Stetson Bennett shows the value of experience for Georgia football: ‘He sees it’

Georgia football-Stetson Bennett-Mississippi State
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) celebrates throwing a 2-yard touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, November 12, 2022, in Starkville, Mississippi. Bennett had four total touchdowns in the game, three throwing and one running. Georgia won 45-19. Jason Getz /

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Stetson Bennett is no stranger to playing football in the state of Mississippi. While Georgia had not visited Starkville since the 2010 season, Bennett spent a year playing at Jones College in Ellisville, Miss., about two hours south of Davis Wade Stadium.

One of Mississippi State’s ball boys was actually one of Bennett’s friend at Jones College, where Bennett spent the 2018 season.

Since he left Mississippi, Bennett has racked up a lifetime of football experience. He became a starting quarterback for Georgia, only to get benched for JT Daniels in 2020, ironically against Mississippi State. Then in 2021, he re-emerged and led Georgia to its first national championship since 1980.

On Saturday, Bennett again played well for Georgia. It was far from perfect, as he was unhappy with both of his interceptions when speaking to reporters after the 45-19 win over Mississippi State.

But Bennett racked up four total touchdowns in the win, which clinched the SEC East for the Bulldogs.

“Stetson understands our offense, and he put us in some really good situations,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “He made some really good throws. He did have a couple picks, a couple poor decisions he got away with that weren’t [picks]. But he made some good throws. The protection needs to be changed, and he got the ball to Ladd, which was really elite down there — the throw to Ladd on the 1 was big. But we’re doing some good things offensively — we’ve just got to be more consistent.”

Bennett finished with 289 passing yards on 37 passing attempts. He threw for three touchdowns — a season-high — but his most impressive play came with his legs. Just before halftime, Bennett snatched the ankles of Mississippi State defender Collin Duncan on his way to the end zone.

It marks the seventh time this season that Bennett has found the end zone using his legs. That’s tied for the most rushing touchdowns on this Georgia team.

On Saturday, West Virginia elected to bench Daniels during its come-from-behind win over Oklahoma. Bennett meanwhile led Georgia to 45 points in a road win over Mississippi State.

Bennett has come a long since he last played in Mississippi. He had a number of former Jones County pals to see after the game, as many made the trip to Starkville. Those long-time supporters got to see Bennett shine once again, leading Georgia to another SEC East title.

“It’s about understanding what each and every play is trying to accomplish and then accomplishing that,” Bennett said. “I think we did a good job of that.”

Stetson Bennett recaps Georgia football win over Mississippi State

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