ATHENS — Georgia is expected to start fifth-year senior quarterback Stetson Bennett against UAB barring a late change of plans, according to sources close to the situation.
Georgia starting quarterback JT Daniels has been dealing with an upper-body injury that has limited his repetitions this week in practice.
Daniels’ injury isn’t considered to be long-term, and he could try to play and talk himself into the starting lineup.
The Bulldogs are also expected to play second-year quarterback Carson Beck, who won the No. 2 position in spring drills and has continued to carry that designation.
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UGA has kept practices closed to the media, so there has been no first-hand observation of the quarterbacks this week.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart, never one to show his hand, limited his comments when asked about the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation earlier this week.
“Carson’s (Beck) been our number two quarterback, (and) he’s worked with the twos and has worked a lot there (first team), taken a lot of reps,” Smart said on Tuesday. “Stetson still gets some reps from time to time but he’s got a lot of bank reps so we ask him to do a lot of things mentally to be prepared and ready to go.”
Smart has made clear his concern about the issues that the experienced Blazers’ defense can cause, which would explain why he’d want to ensure a clean start with a more experienced player.
“They do a tremendous job wreaking havoc on defense,” Smart said on his coaches’ show on Thursday night. “They have the ability to confuse you. Their defensive over the last five years has been ranked higher than Georgia’s and Clemson’s.”
UAB brings back nine defensive starters from a unit that ranked seventh in the nation last season and won its opening game 31-0 over Jacksonville State.
“They are really good on defense, Bill (Clark) does a tremendous job mixing up coverages,” Smart said. “They’ve got long, rangy outside backer-types that are hard to block, quick switch guys, really athletic linebackers.
“And their secondary - they’ve got a lot of guys who have started a lot of games. They have two corners who seem like they have been playing forever. You go back and watch games on them, and it seems like that same group of secondary has been playing for a long time.”
Bennett started five games for the Bulldogs last season before suffering a sprained AC joint in his shoulder after staking Georgia out to a 14-0 lead in Florida, a game UGA ultimately lost 44-28.