My formal apology letter to Stetson Bennett IV
Dear Stetson Bennett IV,
I’d like to apologize for the things that I said about you last week. I’m sure you had your head down, focused on Auburn, so assuming that you didn’t see/hear some of the things I said about you last week before your first career start, here’s a recap:
“Facing Arkansas in relief isn’t the same as facing a Kevin Steele defense that has time to prepare.”
“Hey, Kirby: JT Daniels is the only option to start at quarterback.”
“Georgia isn’t hitching its national title wagon to Stetson Bennett IV.”
I know. Foolish, in hindsight.
An apology letter seems like the best way to reach you, given your side hustle as everyone’s favorite mailman in Georgia (we actually call you everyone’s favorite DUI lawyer on The SDS Podcast, but The Mailman nickname works). I must say, I don’t think you need to wear a U.S. Postal Service cap to get noticed anymore.
What I saw from you on Saturday night reminded me that I mustn’t get caught up in recruiting rankings. Rankings are all well and good until you actually have to buckle the chinstrap and get out there against real SEC competition. You, my friend, weren’t scared of anyone.
When you were staring down untouched rushers, you didn’t do as your counterpart Bo Nix did by drifting back to your throwing hand and heaving an uncatchable ball. Instead, you somehow spun out of it and delivered a dime on the left sideline:
Stetson Bennett is looking like he wants to prove a bunch of people wrong this season 👀🔥pic.twitter.com/cPGLaQFtzp
— Kevin Keneely (@KevinKeneely1) October 4, 2020
Now that’s art. That’s the type of play that made me realize an apology was in store. I probably could have picked any one of the throws that you made to Kearis Jackson, and that diving touchdown from George Pickens was dropped in a bucket, as well.
Tell me, Stetson, did you learn how to make plays like that at Jones County Junior College? Or were you doing those things when you played Baker Mayfield on the scout team ahead of the 2017 Rose Bowl? Whatever the case, your teammates were in a much different state of mind than I was after your performance on Saturday night.
While I’m sheepishly admitting how wrong I was for assuming that the villain from a 1990s teens movie (Daniels) would be the starter moving forward, you certainly showed that you’re capable of running this offense and winning big-time games. Of all the weird things we’ve seen in 2020, there’s zero part of me that envisioned you seeing a meaningful snap this season. Not with Jamie Newman and Daniels on the roster. Oh, and especially not after hearing the D’Wan Mathis hype from fall camp.
But that’s all in the past. What lies ahead for you is a Tennessee team that like you, has no shortage of confidence entering Saturday with the longest active Power 5 winning streak. You’ve seen how they averaged just 16.5 points per game during that streak and nobody has scored more than 27 points against them.
Wait a minute. Were you there when Jeremy Pruitt was at Georgia? I assume that you’ve been there for the past 7 seasons. Of course, with the JUCO break.
Oh, my internet research tells me you just missed out on seeing Pruitt’s defense in practice every day. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. They actually share a lot of similarities to the defense you practice against now. They don’t miss open-field tackles, they have a middle linebacker who has a magnetic pull to the football (his name is “Henry”) and they make the right halftime adjustments.
What am I wasting my ink for? You know these things by now. What you lack in height, you make up for in football IQ. As difficult as it is for me to look at you and think you’re a legitimate SEC quarterback and not Cory Matthews from “Boy Meets World,” I must come to grips with this new reality.
In just 2 short weeks, you have proven me and others wrong. Instead of making us all wonder if Kirby could get a 5-star transfer to enroll midseason, you made us believe that Georgia has its guy. Between your full-extension dives to the pylon to pick up 2-point conversions against Arkansas and your deep-ball prowess against Auburn, you have seemingly answered the question that’s been on the minds of all of us for months.
“Who’s going to be Georgia’s starting quarterback?”
It’s you, Stetson Bennett IV. You no longer have to tell people that you’re not actually a postal worker, or that you don’t actually have the ability to settle that DUI claim.
You do, however, have the ability to sling the pigskin. And if you play your cards right, you’ll do so for a team who’s fully capable of ending the 1980 jokes.
I hope you accept this apology, for you are indeed worth hitching a national championship wagon to.
P.S. Please send Uga my best regards. I assume that if anyone gets a free pass to see/pet the quarantined pup whenever they want, it’s you.