ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is holding his place as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 option under center with two weeks remaining in the spring football session.
Coach Kirby Smart said Thursday that he was excited about the team’s first major scrimmage the ninth of 15 allotted spring practices culminating with the G-Day Game on April 16.
“Coaches go off the field and (we) find out who can tackle,” Smart said.
Bennett was the first-team quarterback for the first two drives before Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff took their turns with the ones at the team’s scrimmage on Saturday in Sanford Stadium.
The quarterback position has been a focal point the past couple of weeks after Smart said he was challenging the 24-year-old Bennett on and off the field to improve with his decision-making.
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“You could come back in 10 years from now and it’s going to be the same thing as it was last year—decision-making, accuracy, leadership, intangibles—great quarterbacks are accurate and they make good decisions,” Smart said.
“I want to see them execute the offense, lead the offense, make plays with their feet when things break down—things that are difference-makers for them— and overcome mistakes because there’s going to be some adversity out there.”
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Bennett’s scrambling drills were on display, but just like the CFP Championship Game, he was also sacked more than once and his throwing success wasn’t consistent.
Bennett’s experience in the offense makes him the prohibitive favorite to hold the job, for all the questions some have posed.
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Beck, meanwhile, had one of the best throws of Saturday, a deep pass to Dominick Blaylock.
Blaylock, coming off two knee surgeries and a pulled hamstring, is close to being back in the same form he showed in 2019 as a freshman, according to those who watched the scrimmage.
Blaylock’s performance is encouraging, as Coach Kirby Smart has said Georgia is limited at the receiver position.
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Sophomore AD Mitchell, who took over the “X” receiver duties last season with superstar George Pickens sidelined by a knee injury, had a tough day.
Mitchell, onlookers said, had multiple drops on what would normally be routine catches for him.
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Running backs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton both looked good catching the football, Milton beating tight coverage in the end zone to reel in a well-thrown pass from Vandagriff.
Milton, however, also had a ball ripped loose for a fumble.
McIntosh, meanwhile, took a shot from rising defensive star Jalen Carter but was not injured.
Daijun Edwards, the No. 3 running back, has also reportedly looked sharp.
Vandagriff, who had 3 touchdown throws on the day, also had an interception when a ball he delivered to Jackson Meeks went off Meeks’ hands and was picked off.
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Tight end Arik Gilbert, whose size (6-5, 265) and athleticism make him stand out on the field, also looked good with a couple of catches.
The media was not allowed to observe scrimmage, and neither Smart nor any of the players were made available for interviews after the Saturday workout.
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