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Long-term, of course, Fitzgerald’s pro future will hinge much less on the former than on the continued growth of his right arm. Not like Tim Tebow, fast-for-a-big-quarterback, scramble-for-the-first-down fast. Like split-the-safeties-in-the-open-field, take-it-to-the-house fast. That was one of 17 Fitzgerald runs last year that gained at least 25 yards, second in the SEC only to Derrius Guice; five of those went for at least 50 yards, which led the SEC.For now, and possibly for another year after this one, his game is a worthy rival to Jalen Hurts’ as the most formidable run/pass combination in the league. He ripped off a 74-yard gain against South Carolina, another 74-yarder against Texas A&M, and a 70-yarder against Ole Miss, in addition to the 61-yard TD sprint against the Rebels you see above.He connected on an impressive third-and-long completion on the first series and generated almost literally zero positives the rest of the night.That said, there’s still plenty of time for him to make good on the preseason hype, and/or to suffer further indignities at the hands of elite rushers from LSU, Georgia, Alabama, et al.Given the rest of Georgia’s schedule, that might be good enough to the take the Bulldogs an awfully long way: None of the toughest remaining tests (against Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech) look any more daunting right now than the one Fromm just passed, and there’s clearly no need to rush Jacob Eason back from the knee injury that kept him sidelined in South Bend. I dunno, something tells me the bets that drove up those odds aren’t going to be paying off. Admittedly, I was a very willing passenger on the preseason Stidham bandwagon, and it’s very possible that his nightmare outing at Clemson said more about Clemson’s absurdly talented defensive line than it did about its latest victim.Whether it was good enough for Fromm to continue to earn significant reps whenever Eason is 100 percent is another story. In my weekly Monday recap, I put most of the blame for that debacle on Auburn’s offensive line, and on a game plan that failed to adjust when it became abundantly clear the o-line had no chance of sustaining a clean pocket against an NFL-ready pass rush. Each week, QB Curve will keep you up to speed on the game’s most important position by putting a different SEC signal-caller in the spotlight and putting the rest of the field in perspective. Fitzgerald is the rare SEC starter these days who isn’t a product of Quarterback Finishing School, the circuit of camps designed to hone seemingly every 15-year-old with D-I ambitions into a prolific spread passer with his choice of scholarships.
When the ground game was humming — which it usually was — he was efficient enough in wins over South Caroilna, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss, throwing multiple touchdown passes in each of those games.
Very much like Prescott, though, Fitzgerald is also an extremely efficient runner on a down-to-down basis: A little more than a third of his 195 carries last year went for first downs, easily the highest conversion rate among the SEC’s eleven 1,000-yard rushers.