Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes in a NCAA football game at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 24, 2022, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 39-22. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

New Heisman contender has same odds as Stetson Bennett, looking back at historic Saturday action

ATHENS —Stetson Bennett took a place in SEC history on Saturday, but the national buzz centered on a different SEC East quarterback last weekend.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, like Bennett a sixth-year quarterback with a transfer in his background, joined the Georgia quarterback among the top five Heisman Trophy candidates.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud remained the favorite at 1.5-to-1, while Alabama’s Bryce Young is 3.5-to-1 and USC’s Caleb Williams is 6-to-1.

Bennett and Hooker are next up, each at 16-to-1.

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Bennett will likely remain in the race as long as the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs keep winning and he’s under center.

Neither Bennett nor Georgia were at their best in the 39-22 win over a 1-3 Kent State team, but the Bulldogs’ former walk-on did earn a place in history.

Bennett joined SEC legend and former Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, as the only QBs in league history to pass for at least 250 yards and rush for a TD in four consecutive games.

Hooker, meanwhile, dazzled in a nationally-televised CBS afternoon showdown with rival Florida, 22-of-28 passing for 349 yards and 2 touchdowns while also rushing for 112 yards with a TD on 13 carries.

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“Hendon Hooker, right now, might be playing as good as anybody in the country,” Former Vols head coach and Georgia, Alabama and Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said during the Ingles On The Beat Show on Monday night.

“There’s some good quarterbacks across the country, and he may be the best.”

Pruitt, who actually signed Hooker, said the Virginia Tech transfer’s ability to take care of the football — he has 39 TD passes over the past season-and-a-half and just 3 interceptions — none this year.

“He kind of puts the team on his back,” Pruitt said. “When they need a play, he makes a play.”

The Tennessee-Florida game opened some eyes on a day Georgia wasn’t at its best against a lesser opponent.

Coach Kirby Smart, however, was not panicking on Monday even though UGA will likely be down another starter in the secondary after Javon Bullard’s arrest on a DUI charge early Sunday morning.

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The Georgia offense could get a boost a Missouri on Saturday night, however, as Smart said receivers Arian Smith and A.D. Mitchell might be back on the field.

Check out all of the injury updates and the review of last Saturday’s games and look ahead to this week’s action with Pruitt during the On The Beat Show.

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