sunny.png
Thursday September 23rd, 2021 4:49PM

QB controversy at UGA? Bennett shines as Daniels replacement

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — JT Daniels has certainly done nothing to lose his job as No. 2 Georgia's starting quarterback.

He led the Bulldogs to five straight wins after taking over as the No. 1 signal-caller. Surely, he'll be taking snaps as soon as he's healthy.

Then again, when your back-up throws five touchdown passes in a single half, tying the school record and sharing honors as the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week, there's bound to be some talk of a possible quarterback controversy.

The Bulldogs (2-0) returned to practice Monday to begin preparations for a prime-time Southeastern Conference game against South Carolina (2-0).

Naturally, coach Kirby Smart was asked about the status of Daniels, who didn't play in last Saturday's 56-7 rout of UAB because of an oblique injury.

“He has certainty improved," Smart said, citing a report from the school's medical director, Ron Courson. “I will know a little more after practice today in terms of his mobility and his ability to move around and throw the ball.”

With Daniels in uniform but watching from the sideline, Stetson Bennett turned in a near-perfect performance against UAB. He completed 10 of 12 for 288 yards, with three of his scoring throws going for more than 60 yards.

Bennett also had Georgia's longest run of the day on a 20-yard scramble, setting up another TD. In all, he guided Georgia to six touchdowns in seven possessions before calling it a day with a passer rating 422.4 and the Bulldogs leading 42-0.

The SEC honored Bennett's performance by picking him as co-offensive player of the week along with Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez.

Bennett, a former walk-on who has made six career starts, declined to get into any speculation about whether he deserves more playing time even when Daniels is healthy.

“I was wondering when that was gonna come up,” he quipped. “I can't answer that. Whoever is the guy, we're all ready. All of us. Everybody on the team has confidence with everybody in the quarterback room. We're all good friends. We all prepare the same way.”

Daniels is certainly a viewed as the most talented quarterback in the room, a five-star recruit coming out of high school who initially started at Southern Cal before sustaining a serious knee injury, losing his job and transferring to Georgia.

A bit undersized at 5-foot-11, Bennett walked on at Georgia when he didn't receive a scholarship offer out of high school, hoping to impress the coaches in person. But it quickly became apparent that Bennett had little chance of earning playing time, so he transferred to a junior college the next year.

He was all set to take a scholarship from Sun Belt Conference school Louisiana when Georgia, suddenly in desperate need of quarterback depth after Justin Fields transferred to Ohio State , came calling with an offer of their own.

Bennett returned to the Bulldogs two years ago and wound up starting five games in the pandemic-shorted 2020 season.

After losses to Alabama and Florida ended Georgia's SEC championship hopes, and with Daniels' knee injured fully healed, the Bulldogs turned to him for the final four games of the season.

Daniels guided the Bulldogs to a 4-0 mark, including a last-second triumph over Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl.

There were no questions about the starter coming into this season, and Smart even indicated that Bennett had dropped to No. 3 on the depth chart behind redshirt freshman Carson Beck.

Georgia knocked off Clemson 10-3 in its opening game, but the Daniels-led offense never reached the end zone and his oblique began to bother him. The only touchdown of the game came on a 74-yard interception return.

Daniels completed 22 of 30 but produced only 135 yards passing with an interception.

Bennett dwarfed those numbers in his start, but of course he was facing a far less imposing team than Clemson, which came into this season ranked No. 3.

Smart said the quarterback position is no different than any other on the team.

No one is assured of a starting job.

“It's the same as the defensive back room, the wide receiver room, and all the other rooms,” Smart said. “You go out and compete each day. I don't see it any different for the quarterbacks."

Still, it's a far cry from last season, when the Bulldogs struggled to settle on a starting quarterback before Daniels locked down the job late in the year.

He'll continues to rehab the oblique injury, and from all indications will again be the starter when he's healthy.

But there's certainly no need to rush Daniels back for Saturday night's game against South Carolina.

Not after the way Bennett played last weekend.

“The approach is rest, recovery and treatment," Smart said. “The biggest thing that we’ve been told is that you don’t want to aggravate it.”

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Sports, College Sports, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
QB controversy at UGA? Bennett shines as Daniels replacement
JT Daniels has certainly done nothing to lose his job as Georgia’s starting quarterback
5:58PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Conservative PM concedes defeat as in Norway's elections
Conservative Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has conceded defeat in Norway’s general election as the Scandinavian country swings leftward
5:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Democrats seek corporate, wealthy tax hikes for $3.5T plan
House Democrats have unveiled a sweeping proposal for tax hikes on big corporations and the wealthy to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan
5:40PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Online bets on NFL games seen surging as season begins
A company that most of the legal U.S. sports betting industry uses to verify that its customers are where they say they are has reported a record number of transactions over the first weekend of the NFL season
5:14PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Browns' Tretter calls for discipline against KC assistant
Browns center JC Tretter believes Kansas City assistant coach Greg Lewis should be disciplined by the NFL for his role in a sideline skirmish with Cleveland safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. on Sunday
5:04PM ( 59 minutes ago )
No. 6 Clemson leaning on defense early in the season
No. 6 Clemson is leaning on its defense early in its effort to win a seventh straight ACC title and possibly another trip to the College Football Playoff
4:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Winston, Saints, overcome displacement, pound Packers 38-3
Jamies Winston passed for five touchdowns, New Orleans intercepted reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers twice, and the Saints kicked off the post-Drew Brees era with a strikingly dominant opening 38-3 victory over the Green Bay Packers
9:12PM ( 20 hours ago )
Tailgating, face-painted fans back in force at NFL stadiums
Tailgating, face-painted fans returned in full force at stadiums around the country as the NFL opened its doors to capacity for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic
9:01PM ( 21 hours ago )
Mahomes dazzles as Chiefs rally for 33-29 win over Browns
Patrick Mahomes threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score as the Chiefs rallied to beat the Browns 33-29
7:44PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Oregon, Iowa enter top 5; Arkansas has 1st ranking since '16
Oregon and Iowa are the big movers in The Associated Press college football poll after road wins over top-10 opponents
2:23PM ( 1 day ago )
Fans celebrate revived Classic with big-name pro coaches
Fans at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium had much to celebrate at the first Southern Heritage Classic in two years
1:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Mets, Yankees and more pay tribute on 9/11 20th anniversary
The Mets and Yankees held a Subway Series game on Sept. 11 for the first time on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, as stadium’s around the country paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 killed in the terrorist attacks
12:47AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Albies, Freeman go deep in 7th, Braves win series over Miami
Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman each hit a solo homer off Anthony Bass in the seventh inning, Eddie Rosario went deep off Edward Cabrera in the fourth, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Miami Marlins 5-3
6:02PM ( 1 day ago )
Hurts 3 TD passes, Smith scores, Eagles rout Falcons 32-6
Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith scored on his first NFL catch, hauling in one of three touchdown passes from Jalen Hurts on a stellar opening day for the Philadelphia Eagles
4:26PM ( 1 day ago )
De La Cruz, Sánchez go back-to-back with homers, Marlins win
Bryan De La Cruz and Jesús Sánchez hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning against Richard Rodríguez, lifting the Miami Marlins to a 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves
11:57PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Clifford leads No. 11 Penn State over Ball State 44-13
Sean Clifford completed 21 of 29 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, ran for another score, and No. 11 Penn State beat Ball State 44-13
7:36PM ( 1 day ago )
Bennett throws 5 TD passes, No. 2 Georgia stifles UAB 56-7
Stetson Bennett tied a school record with five touchdown passes filling in for injured starter JT Daniels, leading No. 2 Georgia to a 56-7 rout of UAB
7:04PM ( 1 day ago )
No. 8 Notre Dame survives Toledo 32-29 after wild 4Q
Jack Coan hit Michael Mayer for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 remaining for the third lead change in a wild fourth quarter and No. 8 Notre Dame held off Toledo 32-29
7:02PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Conservative PM concedes defeat as in Norway's elections
Conservative Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has conceded defeat in Norway’s general election as the Scandinavian country swings leftward
5:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Democrats seek corporate, wealthy tax hikes for $3.5T plan
House Democrats have unveiled a sweeping proposal for tax hikes on big corporations and the wealthy to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan
5:40PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Big 12 coaches says swift expansion solidified league future
Big 12 coaches feel the league is solidified for the long haul after the conference's swift action to expand
5:35PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Congressional leaders remember 9/11 on Capitol steps
Congressional leaders are marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the Capitol
5:34PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Latest: New highs for infections, COVID cases in W. Virginia
The number of coronavirus infections and people hospitalized for COVID-19 in West Virginia have set new highs as Gov. Jim Justice scolds residents who continue to balk at getting vaccinated
5:31PM ( 32 minutes ago )