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Georgia Football

Can Stetson Bennett, The Mailman, Deliver vs. Alabama?

October 12, 2020

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ATHENS - Did Georgia’s 44-21 rout of Tennessee mostly derive from the dominant defensive play? Yes.

Was Stetson Bennett bailed out a couple of times? Sure.

Is Bennett the best or most talented quarterback Georgia has ever had? No.

No, Bennett is not the most talented guy that has come through Athens, but that kid is a gamer, and he’s helping Georgia win football games. His stats aren’t gaudy: 238 yards on 59% completion percentage and three total touchdowns (one rushing), are not Hesiman-level stats.

But so far, Georgia hasn't needed Heisman-level play from the quarterback position. Bennett may not be a future first round draft pick or Heisman trophy winner, but he is a fighter.

“He’s a competitor. He’s always been that way,” Kirby Smart said after Georgia’s win over Tennessee.

That much is evident when watching him play He has a good sense of pocket presence. He knows when to avoid a sack and move outside of the hash marks. He is not afraid to throw into a tight window, whether he should or shouldn't.

Bennett has gotten better every game this season.

“I think he’s getting better. He is definitely getting more confident. He understands Coach Monken’s system better and better,” Smart said.

All of the people who believe that JT Daniels needs to be the quarterback will have to keep waiting, because as long as Georgia keeps winning, Bennett is going to be lined up under center. The team is behind Bennett, and the coaching staff trusts him.

After the game, Tyson Campbell interrupted Bennett’s interview with the reporter to say “The Mailman does it again.”

Bennett has support, and that is going to continue to build if he keeps Georgia in the win column.

He has some limitations. They were exposed Saturday. So far, his deep balls across the middle have been a combination of short and inaccurate.

Bennett was lucky that the Tennessee defender dropped one of his throws downfield, or he would have thrown his first interception of the season.

There were a couple of questionable decisions on his part. That was also the case against Auburn last week. The good news is that he hasn't cost the team in any major way, and if he continues to play clean football, Georgia will have a good shot to win every game they play.

He has shown the ability to get the ball out quick down the middle for short-to-medium range crossing routes. Those are the routes that he has shown he can throw consistently.

A refreshing aspect of his game is his ability to make plays with his legs. He runs more often and efficiently than Jake Fromm did. His pocket presence is solid, and he makes plays.

Bennett made a few good runs when rolling out to his right, including the eight-yard rushing touchdown he had in the second quarter where he dove for the pylon. He showed his fearlessness as a runner in the fourth quarter when he fought hard through a couple of hits to get a first down.

“He’s made some plays with his feet. I would like to see him improve by sliding some and not taking the shot he took,” Smart said.

Smart made that comment with some emphasis and concern. He doesn’t want his new QB1 to get injured while running, especially that late in the game. Still, Bennett is displaying how much heart and grit he has.

Bennett and Georgia’s biggest test so far this season comes next Saturday when they travel to Tuscaloosa in a primetime battle against Alabama.

The question now: Can The Mailman deliver a victory against the Tide?

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