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Georgia Football 2017: What’s next for the Bulldogs?

The ‘Dawgs avenged their lone loss of the 2017 season in the SEC Championship.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Auburn
Head coach Kirby Smart and his Georgia Bulldogs celebrate winning the SEC Championship.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Auburn Tigers 28-7 in the SEC Championship on Saturday night in Atlanta. It was sweet revenge for the ‘Dawgs as Auburn was responsible for their lone defeat in a terrific 2017 season.

With the win, Georgia will head to the College Football Playoff with a chance to compete for the national championship in head coach Kirby Smart’s second season in charge of his alma mater.

Here are two takeaways from Georgia’s 2017 regular season and look at what’s next for the Bulldogs.

Jake Fromm is the perfect quarterback for this team

Georgia’s season began with super sophomore Jacob Eason under center. However, the former five-star signal-caller injured his knee in the opener and true freshman Jake Fromm stepped in. Most thought Fromm would hold the job until Eason was ready to return. Well, after missing a few weeks, Eason returned, but not to his starting job.

Fromm didn’t produce eye-popping stats. He was terrific under pressure, especially in a gritty win at Notre Dame earlier in the season. He took care of the football and always made big throws when the ‘Dawgs needed them. For a team that relies on an outstanding defense and strong running game, Fromm has proven to be the ideal quarterback for 2017 Georgia Bulldogs.

In the SEC title win over Auburn, Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards and two scores. Now, Smart hopes to see two more strong performances from his freshman quarterback.

Defense and running game are elite

To win this game, Georgia needed to run the football. In its loss to Auburn a few weeks back, the ‘Dawgs were unable to run the ball. It was the only time all season where they couldn’t run. Against Auburn in the SEC title game, Georgia ran for 238 yards. Pair that with a suffocating defense and this is a hard team to stop.

Georgia finished the regular season with the No. 9 rushing offense in the country. What makes this offense even more special is there are so many talented backs on the roster. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are the headliners, but it was freshman D’Andre Swift that paced Georgia on Saturday night. Chubb was good, too, rushing for 77 yards. UGa also has Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien to carry the rock.

Defensively, Georgia was terrific in the SEC championship proving its performance against Auburn last month was an outlier. The ‘Dawgs finished the 2017 season with 4th-ranked defense in the country. They stop the run, get to the quarterback and force turnovers. That’s a championship recipe.

Who will the ‘Dawgs face in the College Football Playoff?

With Wisconsin’s loss to Ohio State in the Big 10 championship game, there’s an opening for Alabama to get the final spot in the playoff. Could the Bulldogs meet the Crimson Tide?

Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia are locked in. All three teams are certainly worthy of being ranked No. 1 when the rankings come out. Regardless of the opponent, Georgia will be a tough matchup.

Oklahoma and quarterback Baker Mayfield against Georgia’s defense would be fun. As good as UGa’s defense is, shutting down Oklahoma would be next to impossible. That means the Bulldogs would need Fromm to step up. He’s proven capable all season long.

It was a terrific 2017 season for the Georgia Bulldogs. The success on the field has carried over into the recruiting as Smart could lock up top-three classes in each of the next two years.

Now, Georgia looks for its first national championship since 1980. Buckle up, it’s going to be fun.