12/31/21 - Miami Gardens - Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) celebrates after a trick play where Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5), caught a pass from McIntosh for a touchdown in the first quarter of the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Michigan Wolverines at the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Stetson Bennett catches heat from Kirby Smart after delivering in dynamic first-half

“We want to go score there, be aggressive, try to get a field goal, try to score like we’ve done the whole time,” Smart explained, disappointed with Bennett handing off three times and throwing an incompletion on the final play before intermission.

“We didn’t manage the clock real well at the end.”

But Bennett, 16-of-22 passing for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns — in addition to a 20-yard run that set up a field goal — left the Hard Rock Stadium turf getting an earful from coach Kirby Smart on the way to the halftime locke rroom.

Georgia had taken possession at its own 36-yard line with 1:28 left in the first half after Derion Kendrick intercepted a Cade McNamara pass at the Michigan 41.

Kendrick, however, lost 8 yards on the interception return, and UGA was docked another 15 yards after Christopher Smith was called (and ejected) for targeting on Kendrick’s return.

Bennett connected on a 57-yard TD pass to Jermaine Burton to cap the Bulldogs’ first-half scoring, earlier connecting with James Cook on a 53-yard strike.

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