071822 Atlanta: LSU head coach Brian Kelly takes questions during his press conference at SEC Media Days in the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday, July 18, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis Compton@ajc.com”

Brian Kelly sizes up Georgia offense: ‘lethal’ tight ends, confident Stetson Bennett

ATHENS — It’s fair to say the Georgia football offense has sputtered of late, with quarterback Stetson Bennett not playing his best football of the season.

But when LSU coach Brian Kelly looks at the Bulldogs’ offense, he sees the best in them, starting with the Bulldogs’ dynamic duo of tight ends.

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Kelly said “lethal” is a good word to describe how defenses perceive Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington.

“It’s as talented and as productive of a tandem that you’ll see,” Kelly said, putting the Georgia tight ends’ talents into perspective.

No doubt, when the Tigers play the Bulldogs at 4 p.m. next Saturday in the SEC Championship Game LSU will be sure to account for UGA’s Number 19 and Number 0..

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“Darnell Washington is a large person, 6-7, I mean, there’s nobody that really has a favorable matchup against him,” Kelly said.

“Then Bowers …. Coach (Todd) Monken gets him involved in everything from handoff sweeps to I don’t know if he’s thrown the ball yet, but I’m sure he will. He’s just a versatile player. He’s a guy that can break games open.”

Kelly noted that Bowers leads Georgia in receptions (46 catches, 645 yards, 5 TDs) in addition to the dynamics he has brought as a ball carrier with six carries for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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The Bulldogs’ most dangerous weapon of late is tailback Kenny McIntosh, whose 177 yards rushing and receiving in the 37-14 win over Georgia Tech were the most a Georgia back has totaled in one game since D’Andre Swift in 2018.

The game before, Kirby Smart turned to McIntosh to carry the load in a 16-6 win against Kentucky. McIntosh totaled 162 yards including 143 yards rushing on a day Bennett managed only 116 yards passing.

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Smart pointed out the up-and-down nature of the UGA offense and Bennett’s performances of late, but he accepts that as part of playing the quarterback position.

Smart remains confident Bennett will perform under the postseason pressure and get the ball into the hands of Bowers and Washington, and Kelly also believes Bennett is capable.

“He’s in full command of the offense, full command,” Kelly said when asked about Bennett.

“The confidence on film in terms of what he exudes is amazing. I think he’s, like, 26-3 as a starter.”

Here’s a look at where Bennett ranks among SEC quarterbacks at the end of the 12-game regular season:

Stetson Bennett SEC ranks

Passing efficiency 5th

QB rushing yards: 8th

Passing yards per completion 7th

Passing yards per game 4th

Yards per pass attempt: 3rd

Completion percentage: 5th

Completions per game: 4th

Passing touchdowns: 8th

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