Regardless of what some fans and media “experts” think, Georgia football does not have a quarterback issue. The Dawgs have a capable quarterback in Stetson Bennett, and even when he isn’t his best, the super-senior still makes incredible plays.
When SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum said Georgia might have a quarterback controversy after the Missouri game, it took everything not to scream because that is the furthest thing from the truth. Finebaum likes to stir the pot, but that statement was so silly — it discredited him.
Every quarterback has a bad game, sometimes two or three bad games, but Bennett hasn’t been so bad that it’s hurtful to the offense. No, he had two bad first halves against Missouri and Auburn, but he made up for it in the second half by helping the Dawgs win.
Georgia scored 21 rushing touchdowns in the first six games. Who cares if he only has five touchdowns through the air? Bennett also has five on the ground himself. The Dawgs also used Carson Beck in the first three games, where he threw for two touchdowns himself. The passing game is getting the Dawgs to the red zone, and the rush attack puts up the points.
Georgia football has its starting quarterback, and there is no controversy.
While I get what Finebaum was trying to say, the way it came out was all wrong. Why does Georgia need to address the quarterback situation when the Dawgs have beaten five-of-six opponents by 17 or more points? The only reason Missouri stayed in the game was their all-world kicker, who made 49, 52, and 56-yard field goals. Most kickers don’t make those kinds of plays, but Missouris’ did.
Bennett is 138-of-199 for 1,744 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. He also completes 69.35% of his passes. Bennett also has 21 carries for 106 yards and five scores — averaging five yards a touch.
This time last year, Bennett had played five games, completing 43-of-62 passes for 752 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions. He completed 69.35% of his passes as well.
So the Mailman has thrown for 992 more yards this season and one less interception. He had more touchdowns, but we must remember that the rush attack wasn’t always the most consistent in 2021.
Georgia has used Bennett in the rushing game this year as well, and it scored five times, which could have likely been five more passing touchdowns, but it didn’t have to be.
To suggest that Bennett isn’t good enough to do this job is silly. I’m not saying Finebaum is, but what Bennett has put on the field this season, outside Missouri, is just as good as what we saw him start 2021 with, with one less game.
If we took out Missouri’s stats for this year, Bennett would be at 114-of-156 for 1,432 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception — completing 73% of his passes. That one game is his outlier so far, proving that he doesn’t need to get benched.
Remember last season when the narrative was that Bennett couldn’t win a game if he had to complete more than 20 passes? Last season, in those first five games, the most he completed was 14 against Auburn.
This year the fewest completions were against South Carolina, with 16. He has completed 25,24,27 and last week 22 — so what is the deal here? When will Bennett be good enough? Quarterbacks aren’t perfect, and this new age of expecting them to be is downright silly.
If we look at the numbers, Bennett has the No.3 best passing completion behind Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker and Mississippi State’s Will Rogers. He has the No.2 most passing yards behind Rogers.
The difference between him and those two is the touchdowns — Hooker has 10, and Rogers has 22. His 8.8 yards per attempt is middle of the pack for the SEC at No. 6, but he is right there with Hooker and Rogers. The other difference is explosiveness — Hooker is one of the most explosive quarterbacks, and there is no denying that, but Bennett is putting up numbers too.
Bennett has 74 passing plays of 10-plus yards and 25 of 20-plus yards. Only Rogers has better numbers there. Not to mention, he has only gotten sacked five times this season, the third-fewest times in the conference.
So tell me, where is the difference between Bennett and these other quarterbacks? It’s hard to from what we see on paper. Sure some of them are explosive and fun to watch, but Bennett can be too. His performance against Missouri should not deter anyone from appreciating what he does for Georgia or discounting him.
There is no denying that there are some highly-talented guys playing football right now, but Bennett is effective and a national championship winner — most of those top quarterbacks cannot say the same.
He isn’t going to be a stud in the NFL, but he is one of the best college quarterbacks in the country right now, regardless of what people think. It’s past time to respect Bennett’s name and give him his due.