As for the defending champions, Georgia has been relatively quiet. There were no hiccups. No scandals shook the team. No fans demanding that someone be benched or fired.
Instead, Kirby Smart and his No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (12-0, 8-0) handled the regular season with admirable efficiency. With that, some of the national limelight has moved away from the Bulldogs. Reporters want things reported, and Georgia has done a good job of giving them nothing so far. On the downside, it means some of the team’s great storylines might not get the attention they deserve.
One of those storylines was the appearance of Stetson Bennett. The Nahunta senior is now 5th all-time in Georgia history with 3,151 yards in 2022. He hasn’t lost a regular season game since Florida in 2020, but because Georgia has been so overwhelmingly good, it doesn’t feel like Bennett is being debated with the other great quarterbacks across the country.
ESPN’s Jason Fitz noted the same thing. While his SEC Championship Preview With former Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, Fitz lamented that Bennett wasn’t getting the attention he deserved.
“I can’t remember the last time I saw a defending champion with an efficient quarterback on an undefeated team that we’re not talking about. Stetson Bennett needs more love,” Fitz said.
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“The reason he doesn’t get more love is because [his playing style] is not sexy. Today, in 2022, it’s all about glitz and glamour. Throw for 3,900+ yards and 30+ touchdowns. Lots of things are noticeable. That’s why a lot of people don’t talk about Stetson Bennett,” Douglas remarked.
“One thing I admire about him is that he really is the mailman. He delivers. I think a lot of people aren’t giving him credit for this season for the simple fact that if you’re the national champion, you’re going to get everybody’s A-game week after week. You have a target on your back.”
“The Georgia Bulldogs and Kirby Smart, they might not put it that way, but it’s a reality. Everyone shoots at you, week after week. I really love his progress as a quarterback; From taking the job last year to winning the national championship, his approach this year. His first game of the year against the Oregon Ducks was phenomenal; threw for over 330 yards and 3 touchdowns that game.”
“I love what he is as a quarterback. He’s mentally ready. Think about it: [Stetson Bennett] can potentially win back-to-back national championships. And I’ve been telling people: If you think of the most famous Georgia Bulldog players of all time, if he can have back-to-back national championship wins, Stetson Bennett will be in the category.
Fitz would wrap up the conversation with this observation: “To me, it’s not just the way they’ve won games this year, it’s the swagger…To me, Stetson has come out this year and is so comfortable in his own skin.” What we see is a guy saying, “I got that.” Nothing seems to upset Stetson Bennett.”
Bennett will look to lead Georgia to their first SEC championship since 2017 when they face LSU this Saturday.