I blame Newman.

I know everyone is focused on all the batted passes at the line of scrimmage, but this is the recurring part of Stetson’s game I find most frustrating:

He’s got time.  He’s got a nice pocket to throw from.  He’s got McKitty standing right in front of him for an easy completion.  I don’t know if he would have made it to the first down marker, but at worst, it sets up a shorter field goal attempt at a time when a score would have slowed, if not blunted, Alabama’s momentum.

I know I repeat myself, but Monken’s scheme routinely gets receivers open looks for the quarterback.  Saturday night, there were plays for the tight ends much of the night.  They wound up with two catches.

I’m not trying to dump on Bennett here.  He’s been dealt a tough hand (not that he’s complaining).  But it’s clear that his lack of preparation during the preseason is limiting what the offense is doing.

The good news is that they’ve got two weeks to get Bennett more comfortable seeing his options all over the field.  Let’s hope they can.

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UPDATE:  Here’s another example.

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UPDATE:  Danielson took note of this one during the broadcast.  Look at Cook, out in the flat to the top of the screen.

James Cook was free in the flat.

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

58 responses to “I blame Newman.

  1. DawgStats

    Like

    • bucketheridge

      Bennett had the slot open for another easy pass on 2nd down and in nearly the same spot on the field as McKinney was on 3rd, although running in to his right. Bama took advantage of a guy trying to do too much. Hopefully that can be remedied. For some it can, for others it can’t.

      Liked by 3 people

    • jdawg108

      And on first down he could have dumped it to cook. Yes there’s a LB there but that play would’ve probably picked up 5 yards, maybe more if Cook makes him miss.

      It’s like he has a Napoleon complex and needs to prove how good he is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gastr1

        Are you kidding? Of course he has that. It’s how he’s gotten anywhere at all. But in addition, his lack of experience with the OC and his teammates means he’s relying on old tricks and tendencies rather than really seeing the play. As others have said, this would seem to be fixable with more game experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jdawg108

          At some point you have to settle and realize you’re the guy, and not force shit. Is decision making fixable? Especially with big game pressure. Or is that what he reverts to? Remains to be seen. “Seeing the play”… at 5’9. I think we’ve seen his ceiling and the question is do we roll the dice for something bigger or settle for getting beat in the SEC championship again.

          2 second half interceptions, both preventable. Suddenly we’re down 17.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Tony BarnFart

        I like Stetson and I think he’s pretty good and makes our offense tough to defend…..But, he did have 14 interceptions the year he was with Jones County CC in Mississippi. He has a reputation as a risk taker. I don’t want to throw ice water on him like they did to Fromm last year, but Jesus he has to hit the check down.

        Like

  2. mp

    I will say that it looked like Bennett had very limited experience reading and attacking zone defense

    Like

    • spur21

      Looked to me like Bennett decided before the snap where he was going. He didn’t appear to be going through any progressions. But I’m not a coach – just a casual observer. As others have noted Monken’s passing tree had guys open on every play Bennett just didn’t see them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Both the TEs up the middle and passes to the flat often were open regularly. Perhaps this is the thing we have heard with SBIV being a “gunslinger” — that he hates check downs and would rather chuck it downfield into coverage instead.

    Somewhere between Fromm’s extreme caution last year and Bennett’s gunslinger tendencies, there’s a really good QB. I’d just like to know his name and if he is on the roster.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Teacher Martin

    My question is how could Kirby go out and get aNewman who was supposed to be the be all end all and then he winds up deserted the team? Was he really all they said he was or is this just the Georgia way?

    Like

  5. Migraine Boy

    Or, catch a ball that hits you in the hands…

    Like

  6. munsonlarryfkajim

    F me. Turning point in the game.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. sniffer

    Two weeks to get him ready? All the time in the world won’t grow him four inches or improve his instincts. Instincts which are poor to begin with. Kirby’s problem is “win now, maybe” or “win later” with the qb of the future. Getting to the conference championship is not the goal. Winning it is. Kirby is 1-2 and looking at a third loss in ATL if he makes the easy decision. We won’t beat Bama with Bennett and probably won’t with any of the others in that room. But an 11-2 record with a trip to Orlando is no big accomplishment and satisfy no one. Play for next year. Hell, who’s to say Covid won’t put stress on spring practice, too, and put the development of next years starter on hold. Again.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. mddawg

    I’m probably showing my ignorance here when it comes to X’s and O’s, but I’m guessing the progression goes from deep to intermediate to short. So if he sees someone downfield that he thinks is open, his eyes aren’t even going to make it to McKitty before he unloads the ball, right? And I thought Danielson was overly critical of that pass during the broadcast. It wasn’t perfectly thrown, but it did go right through the receiver’s hands, so I don’t put the blame 100% on Bennett for that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Down Island Way

      This decision is on the staff to get UGA QB ready week in and week out…it’s pretty clear the receivers have studied the play book and have an idea of what the situation calls for, tooooo much film for the current UGA QB to look at and see those open team mates down field….time to take a deep breath, relax and move forward both offensively and defensively…

      Like

    • That was a tough pass 6o alligator arm

      Like

  9. Randy Adams

    The Stetson story is great! We all love the kid… But… I think you’ll see a hand off to JT. Lots of reps this week and next – splitting with SB. Start SB and work JT in. If they do not just start him outright – he’s the QB by the UF. game. (But do you really want a QB’S first game to be that one)?

    All kinds of risk to this. Starting with. J.T. getting hurt. Kentucky is now playing like many of us thought Kentucky would play this year. While they are not a slam dunk, barring a big loss in turnovers, Georgia defense is just too much for. this group. They will not get pass 17 points. – tops.

    UF doesn’t have a running game, so Georgia can attack them much the same way they attack everyone else. Similar plan to last year, I would imagine. But this is the one team that could beat us that is left on the schedule. They take risk on the defensive side of the ball. That’s not going to change – and with JT potentially starting his first game against the Gators. Maybe he comes off the bench again, but gets most of the snaps.

    Bottom-line; you are trying to get him ready for Alabama. That means as many snaps as possible on the field between now the SEC Championship. The obvious risk being that a change in QB could cost you a game between now and that game.

    Soo… Do you play it safe and go for the 4 game sweep of UF and UT and 4 of 5 of Auburn (SEC Championship) and another East – only to likely lose in the dome? Or do you begin a true new era of offensive football at Georgia, using the rest of the year to catch up with everyone else? That’s the question.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Previously Paul

    I think we’ve seen Stetson’s ceiling. He’s played college ball for four years. Three at Georgia. I don’t think he’s getting any better. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a DGD, a great kid and a great story. But if we ride him all year we’re simply going to lose to Alabama again if we make it to the SEC championship. Unfortunately, I don’t think Kirby is inclined to replace him. This despite the fact that his predecessor got canned for not being able to get past the SECC. Going to the next level requires stellar quarterback play. We’re not getting that the last couple of years. This has to be priority one moving forward. More important than defense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dawg93

      I think you’re overselling Bennett’s prior experience. He was a walkon in 2017 and ran scout team. Then went to a JUCO in Mississippi and played for a full season in 2018, posting decent but not great stats. Team did well though. Then came back to UGA last year to be the primary backup to Fromm. And then this offseason he became 4th string and wasn’t getting a ton of practice reps because of it. Newman opts out mid-camp, Mathis & Daniels become the focus of the job and even Aaron Murray was on Twitter after seeing a scrimmage pumping up Carson Beck. How many snaps did Bennett get in the scrimmages? He was hardly ever mentioned in scrimmage reports, although I’m sure he played some.

      He’s certainly been around and is mature. He’s not right out of HS. But “he’s played college ball for 4 years” is just misleading. In only his 3rd start at the FBS level, he had us beating the #2 team in the country at their place at halftime. He absolutely has his limitations, I totally agree. But I think it’s a pipe dream to think that we have a QB on our roster right now who is that much of a better option, given that Daniels’ knee still seems to be an issue. Might as well see what Bennett can do to get better by playing the rest of the season and learning each week. By the time we get to game 11 in Atlanta, he could be a lot better with his decision-making.

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      • Previously Paul

        I have no doubt the coaches put him on the field because they believe Stetson gives us our best chance to win. It’s unfortunate that he is our best at the moment. I do not blame Stetson for the loss. The team obviously loves him and plays well under his direction. He’s playing to his potential in my opinion. But we need better quarterback play if we ever want to do more than win the East. We have to recruit, keep and develop better quarterbacks moving forward. It has to be our top priority.

        Like

        • Dawg93

          I don’t disagree with that at all. But isn’t Kirby doing that? If you’re posting on this blog, I would assume you’re well aware of the circumstances of why we’re in this position of having to start Bennett, so I won’t recount all of it. At the end of the day, Jamie Newman should be our starting QB. I could also say that Jake Fromm should have been or that Justin Fields should have been. Or that JT Daniels should be (and who knows, he still might be once it’s all said and done).

          Going into next season, we’ll have Bennett, Mathis, Daniels, Beck and Vandagriff in the QB room, assuming no one transfers out. I’m assuming one or two will, that’s just how it goes these days. Even so, we won’t lack for talent at QB.

          Like

          • Previously Paul

            Your point is valid. So I guess I should have said we need to focus on keeping and developing our quarterbacks once we get them on campus.

            Like

      • “given that Daniels’ knee still seems to be an issue”

        Daniels is cleared by the training staff for contact. If he had been cleared to play at Arkansas, I don’t think Mathis would have been the starter. SBIV was the first guy available off the bench in Fayette-Nam. Once he played well, he earned each of the next 3 starts. The question is whether there is going to be a QB competition during the bye week. I personally think there should be … the guy you plan to start in Jacksonville has to start next Saturday in bluegrass country.

        Like

        • Dawg93

          then why is Daniels running 3rd team right now? That’s my point – he’s “cleared for contact”, sure. But how well is he performing with that knee? Bennett will start vs UK. They’re playing some very good defense right now and will be very challenging for our offense. I’m glad they moved the game back so that we have extra time for the offense to prep, Bennett can study film (his own and UK’s) and it gives Daniels’ knee more time. Maybe he moves up to 2nd string by UK? Comments by Anthony Dasher and others in the know on the DawgVent indicate that his knee just isn’t allowing Daniels to do everything Monken needs/wants him to do in terms of mobility. If Bennett performs solidly vs UK & UF, I think he’ll hold on to the job the rest of the way. If he struggles, I think they’d consider making a change vs. Mizzou, giving a new QB (presumably Daniels) starts vs. Mizzou, Miss St, SC & Vandy to get ready for the SECCG (assuming we make it, which we might not if Bennett struggles enough vs UK/UF to warrant a QB change).

          Point being – if Mathis is really our #2 guy, after what we witnessed vs. Arky in that first half, you have to think Daniels’ knee is still limiting him. And some of the scuttlebutt coming from Athens seems to confirm that. I would love to hear that Daniels has moved up to 2nd team in time for UK so that he’s ready to go, in case Bennett struggles vs. the Cats.

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Dawg93

    I know it’s easy to clamor for Kirby to replace Bennett at this point, but I do believe a lot of his mistakes are correctable between now and an SECCG rematch with Bama. The good news is that winning out assures us of that rematch and now Bennett has another game under his belt (with a lot of mistakes) plus 2 weeks of practice before his next outing. And he’ll need it facing a stingy UK defense.

    I just don’t see another QB being considered unless/until Bennett has a massive meltdown in a game like UK or UF. And then who do you turn to? Mathis has played roughly 2 quarters of football and just didn’t seem ready. JT Daniels’ knee seems to still be an issue – no one seems to really know the whole story there but the fact that’s running 3rd team behind Mathis tells you all you need to know, that he’s just not a factor at this point for whatever reason. Obviously Carson Beck isn’t an option if those guys are all ahead of him.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Migraine Boy

      Yep – I agree with all of this

      Liked by 1 person

    • theotherdoug

      If the best we got is Bennett it’s another throw away season. He can beat the bottom half of the conference and get the team to Atlanta. but then it’ll get ugly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tony BarnFart

        Just the bottom half ? I feel completely confident we can go 9-1 in the SEC with Bennett.

        I personally think we can beat Alabama with Stetson Bennett. To me, his shortcomings were in decision making rather than talent. If he makes better decisions, we hit check downs and crossing routes most of the night for 8-15 yards a pop. You could change 2 or 3 plays in that game and it goes to the wire.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Russ

          I agree. We were beating them straight up at half and it was a game into the 3rd quarter, then got away from us. Coach Bennett to make better decisions, coach the defense to keep those receivers in front of you and tee it up this December.

          Like

          • sniffer

            I would love to think all Bennett needs is “coaching”. I’m baffled at the number of balls batted down or redirected at the line. Does this happen in practice? With the best defense in the nation? You have to think so, so where is the coaching to avoid those? If they’re not avoidable, we are starting the wrong guy for the future.

            Like

  12. He also missed James Cook in the flat on what Fromm what have thrown as the first option. Everybody blitzed from that side of the field and Cook was left all alone and probably would have scored a TD. Bennett threw to the other side incomplete. I mention Fromm because that became a staple of his. When the blitz comes, he checked down behind it with great success. That comes from lots of game experience, which Bennett is short on.

    For all the happy talk about his arm and hand size, his passes lack zip. Maybe they clock higher in practice, but when the lights go up the rpms go down. Alabama clearly focused on the DTs batting balls down all week, and it got in SB4’s head. That’s a primary reason (I surmise) he missed those two wide-open TD’s with awful, high throws before hitting Burton. So can a short QB with an average arm and no experience take this team where it wants to go? No. It cannot. The college game has become a QB game much like the NFL. If you don’t have one, you can’t win it all. With Lawrence, Fields, and Jones leading the other juggernauts, UGA has the Mailman. Those other three teams have defenses and running games, too.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. Derek

    The one that got me was the one where Cook is standing alone in the right flat and Bennett throws it into triple coverage instead. Doh!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Russ

    Bennett is showing the lack of prep. But his arm is fine. His timing is getting better and he didn’t underthrow any long balls like before. In fact, he overthrew Burton by 2-3 yard and that’s the fastest guy we’ve got. There’s a fine line between getting the ball out quickly and holding it too long to look at all the receivers. I personally didn’t think the throw to Burton was that bad, but the result certainly was as bad as it could be.

    If we have someone better, put him in. But I suspect Stet is the most prepared QB we have right now. I’m counting on Monken to tailor the offense around Bennett and win with him. Bennett has enough talent and we’re paying the coaches enough. Get ‘er done!

    Like

  15. Russ

    All the examples posted above are great teachable moments. I expect a much better performance going forward.

    And I expect Kirby to show the defense all their lapses and have fixes in place by December.

    Like

  16. 123 Fake St

    No. We have two weeks to get Daniels or Mathis in there.
    I love Bennett, but he is not the guy. He’s going to be a Pharmacist one day, NOT a QB.

    Like

    • Like many have mentioned above – Daniels must really still be showing hesitation with his knee recovery. If that is the case, I don’t think we can do anything but stick with Bennett, unfortunately. I wish that were not the case. Mathis looked lost week 1 and has been in pout mode ever since. As my Auburn friends pointed out to me several weeks ago, Bennett looks like a kicker out there against SEC teams, and I can’t really argue that point. Teams with a good D line are going to effectively limit his vision and passing lanes, so if he can’t or won’t check down, we will struggle all year.

      Georgia is in a position of perpetual “almost there” the past few seasons, so it will be interesting to see how Kirby goes about things with the QB. Play for now (SBIV) or the future (Daniels or someone else). I’d be shocked if Mathis (Maybe even Beck?) don’t transfer after this season if the coaches are not even willing to give them a shot. I know we have a big 5 star coming in right now, but rarely do they see the field early, outside of guys like Lawrence.

      Like