Isaac Nauta. Fields also had three carries for 33 yards in his first opportunity to flash his dual-threat talents.
"I thought both of us put the team in good situations," Fromm said, adding that sharing playing time didn't affect his rhythm "too much."
Walk-on quarterback Matthew Downing played most of the second half.
Georgia, which lost to Alabama in last season's national championship game, led 38-0 at halftime.
With an eye on next week's Southeastern Conference opener at South Carolina, Georgia coach Kirby Smart probably hid most of his playbook. Still, there will be much for the Gamecocks to study, including the explosive addition of California transfer Robertson, whose 72-yard touchdown run came on his first touch.
"I thought for his first touch to be a touchdown was incredible," Smart said.
Austin Peay (0-1), No. 22 in the STATS FCS Top 25, was held to 152 yards. Logan Birchfield was wide left on a 37-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter, spoiling the Governors' best chance to dodge the shutout.
Governors coach Will Healy said some of his players didn't react well to the challenge of facing Georgia.
"We seemed to have a bit of division," Healy said. "Some guys weren't quite as coachable when some adversity hit. We've got to fix the in-house things much more than we have to fix the schematic things or the ball security things or anything like that."
The lopsided score and 90-degree heat sent about half of the crowd toward the exits at halftime.
The fourth quarter was shortened to 10 minutes. NCAA rules provide for that option by mutual agreement of the opposing head coaches and the referee.
Smart said he agreed to Healy's suggestion for the shorter period.
Austin Peay: Quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall was pulled after his fumbled pitch, recovered by Georgia's D'Andre Walker, on the Governors' second possession. JaVaughn Craig played most of the remainder of the half and opened the second half, though Oatsvall returned and completed 7 of 10 passes for 25 yards. Craig completed 6 of 11 passes for 36 yards and had four carries for 21 yards.
Georgia: Even though the competition wasn't on par with what awaits in the SEC, the Bulldogs displayed renewed depth after losing six players to the NFL draft. D'Andre Swift ran for 43 yards with an 8-yard touchdown run and Elijah Holyfield ran for 24 yards with a touchdown as the leaders of a four-man tailback committee that must replace 2017 seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Freshman tailback James Cook had runs of 36 and 26 yards in the second half.
Georgia had little to gain in national respect when opening against the FCS opponent. The Bulldogs dominated and probably showed sufficient promise to protect their spot high in the Top 25.
Cook was called for targeting for his hit on punt returner Deangelo Wilson after Wilson called for a fair catch in the fourth quarter. Cook will have to sit out the first half of next week's game at South Carolina.
Austin Peay: The Governors play Presbyterian on Saturday night in their home opener.
Georgia: The Bulldogs open their Southeastern Conference schedule when they visit South Carolina on Saturday.
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