It’s a point I made earlier this week, but Matt Hinton’s reiteration is worth noting.
… With 5-star Brock Vandagriff‘s arrival in the spring and Carson Beck in his second year in the program, Bennett’s presence in 2021 seemed like a footnote. But when called, the guy just keeps showing up. With Daniels sidelined by a core injury, Bennett’s stat line in Saturday’s blowout win over UAB (10/12, 288 yards, 5 TDs) was the most efficient performance by passer rating since the turn of the century for a quarterback with more than 10 attempts — not just among Georgia quarterbacks, or SEC quarterbacks, but among all I-A/FBS quarterbacks. UGA’s 5 first-half touchdown drives with Bennett in the game spanned a grand total of 15 plays.
Conference-USA defense or not, Georgia badly needed that after failing to score an offensive touchdown in the opener vs. Clemson. That doesn’t mean Bennett is suddenly a viable long-term option for a team in Playoff-or-bust mode, as his obvious limitations in big games in the past has made clear. Ultimately, the Bulldogs’ championship fate is going to hinge on Daniels, whose status for this weekend’s SEC opener vs. South Carolina is up in the air but whose status as the full-time starter when healthy is secure. In the meantime, though, Bennett just proved again that he’s still very much the kind of competent, veteran backup who can be counted on to survive the UABs and South Carolinas of the schedule without steering the season into the rocks. That’s a luxury not every team with big goals gets to take for granted.
If you’re one to shit talk Kirby Smart’s management of the quarterback position from 2018 to 2020, it only seems fair to note how nicely structured the position appears two games into the 2021 season: a clear number one, a backup who can be counted on to perform routine maintenance at a respectable level when called upon and two developmental players. Even more, Smart’s let his offensive coordinator engineer conditions where those developmental players are being given opportunities for in game development by leaving the playbook open in a one-sided rout. But something, something Justin Fields, I guess.