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Georgia Football

Kirby Smart "feels great" about Stetson Bennett as fans call for JT Daniels

October 20, 2020

The question on Saturday was whether or not Stetson Bennett could deliver a win against Alabama.

The answer was no.

The Georgia football community has rallied behind Bennett over the last few weeks. Folks were happy when the team was winning. Georgia did not win on Saturday. And, as is common in the sport, fans and the media are quick to turn on Bennett after he struggled against Alabama. 

Why hasn’t JT Daniels seen a single snap? Does Smart think that Bennett is the better quarterback? Is Daniels ready?

These questions stirred up at a much higher rate on Saturday as Bennett threw for three interceptions and couldn’t keep Georgia at Alabama’s pace on offense. Daniels is medically cleared, but he has yet to see the field. He was thought to be a threat to take Jamie Newman’s impending starting job in preseason, so it is a little bit of a head-scratcher as to why he has not gotten a single snap.

“Like I have talked about before, I feel great about Stetson. He’s done a good job of managing the situations we have put him in,” Smart said earlier this week.

If there is one thing that can be taken from Kirby Smart’s tenure in Athens, it is that he is loyal to whoever he has starting under center. People were ready for Justin Fields to take over for Jake Fromm after Fromm had bad games. That never happened. 

Fromm had a bad game in 2018 against LSU and heading into the off week, people wanted Fields to take over. Smart ultimately stuck with Fromm, whether that was the right choice or not.

The current situation is eerily similar. People are calling for a 5-star quarterback from the 2018 class to take over. Two years ago it was Fields, and now it’s Daniels.

So, if 2018 is any indicator, Bennett will remain the starter.

Bennett not being pulled from the game should not have been the biggest surpise to anyone.

Completing just 45% of passes and throwing three interceptions is bad. It’s horrible. That can’t happen against one of the best teams and offenses in college football. 

“Everybody around him [Bennett] has to continue to improve,” Smart said.

Smart was quick to defend Bennett.

“...Height is not the greatest indicator of batted balls. The ability to use the pocket is, and a lot of that comes from experience. He’s gaining in the experience category,” Smart said.

He points blame on Bennett’s lack of experience, but still stands behind him as a quarterback.

Daniels was the starting quarterback for a full season at USC. He’s more physically gifted and has more arm talent than Bennett. The fans and media want to see what he can do.

But fans and media don’t make the decisions. The off-week gives more time for the coaching staff to evaluate which player will put Georgia in the best position to win, but Smart is standing his ground with Bennett for now, and in 2018, Fromm held onto his job.

If Georgia is granted the opportunity to play Alabama again in December, the quarterback play will need to be vastly improved, or the result will probably be the same.

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