Statistically speaking, do you know what the biggest difference is between Georgia’s top two quarterbacks? Per Mike Griffith, it’s third down performance.
In SEC games this season:
• Daniels is 9-of-9 passing on third downs for 118 yards and 9 (-of-9) conversions for first down.
• Bennett is 8-of-14 passing on third downs for 43 yards and 2 (-of 14) conversions for first downs.
I actually guessed the answer before I read it, mainly because I remembered how insane Daniels’ third-down work was last season (a 230.50 passer rating!) and that, fairly or not, no one refers to Stetson on third down in similar ways. Daniels hasn’t been quite as stellar this season, but his 185.38 rating is his best on any down. As you can see here, Bennett’s strong suit is throwing on early downs, where he’s been remarkable.
You think Monken is aware of those tendencies? Of course he is. You think he manages his play calling for each with that in mind? Of course he does.
I’m not going to get into a debate about who should be starting once Daniels’ health is deemed satisfactory. If there’s a season ever in which I trust the coaches to make the right decision, it’s this one. But I point this out to note that the right decision might very well involve how likely it is that the coaches feel the need to plan for games in which offensive performance on third down will be crucial… you know, like the one coming up in a few weeks in Jacksonville.