“You know what you’ve got with Stetson Bennett.”

As someone who personally witnessed Greyson Lambert’s day for the record books, I’m not here to slobber all over The Mailman.  But I must say I’m very much puzzled by the online sentiment I’ve seen from a chunk of the fan base that’s disappointed, not in Bennett’s performance (nobody’s that stubborn), but in Smart’s decision to let Bennett take the field in the first place.

That’s really weird, for several reasons.  For one thing, let’s say for the sake of argument that Daniels convinced his coaches he was ready to play and turned in a dominant first half, only to turn the game over to Beck in the second half.  Would the same folks be complaining that the staff knows what it has in Daniels and should have let Beck start?  Don’t be absurd.  (Now that I think about it, Logan Booker might.  But I digress.)  The fact is that Beck got substantial playing time Saturday and the coaches left the playbook open for him.  And if South Carolina lives up to our expectations, that’s likely to be repeated, regardless of who Georgia’s starter is.

Aside from that, did we really know what Georgia had in Bennett, who turned in a flawless performance?  Was it so unexpected that a year of Monken’s tutelage wouldn’t rub off to some extent?  I saw two areas of clear improvement from Stetson.  He consistently found the open receiver, which tells me he’s bought in to Monken’s play design and started to trust that there are open players on almost every play.  Also, go back and check that long TD throw to Bowers — Bennett puts Daniels-esque air under that toss; it’s a pass he never would have made last season.

If you brush off Bennett’s performance by saying it was all about the opposition, fine.  Just give me a list of every starting quarterback this season that’s turned in a performance garnering a passer rating north of 400.  I’ll wait.  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The other thing in play here with regard to choosing a starter is that, unlike you or I, Smart and Monken have had the chance to watch Beck and Bennett all preseason.  Kirby gave his reason for the decision as this:

The decision to go with Stetson…we are really young offensively, we have a lot of guys who are injured or out, whether it be Kearis (Jackson), George (Pickens), Darnell (Washington). We just have a lot of young players who are trying to grow up and we thought it would give a calming effect to have him in with his experience and his ability to play in games.

That doesn’t strike me as outlandish in the slightest.  Georgia barely registered 250 yards of offense in the opener.  An offensive clunker against a mid-major defense, even one as credible as UAB’s, might have had the team questioning itself and undoing some of the positivity flowing from the Clemson win.  (And, I hate to say it, but it’s the times we live in, might have the media and the  selection committee thinking the same thing.)

Look where Kirby sits this morning.  He knows he’s got a solid backup in Bennett.  He knows he got Beck some significant development time, with more to come, and gave the staff some clear indications where Beck needs more grooming and work.  There is no quarterback controversy.  Instead, there’s a reliable pecking order and a team that’s confident there’s a Plan B if Daniels has a minor physical setback.

Nobody’s insisting Stetson Bennett’s going to lead Georgia to a national championship.  But nobody’s asking him to do that, either.  Saturday, he did his job and he did it well.  In fact, he did it better than we expected.  That’s a good thing.

53 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

53 responses to ““You know what you’ve got with Stetson Bennett.”

  1. Well said, Senator. The Mailman proved on Saturday that he can be a more than capable emergency QB if we need him. Yes, he has developed under Monken’s tutelage. That will serve him well if he decides to go into coaching.

    For those who say there were boos on Saturday, I didn’t hear them in my section. It might have been Zeuuuuus after Zamir was introduced.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Biggen

    I’ll admit, I was worried when I heard SB was going to be the starter. I honestly thought it meant we were going to just play manball for 4 quarters and have it turn into another one score slugfest by the end of the game. I had also assumed that Beck was further along. It’s painfully obvious though that SB is a much better backup candidate than Beck is at this point. That ball that was thrown to Bowers on the sideline for a TD was a thing of beauty. SB threw it before Bowers even looked back.

    Kirby and SB proved me wrong. Next year’s QB room will be fun. SB has another year of eligibility left!

    Liked by 9 people

  3. willypmd

    The power of the back up QB to capture hearts and minds is infinite.

    In my friend group, the discussion has already moved from being upset about Beck not starting to declaring Beck a lost cause and talking up Vandegriff.

    A the circle of life remains unbroken

    Liked by 10 people

  4. Derek

    Far too rational Senator. Those who are “forward thinking” have different ideas:

    “ One idiot — I won’t dignify him by calling him a “fan” — went so far as to tweet that, if Bennett got the start, he hoped a defender would knock him out of the game.”

    https://www.dawgnation.com/football/credit-smart-coaching-decision/CRYAVL4DLFGY7CGNY7A5LVYLRY/

    Liked by 6 people

  5. akascuba

    Excellent break down of the facts.

    I throughly enjoyed reading the here we go again same old Kirby posts that were written pregame. They aged like a fresh oyster on a hot road.

    Kirby seems to know the pulse of his team pretty well. I’ll keep saying until proven wrong. Enjoy the Kirby ride it’s going to be the golden age of Georgia football.

    Liked by 11 people

  6. 79dawg

    My only (mostly minor) beef is why Stetson played at all in the second half – he shook the rust off, showed some new moves, to us out to an insurmountable lead, etc., and Beck (if he is The Future (TM)) obviously needs as much work as he can get…

    Like

  7. spur21

    I’m actually embarrassed by that group fans that think they know more than the coaching staff – surely they are trolls as nobody is that stupid.

    Or I’m guessing said fans have a miserable life and vent their frustrations on the anonymous security of the innerweb.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. mg4life0331

    If we go into next year with a bunch of qbs with less than 50-75 attempts, that’s criminal. That’s all I’m saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. theotherdoug

    Y’all want to know where Kirby screwed up with Stetson Bennett? He never believed in him and put the resources towards coaching him up. UGA has needed a capable pack up QB for years and it was always anybody but Stetson.

    After a year of reps and coaching where does Stetson ranked in the conference? 4th best QB? We’re lucky to have him.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pedropossum

    Stetson looked great. Happy he played.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Anyone who complains about saturday’s result is either a troll or stubborn as a mule and will never be happy.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Ran A

    Perfectly stated. Honestly, I wanted Beck to start. If he’s 2nd on the depth chart, then he’s next up. But after watching Beck, it is clear he needs are time. Do I think Georgia wins with Bech starting – yes. Do I think it’s 56-0 with 1/2 quarter still to play – no.

    Everybody should be happy this morning. I think Georgia’s kids at all positions are going to get a LOT of time this year as Georgia puts teams away by mid-third quarter. Beck will see the field and so will Vandergriff. Nice benefit for the 2022 team.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. pdawg30577

    I’m not at all convinced Beck is the future or even the present if Daniels gets hurt again. His reaction to throwing that pick, along with his sideline demeanor, just screams “sullen” to me.

    As for not playing Daniels, unlike the dumbasses suggesting otherwise, Kirby’s not a fool. Let the man heal up, even if he himself is asking to go in. As with all players, Kirby’s authority ought to begin where the players’ good judgment ends. We’ll need Daniels hitting on all cylinders (and turbocharged) when we get into the meat of the schedule.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Munsoning

    Not only is SBIV a great backup, he’s a guy who won’t spin a good or great or historic performance–if SBIV had played the whole game, he would have had 8 or 9 TDs–into a QB controversy. He and his people (personal QB coach, dad) won’t divide the locker room. That’s huge.

    Liked by 11 people

  15. Beck had all spring, summer and fall to cement his “I’m ready” status and even knock off JT. He didn’t. He needs work. We had a game to win and a QB ready in Stetson. He won it, and Carson got plenty of meaningful reps. We don’t go to the CFP without JT at full throttle, so angst over who is the reliable #2 is pointless.

    Therefore, your Honor, in light of all of the available evidence and testimony, I ask you to find Kirby GUILTY of not coaching up the QB room to fit the narrative that “Well Saban has Heisman 2nd stringers ready at all times!”

    Liked by 3 people

  16. moe pritchett

    I’ve never been a SBIV fan. Fact. I called him “MR. Frodo” My son played for Bill Napier, Billy Napier’s dad. Coach Napier was an old option coach, and a genius offensive mind. He one e told me,
    “I would rather have a quick & coachable kid that’s maybe not as big or fast but has fire coming out of his ear holes than to have an all American that didn’t have his heart in the game.”
    I heard all the hype about Beck and it’s probably right, but Beck had a deer in the headlights look in his eye, and he should not have. Some may say confidence is gained in game play, but leaders and the comitted have that from the get go. Moxie? Swagger? I didn’t see any. After the interception, he doesn’t have his heart in the game to be a DGD, and at this level you either HAVE to be a “next level” type player or be willing to put some blood in the game; Beck completely gave up as soon as that ball hit that white jersey…and everyone saw him not put skin into the game; he trailed that pick and gave up. I know one play doesn’t define him, but that play was on full display. He may be more athletic than Bennett and have way more upside, but Stetson Bennet has fire coming out of his ear holes and his heart beats “glory glory” Now that may sound overly dramatic but the bottom line is, do you want someone playing the position that has the skills but not the desire, or do you want someone playing the position that has his heart in his hand? Bennet isn’t the better athlete by any means, be right now he is a better quarterback than Carson Beck.
    I’m not the coach. I’m not there on Tuesday 4:00 practice. Not in the meeting rooms either.
    But I know what I saw Saturday, and Beck is not close to ready. I just hope he sees the heart SBIV put out there. And I hope Vandagriff does too.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Tony BarnFart

      I’m was in the same boat (groaning about SBIV starting). Damn was I wrong. It wasn’t even the ridiculous stats–he just looked and it felt like he was in complete and total control of what was happening. All day long.

      SBIV is really good at the play action roll out. He sells the fake really well and then he’s got a pop in his step on the roll out where he has such a clean look down field it would be hard to screw it up. That’s a great place to be.

      Liked by 4 people

      • moe pritchett

        It wasn’t that I was groaning about SBIV, I knew he could deliver. He just really won me over and I really lost the facade that was given to Beck.
        My worthless opinion is that Stetson Bennett is the solidified #2 and may even be pushing Daniels.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Texas Dawg

    Ok, so it wasn’t just me that thought Bennett’s arm looked stronger. Those deep throws were on the money and in stride. It’s nice to have a security blanket like Bennett who you can trust should Daniels go down for an extended period. Beck has talent, but from what I saw Saturday, he is not a “Ready for Prime Time Player”.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I know I am in the minority and maybe even alone. But I have never really seen a difference in ability in Bennett or Daniels as far as passing goes. Not much if any in height either when I saw them side by side.Now Daniels had way more game experience when he got here and that showed at times. But I would not be afraid of Bennett playing at all. If he hadn’t gotten injured I believe we would would have won every game he started last year except Bama and he was far from the only problem then. I think our whole team is better today than then except the o-line and they will improve.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Stetson did great; I think we can all agree about that. I am not as down on Beck as some of y’all seem to be. I think with the performance Stetson put on JT would have had a hard time coming in after that performance and measuring up.Hell, any QB in the country would have a hard time doing that. It seemed like to me Beck was overcompensating trying match Stetson and frustrating himself in the process. He’ll be fine.

    Like

    • RangerRuss

      Beck’s TD toss to Robinson was a thing of beauty. His pick 6 and half ass attitude about it pissed me the fuck off. As Moe said I expect to see fire coming out his ear holes. A sense of scumbag entitlement is what I see in Beck. You can bet the coaches see that also.

      Like

  20. Castleberry

    Who was Saturday tougher on: Bennett haters or Kirby Haters?
    On one hand, you’ve got a guy who “can’t manage QBs” or “develop players” clearly crushing it at both.
    On the other hand, you’ve got a flawless, record-setting performance.

    I’d like to suggest our fans in the above categories take a peek at the game in the Swamp this weekend and spectate the OG Portal Master trying his hand at both.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. DawgFlan

    The anti-SB crowd is using all kinds of what ifs and hypotheticals to support their case that CB needed to start and/or play more, but can you imagine what those same miserable folks would have said if CB started the game run/run/run/punt on first series, then a pick 6 on the second series, and all of a sudden we’re into the 2nd quarter down 7 points to UAB?

    Yes we would have won with CB, but it would have been closer than we may want for most of the game, and the whining about manball, can’t put away elite teams, Kirby can’t develop, no offensive identity, sky is falling, etc. would have been everywhere.

    Kirby starting SB not only calmed down the entire offense, it protected CB from a Dwan Mathis moment, and made it possible to get the 2nd/3rd/4th teamers on both sides a ton more playing time earlier than they would have with CB.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. There’s a reason the SEC Shorts folks have done two videos about Georgia fans and hope. We don’t handle good times well. The sky is always falling, and the quarterback on the bench is always the one who should be playing.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Tony BarnFart

    I was groaning about SBIV starting but quickly got fed humble pie. He’s pretty damn good, that’s basically all there is to it. Doug Flutie.

    The larger point is that we needed the offense to stretch its legs…..it was less about who played quarterback than getting these young receivers and tight ends into the rhythm of pushing the ball down the field and being part of the passing game in a big way.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. gurkhadawg

    I’ll go ahead and start something. I understand Bennett’s lack of height and cannon arm. But has JT had a game like last Saturday at UGA? He’s certainly played against some less than stellar defenses. In a different post I asked if anyone would post a montage of JT throwing downfield and hitting receivers in stride. I’m still waiting. I’m not anti JT at all, just that Bennett looked pretty damn good Saturday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Russ

      I agree with you about Stet. His touch and accuracy was worlds better than last season. Hopefully we’ll see the same from JT going forward.

      Liked by 1 person

    • RangerRuss

      I must admit that I was wrong about SBIV’s arm strength. No, he doesn’t have a cannon like Stafford. But it’s strong and he’s technically and tactically proficient enough to beat any team on the Dawg’s schedule. Shit, I’m hoping Daniels can be as efficient as Bennett.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Jack Klompus

    Bennett’s performance was amazing and maybe he’s gotten himself to a point where he can beat Florida this time around or maybe the whole team is at the point where we don’t need JT in there to beat Florida. However, if you’re not sure that Bennett can do that, then doesn’t it make sense to start getting Beck ready to be the QB that can?

    As DawgFlan said, yeah it protected him from a Mathis moment, but if you thought he could have a Mathis moment then why is Kirby telling everyone that he’s QB2? Doesn’t pulling that away from him affect his confidence?

    Like

  26. theorginaldawgabides

    If Daniels isn’t banged up, he plays the whole first half and a couple of series into the third quarter, building a similar lead. Then Beck is the next guy in to get some live reps and finish the game. That’s what him being named qb2 means. Bennett doesn’t need the mop up reps. He’s not qb2, he’s qb1 when Daniels can’t go. These coaches actually kinda know what they’re doing. You get your future guys reps in relief duty during games that are well in hand. Future development is important, but more so is working on the present. At least this season. The staff knows they have something special this year. Having two capable qbs that can run the entire offense with confidence is a huge asset. I want to win it this year, not worry about having a qb next season with a lot of snaps under his belt.
    And Bennett’s size isn’t really a big deal in today’s game. He’s basically the same size as Bryce Young, maybe a little thicker. He looked more aware of his passing lanes and didn’t have any balls knocked down at the line. The 6’4” Beck had two.

    Liked by 5 people

  27. Whiskey Dawg

    Five TD’s against UAB, he ain’t the mailman, he’s the postmaster general.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. beatarmy92

    I think all of this grumbling is a handful of online pundits and Kirby hating fans. They are louder than their actual numbers. And I bet the Venn diagram of those hating the Stetson start and those who adhere to the Fromm-Fields narrative is a perfect circle.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. 69Dawg

    Kirby said both QB’s knew that it was going to be SB4 by Thursday. They also knew it was going to be 3 for SB4 and 2 for CB rinse and repeat. Kirby, even though the 3 for SB4 was all we needed didn’t change the plan and for that I salute him. He was giving a nod at SB4 for his experience but was trying to keep, an already Prima Donna from getting pissed. He has learned from the Fromm/Fields thing.
    Unless our Oline gets a lot better we are going to become the Dawg Airforce. They can’t run block until the other Dline is totally gassed. Our Oline continues to be the weakest link for us. I watched the Hogg’s Oline totally destroy UTx. The Pitt Master has got them believing and I still don’t know why we get them twice.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Why do some fans seem to always look only to the future, always be curious about what might come off the bench, live and die on recruiting rankings, second-guess every choice the head coach makes and voice it all in frustrated melodies for all the twitterverse to hear?

    Generally because they’ve few accomplishments to look back on, and so must peer into the crystal ball of an uncertain future, hoping to catch a glimpse of one there.

    But maybe that’s just me being an a$$hole. It’s a possibility.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Scotty King

    Methinks Stetson put in lots of work on his throwing to shut down the “naysayers”‘ – including me…..

    Seeing some revisionist history here – “I always knew he had it in him, etc.”

    Great job, Stetson, your hard work paid off.

    Like

  32. Previously Paul

    What’s disappointing to me is that despite our stellar recruiting year after year we seem to keep bringing in quarterbacks who aren’t ready when we need them. Beck has been around long enough that he should have performed much better. Although I will admit that I thought we saw Stetson’s ceiling last year. Not so. He clearly improved.

    Liked by 1 person

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