Kirby: Do you really believe in both Stetson and J.T.? – BY DAN MATHEWS

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart yells to his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Dec. 12, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA –
Stetson Bennett is not the reason that Georgia lost 41-24 to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. 

His two interceptions (one taken back for a touchdown) and third quarter turnover on downs after a 12 play drive sure didn’t help. But neither did Georgia running for just 109 yards as a team or giving up 536 yards of total offense to Alabama. 

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart yells from the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

After the game, Kirby Smart was asked about the quarterback situation. This was just a little of what he said in his postgame press conference. 

“I certainly have a lot of confidence in Stetson, and I have a lot of confidence in J.T. too, Smart said.”

You do? In J.T. Daniels too? 

I get backing up your starting quarterback and not wanting to be perceived for not having their back. You have to do that. 

But what about the guy you might need in the College Football Playoff? Since the Clemson and South Carolina games, Daniels has thrown the ball a total of 66 times in just four games. He started three games this season. 

The question coming into Saturday’s game against Alabama was, whether or not Stetson Bennett could lead Georgia to a win in the event of a shootout? In that game, the answer was no. 

We saw a defense who was out of sorts with the Crimson Tide passing attack. I think it’s fair to wonder if maybe the defense was trying to do too much, in order to take pressure off the offense? Like we can’t fall much further behind, otherwise this game is lost. 

Quarterbacks struggle. I get it. No one is perfect. 

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) scrambles in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

This is also not a moment of “beating up” on Stetson. He’s done more for this program than any of us can ever dream of doing. 

But Kirby believes in J.T. Daniels? He told you on Sunday that he wasn’t even an option to come into the game. 

“No, we never discussed that on the headphones last night,” Smart said Sunday after the SEC Championship Game on the Orange Bowl media Zoom call.” Obviously we have to play a lot better in a lot of areas. To put any part of that blame or all that blame on Stetson, there’s a lot more to it at that. We got to play better at rounding, special teams, defense, really all facets of the game.”

Again, glad that you’re backing up your quarterback. Everything you just said there is true. 

But why isn’t it even being considered, if you believe in JT? Do you not believe he can bring you back from a two touchdown deficit? 

Facts are fact… The Georgia offense ran into a wall in the third and beginning of the fourth quarter. 26 total plays yielded a red zone interception, turnover on downs (on a crucial play that looked hastily run as the play clock ticked down) and then a pick six. 

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels (18) warms up before an NCAA college football game against the UAB Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

I think what I’m really saying, is please do not keep J.T. on the sidelines because of you are strictly sticking to your guns. It’s ok to admit that a change is best for the team. 

Nick Saban admitted it in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship against you, when he pulled Jalen Hurts in favor of Tua Tagovailoa. The result worked out and Saban was a genius. 

I’m not saying that doing the same with Stetson and J.T. is going to end in a national title win. But I have a pretty good idea how I think it could work out. 

With your current quarterback situation, can you win in a shootout? I’m not very confident. With JT? Maybe… 

Sometimes maybe is the best option. Sometimes maybe ends with you winning a title. 

Chuck Oliver Show – Anchor/Fill-In Host 
WCNN-AM 680 The Fan, also on FM at 93.7

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