Greg McElroy liked what he saw from Georgia QB Stetson Bennett IV as he bounced back from a lackluster SEC Championship Game performance to lead the Bulldogs to their first national championship since 1980.

So, does that mean Bennett can avoid the constant criticism, even from Georgia fans, that he faced in 2021 as he leads the Dawgs into 2022?

Don’t count on it, says McElroy. On his “Always College Football” show, McElroy said he thinks the fan criticism will continue this fall:

“Based on the history, everyone wanted to blame Stetson Bennett for their loss in the SEC Championship last year when Alabama scored 42 points,” McElroy said. “Unless Stetson Bennett was also playing corner covering Jameson Williams, I don’t know how you could blame him for that performance. Now, he didn’t play well. He forced a couple picks. He didn’t play great. One pick wasn’t his fault. But either way, as the quarterback at a high-profile school you’re always gonna get way too much credit and way too much blame.

“The only thing that’s different about Stetson Bennett is he never actually gets the credit. So, I don’t really understand how to deal with it. I don’t think it’s fair. He is extremely underrated, and if you look at what he did in the fourth quarter of the national championship game, he should be forever beloved by Bulldog Nation. I called the spring game. The second Carson Beck threw a touchdown pass, I saw people lighting up my Twitter feed saying ‘There’s MY quarterback. Stetson Bennett no longer. I want Carson Beck.’ Y’all, it’s a spring game. He’s going against the twos. What are we doing? So, I think Stetson Bennett is going to get unfairly criticized regardless of what he does or how he performs.”

Can Bennett continue to prove the doubters wrong? He’ll face a tough test in Week 1 when Georgia faces Oregon and former DC Dan Lanning in Atlanta.