Smart: 'Our team knows that Stetson is the quarterback'
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made it clear in his post-game press conference on Saturday following the annual G-Day scrimmage that Stetson Bennett is the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback.
Smart commended Bennett for his work ethic and leadership throughout spring practice.
“Our team knows that Stetson (Bennett) is the quarterback,” Smart said. “Stetson has done an incredible job. Stetson has been an incredible leader and done what we’ve asked.”
Bennett took a majority of the first-team snaps for the Black squad. Although his numbers weren’t that impressive, he made some plays that turned heads. Bennett finished the day by completing 15-of-35 passes for 237 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Bennett’s first touchdown was a 16-yard pass to tight end Arik Gilbert in the middle of the endzone. He connected with the 6-foot-5, 248-pound pass catcher in double coverage for the score. That touchdown capped off an eight-play, 70-yard drive for the Black team.
The Blackshear, Ga., native’s second passing score was a 32-yard attempt to running back Kendall Milton. Bennett air-mailed a lob pass to the rising junior tailback out of the backfield.
His third passing score of the game was another attempt to Gilbert. During the play, Bennett lofted a ball to the former five-star tight end, who made a diving effort in tight coverage.
Bennett also led the Black team down the field in crunch time, which set up placekicker Jared Zirkel for his game-winning 27-yard field goal. He made a few long pass attempts to Gilbert, Brett Seither and Kearis Jackson on the eight-play, 60-yard drive.
Jackson, who hauled in four receptions for 107 yards, reiterated Smart’s statement about Bennett.
"Stetson (Bennett) is our guy,” Jackson said. “We just won a national championship with him.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Carson Beck was the clear No. 2 option behind Bennett, despite taking snaps for both the first and second-team offenses. He completed 14-of-26 pass attempts for 274 yards with zero touchdowns and interceptions.
Brock Vandagriff also took reps for both the first and second-team offenses. He combined to complete 12-of-26 passes for 115 yards with zero touchdowns and interceptions. Vandagriff also led all Bulldogs’ rushers with 45 yards on three attempts.
Smart said that while Bennett is the starter, he’s content that Georgia has three reliable guys in the quarterbacks’ room. He added that Stetson ‘knows where he stands.’
“Those other two guys have also done a tremendous job,” Smart said of Beck and Vandagriff. “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. They both have really good arm talent and did a good job.”