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Georgia Football

UGA coach Kirby Smart's Conundrum at Quarterback

November 16, 2020

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ATHENS - A week after a postponed game we are still at the same spot we were seven days ago. In many ways we’ve been here since Jamie Newman left.

What is Kirby Smart going to do at quarterback? These are the sorts of questions you don’t want to ask on November 15th of any season. Frankly, there are more questions than answers right now:

Is Stetson Bennett healthy enough to play?

Is JT Daniels healthy enough to play?

Does it make sense to take a hard look at what Carson Beck gives you at this point in the season?

What is the future of the quarterback spot amongst the four signal callers on campus?

The problem, in many ways, is that 2020 has been so different than other years in the past. Media has not been permitted at practices - meaning we don’t have that data to further understand the situation at quarterback. 

I can let you know for sure that no one expected Bennett to come off the bench at Arkansas to rally the Dawgs to a win, and then two more wins right after that over Auburn and Tennessee. That didn’t seem implausible… it seemed impossible. 

But what happened happened, and since the win over the Vols Georgia’s offense has gone sideways - failing to score more than 30 points. The thing is the receivers are there to be had. The run game hasn’t failed the program all year. 

This offense should be better, and it is not because of the play at quarterback. So now Kirby Smart, who will live the rest of his days answering questions about how he “ran off” Justin Fields in favor of Jake Fromm (which is not based in reality), has to make a determination about what the future will be at Georgia at that spot. 

Kirby isn’t in an easy situation. On the one hand, is he willing to lose games in order to play someone like Beck? That assumes Beck will play worse than D’Wan Mathis or Bennett did in Jacksonville, and I am not sure I can reach that assumption so quickly. On the other hand is Kirby about winning right now?

If he’s about that then Bennett makes the most sense of the two players we have seen this year. Georgia will likely be a double-digit favorite in all of the games it plays from here on out. They were as much as a 14-point favorite at Missouri before that game was cancelled. They are 24-point favorites this week. The other two games are Vanderbilt and South Carolina. 

Right this moment is the time for real-world development of the quarterbacks he has on campus. I don’t have all the answers, but I know that I don’t know what Daniels and Beck look like in games. 

Kirby doesn’t know that, either.

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