Georgia football-Kirby Smart-JT Daniels-Stetson Bennett
101621 Athens: Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (left) and JT Daniels prepare to play Kentucky in a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Georgia football-Kentucky games perfectly illustrate improvement of Stetson Bennett

ATHENS — Despite Kirby Smart’s best attempts to downplay comparisons between Stetson Bennett’s play in 2020 vs. 2021, his two starts against Kentucky show a pretty stark difference in Bennett’s play.

Last season, Bennett threw the ball just 13 times against the Wildcats. Two of those passes were intercepted and Georgia scored a season-low 14 points.

On Saturday, Bennett was nearly flawless. He completed 14 of his 20 pass attempts for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. In Bennett’s four starts this season, he’s thrown 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Bulldogs are also 4-0 in those games, including a 30-13 win over No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday.

“Experience, a better defense, he’s grown up some,” Smart on the difference between Bennett this year and last year. “He threw the ball away today on a third down, that was smart.”

Bennett has had no problem directing the Georgia offense in absence of JT Daniels. Georgia’s other quarterback missed his third straight game, though he looked more comfortable than he had in recent weeks while throwing pregame.

Still, it’s hard to ignore how well Bennett has played this season. Even if he knows he can’t convince his distractors, those who continue to say he’s not good enough.

Smart knows the questions about Bennett and Daniels will continue to persist, especially as Daniels misses more time and Bennett continues to direct the Georgia offense. The Georgia head coach is still proud of the way Bennett has played this season.

Even if a few stubborn members of the Georgia fan base refuse to see Bennett for what he has become.

“I think he’s a very effective quarterback, very bright, he can run with his legs,” Smart said. “He understands what (Todd) Monken is trying to do.”

Stetson Bennett recaps win over Kentucky

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