It was another dominant weekend for Georgia football, who once again proved why they are the No. 1 team in the country. The defense was unstoppable, and the Dawgs were also able to establish the running game against an opponent some thought could give them problems.
Meanwhile the backup quarterback Stetson Bennett continues to make his case to be the guy who leads the team through the rest of the season. I can’t think of another player in college football who has played under crazier circumstances and still goes out every week and handles his business. On Saturday, Bennett was 14-20 for 250 yards with 3 touchdowns and also rushed for 22 yards.
“When we (quarterbacks) get out there, everybody has a chance to get comfortable,” Bennett said. “With the players that we have, the defense and the run game, as long as you do your job, study everything, know the offense in and out, know what the defense is going to try and do, you’re going to feel pretty comfortable.”
Yes, Bennett was a bit slow to get going in the first half. He completed just 5 of 10 passes, and his team led 14-7 at halftime. But they came out in the second half and executed the game plan, forcing Kentucky into some very bad spots on defense.
“It was a little bit slow,” Bennett said of the first half. “There are no magic words. We just started executing better at every position. We hit some shots, we started running the ball a little bit better—but other than that, I’m not really sure what happened, we just got a little bit better.”
The Dawgs’ defense caused trouble for Chris Rodriguez and the rest of the Kentucky rush attack, holding them to 51 yards rushing on the day. This shouldn’t surprise folks, especially this season, with the way Georgia has played up front. There’s a difference between an offense not executing a game plan and an offense that is prevented from executing its game plan, which is what Georgia’s defense did against the Wildcats. Georgia may have led only 14-7 at halftime, but this game never felt like it would go in favor of Kentucky. The Wildcats were held scoreless on 8 out of 10 drives, which is a testament to the pressure Georgia forced on Kentucky QB Will Levis.
I know many will ask whether Georgia can sustain this type of success with Stetson Bennett at quarterback, and that’s a fair question. But this team continues to come out every Saturday and answer those questions emphatically. These wins aren’t close either. The Dawgs have outscored their opponents by an average of 31 points and have dominated the three ranked teams they’ve already played this season, 74-26.
Georgia completed passes to seven different receivers against Kentucky, as this offense continues to find playmakers in unforeseen spots. This is just one of the reasons why Georgia is so dominant on both sides of the football. Simply put, there’s only so many times you can get punched in the face before you have to say “uncle”, which is exactly what the Dawgs force opponents to do.
So, as this team gets a much needed week off, they will turn their attention to an Oct. 30 game with Florida, who dominated them last season in Jacksonville. Stetson Bennett was asked after the Kentucky game whether he felt accomplished going into this bye week. His answer should worry the Gators.
“It depends on how you look at accomplishment. Yeah, we are proud of what we have done. It would be silly not to be. We play good football. That does not mean we do not have each and every opportunity to get better at each and every position. The focus going into this week, I am sure it will be to get healthy and get better at your individual assignment.”
Get ready, Florida, because a rested up Georgia team will head to Jacksonville looking for payback — and a National Championship spot.