Yet Bennett knows it wasn’t a perfect day. He was frustrated a few of his passes got tipped at the line of scrimmage, harkening back to memories of the 2020 Alabama game. He was also intercepted twice, with both throws being late over the middle.
The senior quarterback did find a way to end the day on a high note. With the score tied at 23 and 55 seconds remaining Bennett connected with Gilbert for a 27-yard gain and then found Kearis Jackson for 25-yards to set up the game-winning field goal and a medium-rare steak for Bennett.
“We are trying to make sure Carson (Beck) eats beanie weenies,” Bennett said after the game, as Beck was the starting quarterback for the red team.
Beck and Brock Vandagriff both got first-team reps on Saturday, but most of their playing time was limited to the second and third teams. Bennett exclusively worked with the first-team offense.
If it wasn’t already clear, Kirby Smart went a step further in his post-game press conference to leave no doubt about any perceived quarterback battle.
“Our team knows that Stetson is the quarterback,” Smart said. “Stetson has done an incredible job. Stetson has been an incredible leader, done what we’ve asked.”
The Georgia coach also took time to point out how Beck and Vandagriff, as did Bennett, improved this spring.
“I think if you ask them, they are really comfortable back there in the bullpen throwing the ball. I saw it today with both of them,” Smart said. “They both had really good arm talent, and did a really good job. Stetson knows where he stands on our team.”
Beck completed 14 of his 26 passing attempts for 274 yards. He had no touchdowns yet no interceptions either. Vandagriff completed 12 of his 26 pass attempts for 115 yards. He also added 45 rushing yards, showcasing his mobility.
Bennett completed only 15 of his 35 passing attempts, but Smart quickly mentioned how the format of the game wasn’t tailored to how the Georgia offense normally operates. Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh combined for just 12 rushing attempts. There wasn’t much of a play-action passing game, given there wasn’t much of a desire to put added miles on the Georgia running backs.
That led to 91 total passing attempts. That will never happen in a Georgia football game.
Bennett expects to be much sharper once the regular season rolls around. By that time he should get Brock Bowers back and get his full complement of weapons, as Arian Smith and Dominick Blaylock were suiting up for the red team.