Offensive Executive: Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia
Even though the SEC Championship didn’t go Georgia’s way, the Bulldogs are still the only SEC offense with +50% Success Rate in both facets entering bowl season. That obviously cannot happen without a somewhat consistent passer who can execute the offensive scheme. Stetson Bennett’s performance might have cemented his status as a game manager, but it’s hard to challenge the majority of the results under his watch this fall. Despite finishing 9th in Completion% and 12th in Accuracy%, the former walk-on commands the conference’s best Success Rate (53.7%), Explosive Pass Rate (15.8%), and First Down+TD Rate (43.7%). Talk about making them count. Under Monken’s guidance and a brawny ground game, SB4 used play action on nearly 30% of his attempts and targeted a screen or RPO on another 25%. Behind these guises, he popped. And, Georgia was a sheer bully at times when on schedule. But when the scheme has stuttered and the QB has been asked to shoulder the load, the sprite Bennett keeps on faltering without those props.
The Light Lifter: JT Daniels, Georgia
The former-five star hasn’t played in two months. But when he has seen action this year, he consistently has fancied targeting screens, RPOs, and routes behind the line of scrimmage. JT Daniels attempts of the latter account for an absurd 47% of his completions, 36% of his throws, and 33% of his yards have come on the latter alone. With that, it’s no wonder his average depth of target is the 2nd-lowest in the conference. No doubt not being 100% for stints of this season played a part in this conservative modus operandi. In case you forgot, he led the SEC in Deep Pass Rate and had the top Yards/Attempt amongst the conference returns ahead of this fall. This about-face is an awfully strange occurrence unless something is up. While Daniels has had a few nice downfield completions, he’s the only SECer to have a third of his yards come via RPOs. [Emphasis added.]
Maybe it’s not a matter of Stetson playing the hand Kirby’s dealt him. Maybe it’s Kirby playing the hand his quarterbacks have dealt him.