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OU’s defense to have its hands full with Georgia’s freshman quarterback

PASADENA, Calif. – When analysts talk about college quarterbacks, the topic of OU’s Baker Mayfield usually comes up during the conversation.

The Sooners star is known for being passionate and one of the most energetic players on the field, and he is also a bit controversial.

While OU may have the Heisman Trophy winner in the pocket, Georgia is being led by a young freshman with a strong arm.

“He’s in the playoffs, so for sure he’s doing something right. He’s a freshman in the playoffs and he’s played since game one unexpectedly,” said OU linebacker Caleb Kelly. “He’s handled the season really well, only lost one game, and I just thing he’s amazing. He controls his offense really well, he has great composure and he’s just, he just looks like he’s having fun playing football. He’s a good leader, he has to be as a freshman doing so well.”

Jake Fromm is just 19-years-old, but he has already led the Georgia Bulldogs to one of their best seasons on record.

This season, the 6’2,” 225 pound freshman passed for 2,123 yards and 21 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

“He has a strong arm. He can put the ball in spaces where only his receiver can get it. He’s going to be a gamer, so we’re going to have to be ready,” said OU defensive back Steven Parker.

“Talented guy, but the biggest thing for me that stands out is how he commands the huddle. Not normally do you see a true freshman take command of a huddle that has a lot of older guys, veterans in it, and then also lead them to the playoffs. It takes a special person. I have a lot of respect for Jake,” said OU quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Fromm has completed 63 percent of the passes he threw this season, leading Georgia to 12 wins and just one loss.

While Georgia’s offensive attack is usually played on the ground with their running backs, Fromm is able to catch defenses with a play action pass.

“I think their most underrated players are their wide receivers. I think they’re all tremendous players. They could stretch the field vertically. They get in and out of breaks extremely well. So they present 11 guys every time you step on the field,” said OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

“He has done a good job of using the people around him to help him. He’s also played in some really big games this year for us, so he’s got some experience,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

OU’s defense may have its hands full with the accurate quarterback and Georgia’s offensive style.

“I feel like he’s a big threat in the run game, especially if you need to get out of the pocket. 6’2,” 225, it’s kind of hard to come downhill and tackle a quarterback like that. But the most impressive thing is his deep balls I like to say, and his balls give his receivers a chance,” said OU linebacker Emmanuel Beal.

“Pressure, pressure, pressure. It’s going to be a physical game and we have to show our physicality as a defense and just as a team. He’s going to have to feel our presence and he’s going to have to feel like he’s going to have to be on his heels,” said OU linebacker Steven Parker.

“You’ve got to blitz him. At the end of the day, he’s a freshman and he’s obviously been in this type of game, a big game before, so for us to just send in pressure, see what we can do to dish up the passes, get hands in his visual spaces, so we’ll see. That’ll be a good test for us as well, just to stop the run, stop the pass. They run, run, run, pass, so that will be a good test for us,” Beal added.