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Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13). (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Stetson Bennett delivers the best game of his Georgia career against Oregon. We shouldn’t be surprised

ATLANTA — For the first time in his Georgia career, Stetson Bennett started the first game of Georgia’s season. It also happened to be the first game after Georgia won the national championship.

And as it stands now, when he thinks back about the best individual performances in his Georgia career, he’ll think of this one first.

“It’s always good to go in to be “the guy,’” Bennett said. “The reps, like I’ve said, throwing with the guys in the off-season, working on choice routes, me and Kenny, I think just the little things that show up when you don’t know when they’re going to show up, but that’s why you work them.

“So yeah, it was pretty cool.”

Related: Kirby Smart makes it clear, this Georgia football offense will hunt as Bulldogs demolish Oregon

Bennett threw for a career-high 368 passing yards, needing just 31 attempts to do it. Every drive he piloted ended in a touchdown, punctuated with a beautiful dime to AD Mitchell for a touchdown on his final throw of the day. It came in the third quarter and put Georgia up 42-3.

“Stetson lives in his own world, and he does a really good job of blocking out all the noise,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “He doesn’t really get into all that. I think that’s what his kind of edge is, and he made some plays that he didn’t make the right decisions on today, and he knows those. He knows his mistakes. He’s got to be smart.

Smart did ask Bennett if he still has a flip phone, which he no longer does. It’s 2022 and this is very clearly a new Bennett and a whole new Georgia offense.

The Bulldogs annihilated the Ducks, rolling up 571 yards of offense. Even when back-up Carson Beck came in, he authored an immediate touchdown drive.

To be clear though, there is no quarterback competition. It’s Bennett’s team.

Even Bennett’s less-than-stellar plays worked out perfectly on Saturday. Georgia was up 21-3 and looking to fully roast the Ducks at the end of the first half. With it being first and goal on the one-yard line, Bennett rolled to his left looking for either Kenny McIntosh or Brock Bowers.

Oregon covered both of them perfectly, a rarity on the afternoon, and Bennett began to improvise. He scrambled back to the middle of the field and into a flock of Duck defenders.

Saturday established that this Georgia team will be one led by its offense, even with the defense holding Oregon to just three points.

If Bennett continues to make the smart plays as he so often did on Saturday, he’s going to be a reason why this offense can succeed as one of the best in the nation. And not simply be along for the ride.

“He does things that maybe we don’t ask him to do,” Smart said. “But he did make some plays with his feet, and I think you take the good, and I’m not going to call it bad, but you take the good with his poor decisions.”

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