Stetson Bennett IV was honest in assessing how he played following Georgia’s slog of a win over Kentucky.
“I thought we played well except for me today,” Bennett said. “I don’t think I played horrible, just those two passes.”
The Georgia quarterback completed nine of his 13 pass attempts on Saturday for 131 yards. The Georgia offense had just eight positions on the day due to Kentucky and Georgia relying heavily on their run games.
But the two passes Bennett referred to were both interceptions, giving him five in the last two games. And not that there is ever a good interception, but neither were good given the struggles Bennett had in the second half of the Alabam game.
“I just have to fix the things that I messed up on,” Bennett said.
The first interception came with Georgia in the redzone. Bennett had an open Jermaine Burton on a check-down. But much like he did against the Crimson Tide, Bennett had a ball get tipped by Kentucky defensive lineman Phil Hoskins. He was able to spot the ball and intercept it, making it the second week in a row where a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage has led to an interception.
More importantly, it was an interception in the redzone, taking points off the board in a game where Georgia won 14-3.
“A batted ball that he’s got to get around a guy is not a real struggle,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I know you can say happens once shame on you happens twice shame on me but it’s one of those things where he’s got to wrap the ball around it, throw it away, get another opportunity.”
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The second interception was equally bad. Georgia wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint appeared to stop running on the route and Bennett said afterward he was just trying to throw the ball away.
But Bennett didn’t get enough on the ball and it landed in the hands of Kentucky defender Kelvin Joseph.
Smart was much more critical of the second interception rather than the first one.
“We thought he should’ve checked the ball down and he throws the ball deep and was trying to get the ball out of bounds and didn’t get the ball out of bounds,” Smart said.
“It’s just a poor decision. it’s a lack of experience and making good decisions.”
This was Bennett’s fourth career start and just his second in on the road. And the Wildcats did come into the game with the No. 18 scoring defense. In the previous three games, the Wildcats intercepted nine passes while allowing zero passing touchdowns.
Smart did defend his quarterback outside of the turnovers. He said after the win he never considered inserting either D’Wan Mathis or JT Daniels into the game, as Bennett played every offensive snap.
Smart also praised the role Bennett played in Georgia’s rushing attack. The Georgia quarterback ran for the game’s opening touchdown and kept the ball on an option play to convert a third down in the first half. The Bulldogs ran for 215 yards on the day and Bennett was not sacked.
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The turnovers though have become a clear issue for Bennett. And with a big game against Florida looming next week, he needs to play better on offense for the Bulldogs to win.
And he understands that.
“We just gotta score more points,” Bennett said. “We’ll be alright, just have to have a good week of practice and be more disciplined when we come out next Saturday.”
At the beginning of the season, Bennett was praised as being a great story given all he did to become Georgia’s starter.
But after another less than stellar performance, Bennett is turning into a song that just gets played over and over again until you just end up despising a song you once enjoyed.
Smart though wasn’t changing his tune after the game and continues to make clear that when Georgia has a strong offensive output, it will be with Bennett at the helm.
“I see a lot of good things out of our offense in practice and unfortunately, we haven’t been able to see it yet,” Smart said. “A lot of that today was because of a ground and pound ball control by them and a couple of turnovers.”
Georgia football quarterback Stetson Bennett speaks after the win over Kentucky
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