The calls to make a change at the quarterback position have not gotten any quieter in the time since Georgia’s 41-24 loss to Alabama on Oct. 17. If anything, it seems there’s even more of a consensus among the national media for Georgia to make a change at the quarterback position.
ESPN’s Booger McFarland made the case for changing from Stetson Bennett IV to JT Daniels. And if Smart continues to stick with Bennett — which the Georgia head coach has publicly indicated he will for Saturday’s game against Kentucky — it makes McFarland wonder about where Daniels is really at.
“If Bennett is the best that they have, it says a lot to me about JT Daniels,” McFarland said on the Paul Finebaum Show. “I just think when you go against a team like an Alabama or like Florida… when you go against Ohio State or Clemson, you have to have a guy at the position that you don’t have to coach around.
“Right now I feel like Kirby Smart is having to coach around the Mailman and not coach for him.”
Related: Kirby Smart makes QB declaration on SEC Network, helps Stetson Bennett polish fundamentals
Daniels transferred from USC this summer but he has yet to take a snap for the Bulldogs. Daniels tore his ACL in the first game of the 2019 season with the Trojans. He then had a second surgery done in January of this year.
Smart publicly cleared Daniels before the Auburn game, but Bennett has started every game since that declaration. He played well in the wins over Auburn and Tennessee, but he threw three interceptions against Alabama.
And with another top-10 game looming against Florida on Nov. 7, the Bulldogs will need to have their ducks in a row. Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports said on the Paul Finebaum Show that the Gators present some of the similar problems that the Crimson Tide, specifically when Florida is on offense.
“I understand there are still a lot of folks that look at Georgia and say that defense is great, that they are gonna go to Atlanta,” Sallee said. “But it’s all about match up’s, it’s a match up game and Florida, like Alabama, is a bad matchup for Georgia.”
Tight end Kyle Pitts has become one of the to players in the country and quarterback Kyle Trask leads the SEC in touchdown passes, despite playing only three games. The Gators will take on Missouri this Saturday before facing Georgia.
Against Kentucky, it will be worth watching to see how Smart employs his quarterbacks. ESPN’s Alex Scarborough will be interested to see what kind of runway Bennett gets against a strong Kentucky secondary. The Kentucky defense in its last three games has given up zero touchdown passes compared to nine interceptions.
“It was clear coming out of that game that changes needed to be made, but the question heading into a difficult road trip at Kentucky is how drastic will those changes be,” Scarborough asked. “Coach Kirby Smart said he plans to stick with quarterback Stetson Bennett after tossing three interceptions against Alabama, but how long a leash will he have? Smart indicated that JT Daniels, the talented USC transfer, is coming on.”
Georgia tight end Tre’ McKitty did give an update on Daniels when speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“He’s coming along great,” McKitty said. “He’s my locker buddy so we get to talk a lot. He’s looking to get back and help the team any way he can.
“I’ll go into meetings with him just to watch the film on the upcoming opponent. It’s great to have him around the team, working back through his injury. Hope to have him out there soon.”