Some Bennett stats

Yesterday, SEC StatCat unloaded a massive amount of data on Twitter.  With regard to Stetson Bennett, the overall impression I gleaned from it is that through four games, with some good and some not so good, he’s essentially an average quarterback, statistically speaking.

Rather than address the larger scale question of how far Georgia can go this season with an average quarterback (I’ll save that debate for another day), I thought I’d look at some particular stats to point out/reinforce some perceptions I have of Bennett’s game so far.

First, the good.  Bennett has done some of his best work on third down.

Insert Todd Grantham snark here.

Now, the not so good, starting with something that caught up with Bennett in Tuscaloosa:

That’s with Bennett sitting ninth in the conference in pass attempts per game.  I don’t imagine that’s giving his head coach the warm and fuzzies, especially given Monken’s success in freeing up open receivers.

As uncomfortable as that might be for Smart, this is probably worse.

Mechanics?  Bad reads?  Over-concerned about defensive pressure?  Who knows, but that ain’t good at all.

And here’s one puzzler for me:

Monken isn’t adverse to using the screen pass and Georgia’s got a couple of good receiving options out of the backfield, so how do you explain the obvious reluctance to call so few screens?

I should add one non-StatCat stat that popped up on Twitter.

I can’t help but think how opposite Georgia’s passing attack is from the 2019 version.  Bennett likes throwing over the middle, takes risks and flourishes against the same coverage Fromm struggled with over the second half last year.  Georgia probably won’t see much man coverage from here on out until Bennett proves he can deal better with the zone.

The picture I get here is a quarterback who’s a little too erratic for the offense’s good.  I tend to chalk that up to that lack of reps problem from the preseason I’ve mentioned, but I have to admit if Bennett isn’t on the road to recovery after bye week practices, Smart’s got some real soul searching to do about the position.  Your thoughts?

56 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

56 responses to “Some Bennett stats

  1. DawgStats

    That PFF is stupid. According to Sports info Solution stats. Bennett has 9 drop backs v Man. He’s 5/8 with a TD. Small sample size. If we believe that 20% of his catches was uncatchable and one drop back was a sack (or scramble) one of his passes was uncatchable.

    Imagine game planning versus a QB whose passes are uncatchable 20% of the time.

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    • Game planning? I’d play a lot of zone and wait for Bennett to screw up.

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      • James A Mercer Jr

        Alll stats aside, I’m just amused at the “let’s get off the SBIV bandwagon now that he’s lost a game” crowd. Up to game four he was inundated by a lovefest of armchair experts. So one game versus the number two team in the nation and the unquestionable number one coach in the nation, and we’ve given up on the “guy who brung us”. There’s possibly a better QB in the room but given the on-field results by SBIV we’re being a bit quick on giving up on him.

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      • Down Island Way

        The UGA “OC” will see those coverages and make in game adjustments accordingly, tooooo many tools in the lunch box……

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  2. DawgStats

    If we love PFF…

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  3. munsonlarryfkajim

    As smart said during preseason when talking about how reps were being split – we know what Bennet can do. And it’s very average with demerits in a few areas that drive Kirby crazy. This is why he was buried on the depth chart.
    It has been proven the last few years that average QB play does not win championships

    Now we are in season and those reps are as precious as ever. Agree with what you are implying – this week we either figure out how to roll with Bennett or we get someone else ready, assuming there is in fact someone else to get ready

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Godawg

    With all the open receivers, I think you have to try a QB who can see over the line. Whether that’s Daniels, Mathis or Beck, I don’t know since I’m not at practice. I trust Monken and Kirby to make that call but I think you have to at least try it for a couple of series or three.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. bcdawg97

    I get the idea of limited reps to go around and that given his “experience” it made sense to roll with SB, but at this point when you know his ceiling, we should be giving reps to a QB who’s ceiling is higher and can take us to championships.

    Liked by 2 people

    • biggusrickus

      Like who? We’ve seen Mathis be overwhelmed, so unless Daniels is ready to go (and better than Bennett, which people seem to take for granted), the other option is a true freshman.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jdawg108

        We also saw the entire O be overwhelmed by a better than expected Arkansas D that we couldn’t just roll over. How much of that is due to Mathis and how much due to planning, we won’t know. But the kid was shoved into an unfortunate situation that nobody on the team had prepared for. Arkansas is surprisingly stout, but we panicked because we were being beat by a “horrible team”. Plus, the kid got some HORRIBLE breaks with o line play.

        Liked by 3 people

        • biggusrickus

          And yet, the offense actually functioned when he was pulled. The offensive line had a rough first half, I’ll grant you, but Mathis was still awful.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Great points here. Mathis did look not ready, but with the way the line was playing, I don’t think anyone on the roster would have looking better. And we all thought Arky was still terrible on defense and…turns out they’re one of the better defenses in the SEC.

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          • jdawg108

            Dial up the Arkansas game with 6:30 left in the fourth. Mathis delivers a beautiful ball, on Stetson cannot throw. Then watch his body language. Nothing went right for him that day. Some self inflicted, a lot not.

            He was punched in the mouth in the 1st quarter. Hard. They fixed our o-line issues, got our running game going. Bennett benefited from that.

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      • bcdawg97

        Like everyone else, wish we had the answers on Daniels. He was a 5 star with experience and is cleared to play. Mathis wasn’t overwhelmed when he was getting the reps in preseason to be named QB1 to start the season. Maybe it changes with the off week, but why is it Mathis gets benched after a single half but Bennett keeps getting chances?

        Liked by 1 person

        • biggusrickus

          Because Bennett hasn’t been a disaster. Look, I would love nothing more than to see Mathis come back and be good someday, but at no point, even with his terrible second half against Bama, has Bennett looked as lost as Mathis did in that first half of the Arkansas game.

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          • bcdawg97

            I’m not saying Bennett is terrible (and yes, Dwan was a disaster out of the gate). Absolutely Bennett is a serviceable QB, but we don’t need serviceable. I’d rather give the experience and reps to someone with more upside. ASEF said it best – who elevates us by the time we get back to the SECC? But is Kirby too risk averse to give it a try… who knows.

            Liked by 1 person

            • biggusrickus

              I don’t think it’s that simple. What if Mathis or Beck or Daniels doesn’t develop? What if Bennett is capable of developing into something better than he is now? You also have to make sure you win the rest of the games in order to get to that rematch. People are making a lot of assumptions about the upsides of these guys. Sometimes, the most physically gifted player simply isn’t the best option.

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              • bcdawg97

                I will concede that Mathis, Beck or Daniels may not develop, but that’s the same coin of assuming Bennett can develop. Can he keep from reverting into gunslinging mode? Can he go through progressions? I think we’ve got enough talent on the roster to manage the remaining schedule while letting one of the others develop. The other way I think about it though – 5 years in and there is no reason that SB should be QB1 at UGA.

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                • biggusrickus

                  Fields transferred and Fromm went pro. Add in the truncated offseason and Newman opting out, and here we are. It’s not like they intended to have Bennett be the starter.

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              • jdawg108

                Bennett is the oldest with the most experience. Chances are we have seen his ceiling.

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                • biggusrickus

                  Maybe. I still don’t know why people assume if you just play someone, they’ll magically be better by the end of the year.

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                • jdawg108

                  What’s more insane? Assuming a senior with head qb experience is going to improve vastly, or two underclassmen, one of whom has had less than two quarters of college game experience, are going to improve?

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                • biggity ben

                  Actually JT Daniels has more experience than Bennett. I’m not counting that garbage at JUCO.

                  Liked by 1 person

        • dawgman3000

          Mathis needs to be brought along slowly by giving him any available mop up duty. He has potential, but he’s not ready right now IMO.

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    • J.R. Clark

      What if he is the best QB we’ve got?

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  6. ASEF

    The team at the moment is one position shy of being competitive for a national championship.

    The team has enough talent and playmakers to beat anyone in the country not named Clemson, Ohio State or Alabama with the Senator playing QB.

    What guy would be the best QB by the SEC Championship, given the reps? Rep that guy.

    Liked by 11 people

  7. bcdawg97

    ^^^^ This

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sam Johnson

    The interceptable pass rate is worrisome. His juco td/ int was 16/14. I have a hard time believing (accepting?) he is the best we have.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Russ

    Those stats tell me Bennett is right there with pre-season Heisman winners Bo Nix and Kellen Mond, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. spur21

    The stats indicate Stetson is “average”. If that’s true then I would guess the other 3 QB’s are “average” or better. I don’t think “reps” will raise Stetson much beyond “average” given his history so why not try something different?

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  11. PTC DAWG

    My thoughts are the East is the ceiling with Stetson…if he plays vs UF the way he did vs Bama, we could very well lose that one too…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Leggo5

    The interceptable pass rate combined with his weaker stats against zone is worrisome going into UK. Kentucky being the team with the Zone D schemes that picked Costello 6 times and Guarantano 3 times.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. classiccitycanine

    Looks like Bennett is the same mediocre QB who threw as many interceptions as touchdowns at Jones College. I can’t believe he’s the best we’ve got. Hopefully Kirby is getting someone else ready during the break.

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  14. FlyingPeakDawg

    Just wondering if a scout team QB once asked to mimic Baker Mayfield is naturally inclined to forego mechanics and be a gunslinger. Didn’t Kirby need him to be aggressive in practices? It’s not like we needed SB to mimic Jake Fromm. He got thrown into live action in an emergency…why expect the scout team guy to have the polish of a starter?

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  15. signaldawg

    Bennett is who he is. He’s got a gunslinger mentality, wants to throw over the middle, and doesn’t go through progressions well enough. If you try to change that you are only going to make him think more instead of rely on his instincts. That leads to more mistakes. I feel like he’s too far along in his career to change much now. You have to roll with his skillset and instincts a this point by adapting play calling or go with someone else. I’m not saying he can’t improve certain parts of his game, but some things you just can’t change no matter how many reps in practice he gets. Come game time, he’s going to revert back to the things he’s always done.

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  16. TripleB

    I think you’ve go to give your next best option a chance in the game. I would not wait until after the Kentucky game. See what you have at Kentucky in the second game. Give him the second quarter. The competition will either help Bennett, or it will reveal that he can’t handle the pressure.

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  17. Derek

    Can I assume batted balls are uncatchable?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Why is anyone surprised that the guy that got the least amount of reps with the first team receivers, until the second week of the season, has a game he struggles in the first part of the year?

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  19. Bennett has done a great job for us, and he is a DGD. That said, our ceiling with him has been reached. It chaps my ass a little that we are apparently back against our old familiar foe, roster mismanagement. Kirby was supposed to get us past bullshit like this, but instead here we are AGAIN. Except this time, it isn’t only a weak position group like WR, but instead it is the most important position in the game. Clemson, Bama, and the Suckeyes each have NFL talent at QB, and we have a walk-on. Kirby blew it this year. He has an all world defense without a consistent, dependable offense. He needs to cut his losses now and start preparing whoever will play QB next year. At this point, you will not be able to convince me that missing ATL would be worse than losing to Bama again, which is a guarantee with our current QB and we all know it. No, pull Bennett, play someone else…losses be damned. Losing to Bama again will hurt recruiting worse than not playing them all. We would look like a perennial runner up, and nobody wants to play for the first loser.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim B

      Whoever starts this season other than Bennett will be our qb for at least the next two seasons as well so if they throw in the towel on Bennett they will be in much the same situation as with Fromm if their choice fails to develop. With the free transfer rule in place I’d prefer to stick with Bennett and hope he improves some and find a hired gun or two to compete with the other three this spring.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Brock is in HS….

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    • spur21

      Not so sure Kirby blew it. He brought in two highly regarded transfers and signed a 5 star prospect.
      Can’t fault Kirby for one transfer bolting and another apparently not 100% healthy.

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  20. I figured he had to be up there in interceptable passes. He’s fortunate that every team he’s faced this season has had DBs with butter fingers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Relative to the other SEC QBs, he’s much less accurate than I thought he was. Ouch!

    Don’t we have to give Daniels a shot? Maybe they can coach Bennett up in short order.

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  22. 69Dawg

    Well it’s not all Bennet. Our WRs with the exception of GP are not catching the hard ones. UA, receivers caught ever ball that was catchable even with our defenders all over them. We dropped the contested balls.

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