That may not be exactly “other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?” (Georgia did win, after all), but it’s uncomfortably close enough.
It’s not exactly accurate, either, in that he forgot about his fumble that, fortunately, a teammate fell on. Which brings me to something Kirby Smart said about Bennett’s bye week.
He didn’t work hard enough, evidently.
With regard to the interceptions, both contained the common thread of having an open receiver that Bennett ignored or otherwise failed to notice — Jackson clearing over the middle on the first and
White Milton coming out of the backfield on the second — both of which were easy to see on the television broadcast as the plays ran. Beyond that, each was notable in terms of exposing Bennett’s questionable decision making.
The first, the ball batted at the line and caught by the defender, came as a result of Bennett rolling directly into the lineman’s path while locked into the receiver. I’m tired of Bennett’s height being made the sole culprit of all these batted balls. The reality is that his situational awareness is subpar.
That’s exactly right. I watched Finley, LSU’s 6-5 quarterback, make the same mistake against Auburn. Height wasn’t the issue; poor decision making was. The thing is, Finley’s a true freshman figuring his way around. Bennett doesn’t have that excuse.
The same could be said for the second pick, although some blame has to go Rosemy-Jacksaint’s way for giving up on the route and not occupying the defensive back. But read Kirby’s explanation for the throw:
… Smart said Bennett really had just one “poor decision” when he didn’t check down instead of throwing a pass he tried to toss out of bounds but didn’t get it far enough.
The check down was in his line of sight as he tried to throw the ball away. It was an easy throw to a wide open target. In other words, the kind of thing we were assured Bennett worked hard on during the two weeks leading up to the game.
I get no pleasure from the criticism. He’s a good kid. He has his teammates’ support. As Smart also noted, he made his share of good plays in the game, too. (That throw to Washington was gorgeous.)
But it’s pretty obvious at this point that the coaches don’t trust him in the passing game. He only had fourteen attempts yesterday. That’s the smallest number from a Georgia offense since last year’s Kentucky game, which at least had the excuse of being played in a windy monsoon. And Fromm didn’t turn the ball over.
Throwing an interception every seven attempts isn’t going to increase their confidence. In fact, you start to wonder how long Smart can risk that, until you realize the coaches already know what they’ve got. If there were a better option, we’d know about it.
When Bennett says, “we have to figure out what happened“, he’s sliding by the real issue. The coaches know what happened. What they have to figure out is whether he can be coached out of making the same mistakes over and over again. And soon.