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Kirby Smart raves about Stetson Bennett, expects more explosive Georgia football offense

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Stetson Bennett looks to make a play against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on December 4, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart a sneak peek of what to expect from quarterback Stetson Bennett on G-Day and next season.

Big things. Very big things.

GRIFFITH: Of course Bennett is coming back, no quit in former walk-on

Bennett and the Georgia offense will be on display at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the Bulldogs’ G-Day Game being televised live by ESPN2.

“Really excited about the offense as a whole, because I think we can be more explosive than we were last year,” Smart said Friday on The Paul Finebaum Show.

“People don’t realize, when you’re Top 10 in the country in explosive plays, that’s a credit to being able to run and throw the ball.”

Bennett will play quarterback for the first-team offense against a reloading first-team defense that lacks depth and experience in the secondary.

RELATED: Paul Finebaum wonders, what if Stetson Bennett gets outplayed on G-Day?

The player known as “The Mailman” figures to put on quite a show.

It’s possible and perhaps even likely Bennett surpasses the 324-yard, 3-touchdown passing day former UGA quarterback and West Virginia commit JT Daniels had on G-Day last spring.

The Bulldogs have a more experienced receiving corps this year, with Ladd McConkey, A.D. Mitchell, Dominick Blaylock, Kearis Jackson and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint returning, and LSU transfer Arik Gilbert emerging at tight end.

Smart made clear his confidence in Bennett, a 24-year-old, sixth-year student.

RELATED: Stetson Bennett: things easier finally being No. 1 QB

Bennett, from all indications, has become a better student of the game this spring .

“The expectation is high from me, because there’s no more forcing the ball into bad areas, making poor decisions, lack of ball security, not changing to the proper play,” Smart said.

“With the extra time and experience, he’s really bought into studying that part of the game.”

Bennett, listed at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, might not be as big as backups Carson Beck (6-4, 215) or Brock Vandagriff (6-3, 205), or have the same arm strength as the former Alabama and Oklahoma commit.

RELATED: Kirby Smart sees progress from backups Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff

But Smart indicated he has seen plenty of arm strength this spring from the former walk-on from Pierce County High School, in addition to the better decision-making and elimination of “bone-head” decisions.

“The biggest part now is the decision-making with the ball and not putting us in tough situations,” Smart said. “I’ve really been pleased. He’s thrown the ball well.

“We’ve had an extremely windy spring, he’s gone out and pierced the wind with big-time throws and made some explosive plays for us.”

RELATED: Special delivery, Stetson Bennett still the one for Kirby Smart at Georgia

Georgia has closed all of its scrimmages and live action from public and media viewing, but Smart reported Bennett is playing the best football of his career.

“You have some talented guys there in AD Mitchell, Ladd McConkey out there doing a lot of good things, Kenny McIntosh made a lot of plays, Kendall Milton has come on this spring, and a young Daijun Edwards is back,” Smart said. “They’ve all done a lot.

“Stetson has gotten invaluable experience, and we’ve got some key components on the offensive line, both tackles played in the national championship game because Broderick (Jones) had to go in and play during the game, those are some key cogs.”

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