Auburn coach Bryan Harsin: Stetson Bennett ‘good enough’ quarterback for Georgia

October 9, 2021 Auburn, Alabama - Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) runs with the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game at Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama on Saturday, October 9, 2021. Georgia won 34-10 over Auburn. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin kept it simple when assessing Stetson Bennett’s play for Georgia on Saturday.

“I’d say good enough, because he won the game,” Harsin said.”I’ve said this before, he’s a good player. I’ve watched his film, he’s a really good player. He looked like he made good decisions out there.”

Bennett, starting in place of JT Daniels, was 14-of-21 passing for 231 yards with 2 touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 34-10 win over the Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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Bennett turned in the longest run of the season for Georgia’s plodding but efficient run game, breaking loose on a 30-yard scramble.

Bennett also hit Ladd McConkey on a 60-yard TD pass as well as a 45-yard completion, and Brock Bowers hauled in a 33-yard catch.

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Auburn, meanwhile, had one play for more than 30 yards, when Bo Nix connected with Caylin Newton for a 31-yard gain.

Nix was 21-of-38 passing for 217 yards with an interception against Georgia’s top-ranked defense on Saturday.

Harsin wanted to see more explosive plays from his offense, but the Tigers’ thin receiving corps didn’t offer much help, dropping passes.

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“Explosive plays are critical,” Harsin said. “Those are keys to victory in my opinion are the explosive plays. But you gotta make it happen, and Georgia was able to make it happen on some explosive throws.

“Those do change the momentum.”

Georgia has taken on more of a run-first mentality with Bennett at quarterback the past two games, needing to rely more on play-action than the pinpoint throwing accuracy JT Daniels brings to the position.

The Bulldogs have run the football 105 times in the past two games while attempting just 32 passes.

Harsin said when Bennett had to throw he did just fine.

“He had good throws,” Harsin said. “But the quarterback position, how you look at the game, how the quarterback played really from the outside looking in, he won the game, so he played good enough to win and that’s all.”

Harsin was very complimentary of Coach Kirby Smart’s team, which is set to assume the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2008 preseason poll

“Georgia’s a very good team,” Harsin said. “I think they’ve proven throughout the season why they’re in the position that they’re in and they played well.

“They’re coached well. That shows up in our preparation as we watch them. That showed up today and they made plays. They’re a very good football team, the type of team we want to be, we want to be in that position.”

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