“You just try to make the best decision you can to give your team an opportunity to win.”

Chip Towers summarizes the hand Kirby Smart currently holds at the quarterback position.

  • Junior Stetson Bennett, who started the last five games, did not practice last week due to a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. The time off this past weekend might facilitate a comeback. But, besides that, he has thrown six interceptions in Georgia’s last three games (against 3 TDs) while completing only 46 percent of his throws.
  • Redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis has struggled even more, completing just 40 percent of his passes for 38 yards with three interceptions and one TD.
  • The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Daniels, who started 12 games at Southern Cal, has taken first-team snaps in practice for the first time in the past week.
  • True freshman Carson Beck continues to practice with the scout team.

As well as key offensive stats.

The Bulldogs enter the seventh game of this 10-game regular season ranked 60th in scoring (29 ppg), 76th in total offense (382 ypg) and 80th in passing (209.3 ypg).

None of those represent much of an improvement over 2019, if at all.  And that’s with an upgrade at offensive coordinator.  That should give you a good idea of how great the lack of production has been at the quarterback position.  Worse, that’s been in a state of decline since the Tennessee game.  Georgia’s passer rating in its last three games:  102.99, 114.32 and (gulp!) 65.54.  (What stings particularly about that last number is that it came against a mediocre Florida secondary.)

Obviously, that isn’t sustainable.  And while Kirby is saying all the right things to avoid throwing any of his kids under the bus, there’s only so far he can go without looking like an idiot.

While Daniels is getting first team reps for the first time this season, I don’t want to pretend that means anything more than making sure he’s ready to go into a game if other options aren’t productive.  There has to be a reason it’s taken the time it has to give Daniels the chance to work with the first team.  That also means we should expect some issues with timing and communication that come with being the new kid on the block.

That being said, if Bennett remains the starter, honestly, I will be depressed.  Not because I don’t like the kid, but because I can only surmise that means Smart and Monken have determined he remains the best choice for Georgia to win, and what that says about what they have in the quarterback room.


Filed under Georgia Football

62 responses to ““You just try to make the best decision you can to give your team an opportunity to win.”

  1. Ran A

    I turn 62 next month. I was born a Dawg… Been with them through thick and thin for as long as I can remember. But if he starts Bennett, I’ll just treat the year as a complete throw-away and wait for Spring.

    Every Goal is now gone – East, Conference, Natty…

    Now is the time to get some guys on the field that you need to evaluate at every position, but especially at QB. We have a good enough sample size of Bennett and (as much as I like the kid) Mathis.

    Get Daniels and Beck on the field… Let’s see what they got…

    The goal should be to finish 8-2 and if there is a bowl game, go win that. Get that recruiting class completed and begin to figure out what players being able to transfer once means to Georgia’s kids on the team now and who may be a potential pick up.

    The season’s goals are lost. You now need to plan not only for next year but for the next several…

    It’s going to be a different game going forward, starting at the QB position and how your roster looks each year.

    Liked by 18 people

    • Tony BarnFart

      And honestly, what better year than 2020 to embrace that ? For all the mantras of “no throwaway games / seasons”, a mantra I’m normally a big believer in, everything with 2020 goes out the window. The conference and the country may not even finish the season. Hell the SEC title game is a month away and I’d say there’s a better than 50% chance that date gets moved……we could have division winners playing an uneven number of games. Add in that we have 4 beatable opponents that would give a perfect opportunity for getting feet wet, and it’s really a no-brainer.

      I would rather drop another game or two trying to see what Daniels or/and Beck have than go 4-0 handing the ball off 45 times.

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Your last paragraph is how I feel about the entire QB situation. Kirby had a mix of bad luck (Fromm & Newman’s decisions, Mathis’s health, lack of spring practice) and some bad decisions (in particular, what appears to be a mismanagement of the QB position after the Alabama game). He seems to be thinking now about what can he do to make sure BV doesn’t start looking around. Yes, it makes me nervous that Kirby may be staking his long-term future at UGA on a kid from a single A private high school.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If Kirby is worried about this BV kid enough to impact his coaching decisions, then he should quit now and save us all a bunch of grief. I doubt he is doing that though.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Derek

      This take doesn’t make any sense if beck or Daniels can play, you know because then he already has a kid who can play.

      The idea that Daniels wouldn’t know he was being held back, if that were the case, and wouldn’t lose all respect for the coaches over it and keep his mouth shut is a little silly.

      The idea that cks would essentially announce to the team: “ok guys we all know who the best qb is here but ‘fuck you’ I’m recruiting” seems unlikely.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I actually think Kirby thinks Daniels is a bridge to Vandagriff. That’s why Kirby took him.

        I think the Vandagriff angle is more about Beck than it is about Daniels. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.


        • Derek

          Same logic would apply. The players know who should be playing.

          If its that obvious that there is a qb ready to go, Kirby would lose to team if he didn’t play him.

          Liked by 4 people

          • siskey

            I agree with you, Derek. If Beck were heads and shoulders above Bennett, Mathis, and Daniels (which would only have to mean that he was a competent average SEC QB) then he would be getting to play. I do not think that any of our current QBs are even at that low bar thus leading to the sub-Joe Cox level of play we have seen to date. I do believe that one way or another Kirby will get it if not straightened out at least headed in the right direction the rest of this season.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Grafton

            Derek, logic and reason would show that Fromm clearly went to Kirby with questions on if he should stay and take us to a Natty, or go pro. Kirby clearly told Fromm that if he stayed that he would keep Coley and ruin his draft stock even more. He obviously ran Fields and Newman off and is only playing SB IV because he has a affinity for the postal service. Seems logical amirite?


          • bigjohnson1992

            Who says he hasn’t lost the team? It now looks like the defense has checked out along the way.


    • I still don’t get where you are coming from with the “Kirby mismanaged the QB situation after Alabama” remark. It’s fairly obvious that JT hasn’t been healthy enough to play, Dwan doesn’t have a good enough grasp on the playbook to be effective and Beck hasn’t repped enough to scratch the surface of the playbook and be game ready. Bennett literally was the only option. We need to get JT game reps and finish 8-2 and win the bowl game. Losing to the two championship game participants is not ideal but it’s preferable to a bed wetting loss against South Carolina or Mizzou.

      Liked by 2 people

      • He had two weeks to come up with a plan for Kentucky with the move of the off week. What did we do? Prepare to play manball while Bennett continued to be exposed.

        I guess my point is did Daniels’s knee suddenly get healthy over the last 10 days after Bennett got hurt? Doubtful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s been 3 weeks since Bama and the season is 8 weeks old so yes it’s very likely JT’s knee improved to a point where he feels comfortable playing on it and can worry about playing QB and not if his knee is going to collapse. As far as post Bama, Kirby literally had no choice but to continue to trot Bennett out there. Mathis was given a chance during the Bye and based on what we saw against UF the light just hasn’t come on for him yet. To reiterate once again, Beck doesn’t have the reps to see the field. As the 4th or 5th QB all summer he most likely got very limited reps. Once the season began it has been about getting Bennett and Mathis ready to play, JT asked to go run scout team so he could get work in because he wasn’t getting enough work with the 1’s or 2’s. There isn’t time in season to get a QB with limited knowledge and zero experience ready to play against SEC competition.


    • PTC DAWG

      What makes anyone think BV is “looking around”?

      He’s been one of our best recruiters…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. We should have open QB tryouts in downtown Atlanta. Kinda like Dick Vermeil did at Philly. It’s 2020, so we can get some crazy exemption if we find somebody who can actually throw a football.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. originaluglydawg

    “There has to be a reason”. Here are three possible ones.
    1. Kirby has a hidden and sinister reason. Maybe because he doesn’t want a great passing game because he only wants to run the ball. He willing chooses losing over having a good QB. Woody Hayes has possessed Kirby’s mind and psyche.
    2. Kirby is afraid that playing Daniels will scare away recruiting prospects.
    (when I was a teen I refused to date Bridget Bardot because I didn’t want to ruin my chances with Sophia Lauren.)
    3, Daniels has been injured, rusty and not ready.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    FFS, if we can’t beat MSU with any of those 4 QBs we should quit the season entirely. The remaining season is little more than a series of scrimmages anyway.

    If Daniels is a no-go and we’re gonna start Bennett, at least bring Beck in for a handful of scripted plays to see what he can do.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. If Daniels starts and plays well, I’m going to have even more questions and concerns about this staff. The QB position has been an anomaly during Smart’s tenure.


    • It’s really not. It means that JT hasn’t been healthy enough to play. That’s it. No “Kirby just wants to play MANBALL” or “Kirby is starting Bennett just to screw with the fan base”. Sometimes the simplest explanation is the most likely.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Migraine Boy

        RUMOR TIME!!:
        Heard that it was an insurance policy that they were waiting on for Daniels that finally came through, so he’s good to take the field now.

        Liked by 1 person

        • spur21

          That actually makes more sense than anything posted here.


        • gurkhadawg

          Simple + makes sense = probably true

          The only thing is, if he comes in a does a good solid job, I’m gonna fucking kill myself. Thinking what could have been against Bama and FU. Most Georgia thing ever.


    • charlottedawg

      I would much rather Daniels play well and kirby to get second guessed than for him to play like shit and the fan base know EXACTLY why he wasn’t starting. The latter is going to be the more likely scenario, coaches are going to play the guy they feel gives them the best chance to win. If Daniels hasn’t started,nthe most likely reason is because he’s looked worse than stetson and dwan in practice, which means he must be playing awful.


  7. stoopnagle

    Man, can you believe the amount of angst across Dawgnation if Daniels starts then lays a big fat egg against MSU? I know there’ll be a few who just move on to the true freshman who wasn’t that great his senior year, but I think most of us will really hit a nadir.

    Because if Daniels isn’t at least competent, that opening game in Charlotte is going to start looking awfully ill-timed.


  8. charlottedawg

    Man if only someone could have predicted that if Stetson bennett a walk on was the starting qb that was a sad commentary on the state of the qb talent at georgia. Who could have seen this coming amirite? I for one am shocked, corch assured me that stetson was gonna be as good as baker mayfield and doug flutie and that because mathis was offered by urban Meyer at osu he was going to be really special. Well I guess dwan has been special, in a short school bus kinda way but special…..


    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Truth

    Something else in this post caught my eye. The stats I found online indicated that UGA’s 29 ppg this year is T-54, not 60th. That’s not a big deal. The big deal is that in 2003, the earliest year this website had stats listed, UGA’s 29 ppg would have ranked them 34th.

    Times are and have been changing and we’re not keeping up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    all this hand wringing over our QB FUBAR can be summed up like this…
    “Jaime Newman royally fucked us so fuck him and the mule he road in on.”
    to me it is just that simple. all this other noise is just a lot folks gripping their manginas to hard.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. 69Dawg

    I’ll give this QB thing a try. Last night I spent an hour watching Beck’s highlight tapes at Brooks Austin’s site. His junior tape was better than his senior tape but he lost all but one starting guard off of his Junior year. The kid is, from an arm and mechanics standpoint, better than all the other QB’s we have. He is not the athlete that D’Wan is but he can throw with him. He will be in the transfer portal at the end of the season because he is being totally wasted on scout team. I think that Kirby is is trying to keep Van on board. If Beck goes to another Power 5 team we will be kicking ourselves once again. I hope he loves it at UGA but the guy is a player and players want play.


    • HS tape and SEC defenses are two totally different things. I really like what Beck brings to the table from an arm/mobility standpoint. If we had a normal spring and summer who knows maybe Beck is starting by now and looks good. To think that Kirby is purposely sabotaging his own team in order to keep a recruit is laughable. If Beck leaves without going through an offseason and competing in the fall for the starting QB job with JT and BVG then I don’t want him to stay. If you are afraid of competition the SEC ain’t for you brother. Not to mention with this year no counting and the one time free transfer coming on line for 2021 he really has nothing to lose by staying


  12. bcdawg97

    I don’t think it so much about what the coaches know. I trust the coaches to see who is the best in practice, but at this point it is more just what do you have to lose by trying the other 2? Live action might make all the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. spur21

    Bottom line – you either trust Kirby or you don’t. All this blah blah blah is nothing but fill.


  14. mddawg

    Jump to the 1-minute mark of the video below for a good laugh at our QB situation.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. PTC DAWG

    Y’all ready for the Black Jerseys?

    Fine by me…


    • stoopnagle

      Totally. I’m pro-black jerseys every now and again.

      I’m not real excited about how they got all cluttered up with that collar thing and the Nike Dawg on the sleeve. Seems to me just taking what we wear, make it black, wear it every 2-4 years or so would be a nice fun thing to do for the kids.


  16. practicaldawg

    There are bad years at QB, and then there is 2020 UGA. From Newman quitting pre-season to Mathis’s seeming inability to look like he’s ever played football in live game action, I’m not sure it could be worse. Then again, the season isn’t over.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bigjohnson1992

      When the qb you chose to start the season is now being discussed for a position change to wr, you have officially crapped the bed.


  17. Russ

    These stats match what I see. Basically every other team I watch has better QB play, including on Tuesday night MACtion.


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