Kirby Smart explains why Stetson Bennett came into Georgia's game vs. South Carolina
Kirby Smart watched as JT Daniels led the Georgia offense on 2 touchdown drives to open Saturday’s game against South Carolina.
Then, for some reason, he switched it up, putting in Stetson Bennett IV for the third drive, on which Bennett immediately threw a bad interception.
So, what went into that decision? After the game, Smart was asked about it. He said the decision was made to play both quarterbacks due to concerns about Daniels’ health (via 247Sports):
“Yeah, to be honest with you, JT was not 100 percent all week,” Smart said. “He practiced all week but he didn’t necessarily go with the ones the whole time. We didn’t know he was going to be able to go on Monday and we thought Stetson really practiced well and he and JT rolled all week. We told them, I guess it was Thursday or Friday, we called them in and said, ‘Hey look, you’re both going to play. We think JT is healthy enough to go but we’re going to play you, Stetson.’
“It’s an unfortunate deal. Brock (Bowers)’s route was a little shallow and he probably shouldn’t have thrown it there. He threw it a little high, it sailed on him, and it got picked. Unfortunate for Stetson but he did have a good week of practice. I’ve said it all along, and I continue to say it and stand by it, I have a lot of confidence in our quarterbacks — a lot of confidence in our quarterbacks. I can’t say that I’ve ever had as much confidence in three or four guys that I’ve ever had. Stetson earned that right and it just didn’t work out.”
Georgia still managed to rout South Carolina 40-13 despite the bad pick. However, perhaps this will give Smart some pause about breaking up offensive momentum moving forward.