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Curtis Compton / AJC
Georgia QB JT Daniels delivered the best performance by a Bulldogs' signal caller since 2013.

WATCH hilarious take: Georgia fans responding to award-winning JT Daniels’ performance

ATHENS — Georgia quarterback JT Daniels has Bulldogs’ fans buzzing again, triggering a wave of confidence in the future direction of the offense not seen since the start of the 2018 season.

It has led to a social media explosion of hot takes and GIFs, including this hilarious take on how stunned UGA fans were to see Daniels complete 28 of 38 passes for 401 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.

 

Georgia ranked 13th in the SEC in pass efficiency entering the game, and Kirby Smart’s offense was last in the league in completion percentage and 113th in the nation out of 126 teams.

The bottom had fallen out with eight interceptions in four fumbles in the previous three games before Daniels was elevated from the scout team with Stetson Bennett injured during the 44-28 loss in Florida.

Smart indicated on Monday that Daniels has plenty of work to do, sharing that his eyes were on the wrong side of the field more than once, and he missed some reads.

RELATED: Smart: JT Daniels needs to get better after 401-yard game

But the USC transfer’s performance was such that he was named the Maxwell Award National Player of the Week, along with the Manning Award Stars Player of the Week and the Davey OBrien Player of the Week.

Pro Football Focus indicated Daniels had the highest-rated performance in the country, and his 10-of-11 passing accuracy on third down was no less than stunning.

This, even though Daniels had just two weeks of practice reps with the starters leading into the game.

Certainly, Daniels gained some familiarity with the starting receivers when he was splitting reps with the ones in fall camp, competing with Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman for the starting job.

Newman had been on campus at Georgia since January, but he had not been named starter and Smart said throughout the offseason that the job was still open.

Newman and offensive coordinator Todd Monken had a “disconnect” during the offseason Zoom meetings, per a source with direct information, and that led to the addition of Daniels in May.

It appeared Daniels was set to take the job once Newman bowed out of the competition after one scrimmage, but then Daniels surgically repaired right knee failed the physical two weeks before the season-opening game.

That opened the door for D’Wan Mathis and Stetson Bennett to start taking the reps with the ones and twos, and Daniels was relegated to continue his rehabilitation on scout team.

The way the story has played out has been interesting, to say the least, and led many UGA fans to wonder how many points Georgia would have beaten Florida by if it had a quarterback like Daniels who could hit open receivers.

No doubt, Smart pointed out UGA lost in part because it couldn’t hit its “layups.”

RELATED: DawgNation exclusive, JT Daniels says no second-guessing

The offensive struggles led to four three-and-out series in five possession after Bennett hurt his shoulder with the Bulldogs holding a 14-0 lead, and nine Florida first-half possessions.

Daniels’ father, Steve, told DawgNation on Sunday that he knew JT wasn’t completely healthy in fall drills, and he’s comfortable and trusting of the way Smart has managed his son’s playing status.

RELATED: JT Daniels gets the first A+ grade of the season

For those still surprised by Daniels’ performance, they should consider he was MaxPreps National Freshman Player of the year, MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year and the Gatorade National Player of the Year his junior season and starting for USC in what should have been his senior season of high school.

 

 

JT Daniels stories

JT Daniels after 401-yard day: ‘We had a great game plan’

Closer look at JT Daniels’ Game Ball performance

RELATED: Eric Zeier explains why no one should second guess

Bill King column: Don’t fret how long it took, just enjoy

Georgia receivers and offense find joy in JT Daniels performance

How JT Daniels became a SoCal High School Legend

Former Georgia QB breaks down JT Daniels film

Kirby Smart updates JT Daniels knee 

Kirby Smart on what JT Daniels brings to team

RELATED: JT Daniels ‘preparing himself for this moment’

5 things, JT Daniels elevated with Stetson Bennett out

Teammates discuss what JT Daniels can bring to Georgia 

 

 

 

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