Football

Texas 28, Georgia 21: Our five Sugar Bowl questions for Georgia — answered

Posted January 2nd, 2019

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Revisiting our five pregame questions that were facing the Bulldogs ahead of Tuesday’s 28-21 loss in the Sugar Bowl:

1. Did Georgia look motivated, deflated or somewhere in between?

Deflated.

Uninspired.

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Disinterested.

Take your pick. Either way, the Bulldogs looked flat for three-and-a-half quarters. Two mistakes in the punting game, a lost fumble deep in Georgia territory, dropped passes, an interception to open the second half — it was a long night. Surely the Bulldogs saw Notre Dame lay an egg in their CFP semifinal loss to Clemson and think they should have been playing in Arlington, not New Orleans. But the CFP “snub” was a month ago. Shouldn’t that have been long enough to find your focus for a New Year’s Six game?

2. What did Jake Fromm do for an encore?

He threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, plus an interception.

The redshirt freshman was coming off his first 300-yard game of the season, a 301-yard night with three touchdowns against Alabama in the SEC title game. The Longhorns looked vulnerable all season against the pass — they allowed a 300-yard passer six times as well as a 454-yard night to Texas Tech — but kept Fromm off his game, with Charles Omenihu applying pressure and B.J. Foster and P.J. Locke III making plays in the secondary. Fromm finished the season with 2,761 yards, 30 touchdowns and six picks.

3. How much did the defense miss Deandre Baker?

Quite a bit.

Not having their Thorpe Award winner could have been worse, at least in terms of defending the pass. Lil’Jordan Humphrey led all players with seven catches, but they went for just 67 yards and Collin Johnson didn’t catch his first pass until nearly the end of the third quarter. But Georgia did look off defensively and struggled to get Texas off the field. Four of the Longhorns’ first five drives resulted in two touchdowns and two field goals, and Texas held a 10-minute advantage in time of possession.

4. Did D’Andre Swift keep it going?

No.

Swift’s inability to establish himself was a big part of the running game’s collapse. He closed the regular season in strong fashion, with four 100-yard games and five touchdowns after falling short of 100 yards in Georgia’s first seven games. But he had only 12 yards on eight carries against Texas, an average of 1.5 yards per carry. And he committed a critical fumble in the first half deep in his own territory.

5. What did Justin Fields do in possibly his last game at Georgia?

Nothing.

Georgia’s freshman quarterback didn’t get into the game, which is nothing new — he attempted only 14 passes in the Bulldogs’ eight final games. He has placed his name in the NCAA’s transfer portal, allowing potential schools to contact him. Will he stay or will he leave? Fromm is only a sophomore.

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