A peaceful, easy feeling

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.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

34 responses to “A peaceful, easy feeling

  1. Down Island Way

    Although she’s not a QB, Jaiden Fields arm strength is good enough…

    Like

  2. RangerRuss

    “…but if you try sometimes, you just might find…”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. dawgphan34

    Both can be true.

    It’s so weird that instead of being proud of the recovery from a mistake, UGA fans want to die on the hill that a mistake was never made.

    Smart didnt do a good job with QBs and it likely cost him another shot at a title.

    However he is such a great recruiter that he was able to go out and get the #3 guy from that class and bring in additional high end talent. It’s a great story, highlights Smart’s best skill, shows growth as a coach. All are positive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ASEF

      I’d agree mostly. I think the biggest mistake was an offense that wasn’t going to max a QB’s draft prospects. I firmly believe what we’ve seen out of the offense recently with Monken was a direct result of losing both Fields and Fromm (people forget the second) as well as feedback on the recruiting trail.

      Kirby learned and adjusted. As long as he keeps recruiting at this high a level and keeps learning from his mistakes, he’s going to get a lot of shots at the brass ring.

      Like

    • Derek

      I just don’t know that any different approach we can speculate about would have ultimately been better for the team.

      I wanted Justin to stay. I thought they should have had packages he could succeed in as a freshman. I think that consideration should have been given to pulling Fromm in BR.

      But, I don’t watch practice. I don’t spend time with these guys. I don’t know how their teammates relate to the qbs. I don’t know how ready or unready Fields was to go out there and run the offense.

      As fans we get the opportunity of absolute certainty in our pronouncements but only rarely can I credit a fan for having a better idea than the coaches.

      Having said that, the fake kicks in BR and Atlanta were fucking stupid. I’ll die on those hills. The fields/fromm drama is way outside of my capacities to judge.

      Liked by 9 people

  4. Biggen

    Word is (tea leaf reading anyway) is that Bennett will again be starting this weekend. Can we get another repeat of last week’s performance? Man, I sure hope so.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Agree, and another point we don’t know yet is how fully baked in are Monken’s schemes…receivers are getting open, and so far the oline is giving the qb plenty of time in the pocket, but with a sample size of only 2 games (but with a full off-season of implementation), we have to wait to see if this offense under Monken can be as prolific against all defenses not just UAB’s.

    Saturday will be telling…and I believe we will be happy with the results

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not sure how you sit a QB with a rating like that.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. armydawg

    If I was Kirby I would start the Mailman Saturday and let JT completely heal up then start him against Vandy and let him air it out to knock off the rust.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. theotherdoug

    “If you’re one to shit talk Kirby Smart’s management of the quarterback position from 2018 to 2020,…”

    I’ve been shit talking QB management since Aaron Murray left. 😉

    It looks like Kirby finally has it set up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We missed on some QB prospects after Murray. I still say Richt retires at Georgia if he signs Deshaun Watson in 2013-14.

      In the transfer portal era, it’s always going to be difficult to keep blue chip QBs because it’s the one position on the field where platooning doesn’t work.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. Only a near perfect JT is going to win the SECCG and beyond. He needs to be healthy AND get a lot more work surrounded by a solid OL and full speed WR corps. If Stetson is the answer to help with the latter two issues while JT heals, that’s the right approach. Beck, BVG nor the mailman are likely to get us to the playoffs anyway.

    This Defense is going to make this plan work and Kirby knows it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • miltondawg

      After this weekend, we may be looking around and saying that a near perfect JT is going to be necessary to get us past UF. I know most think that UF is going to get steamrolled by UF by four scores. After last year, I am nervous about that team.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think we’re going to whip the Handbags, but I think it will be about 14 points because they get a late score. Let’s see Richardson against a defense with a pulse before we think he’s $Cam 2021. Everyone thought Ukelele was going to be that big, athletic QB.

        Liked by 2 people

      • JT needs to be good against FL. Our D will handle the rest.

        Like

      • D as in Dawg

        I’m with you, bud. Commenters on here are just convinced we’re gonna curb stomp UF. I spent my whole childhood in Gator Country. The curse is gone, but I have too much PTSD to underestimate the turds.

        Like

  10. “as his obvious limitations in big games in the past has made clear.”
    That is a strong (and to me erroneous one) to make based on one half in his 3rd game as a starter. Like I said before he was far from the only problem in that game. I believe he gives us just as much chance to beat AL as does Daniels. Whatever that chance is.

    Like

  11. DawgFlan

    Wait – wtf is this world coming to when Senator Blutarsky is channeling the Eagles?

    Liked by 1 person