Yesterday, Tennessee came out playing the type of defense that I thought would give Stetson Bennett trouble — not selling out to stop the run/playing to prevent the deep pass — and, to some extent, it worked. Stetson wasn’t great, as his 131.7 passer rating would indicate, but he wasn’t bad, either. He rushed 8 times for 40 yards and a touchdown and his feet kept him out of trouble on a couple of occasions, although the Vols did manage a couple of sacks. Most importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over once. All in all, the harshest I can be about it would be to call his day inconsistent.
Yeah, to some extent, that didn’t matter because defense. But I’d argue the reason Georgia prospered on offense to the tune of 41 points and 487 yards was a bigger cause for it not mattering. Todd Monken continues to be the best Georgia offensive coordinator of my lifetime because he gets one thing better than anybody.
In this case, Tennessee gave Georgia the opportunity to run the ball and Todd Monken took what was offered to the tune of 41 carries for 274 yards, a 6.1 average. Which is not to say the passing game was ignored. Bennett had 29 pass attempts, a season high for him.
When the dust settled, Georgia wound up averaging 6.96 yards per play, just a tick about their season average (6.90), which, by the way, ranks eighth nationally. Not bad for an offense that doesn’t have a superstar.
Lanning is going to get the lion’s share of the attention for Georgia’s assistants, and when you’re directing that defense, it’s certainly understandable why. But the job Monken’s done this season shouldn’t be minimized. He may not be cutting edge, but he knows how to put his offense in position to succeed. He’s why I don’t care about the quarterback debate, because, week after week, he’s shown he’ll figure out the best way to go.