A Dynamic Debut from Daniels
Georgia's offense has struggled at the quarterback position for the overwhelming majority of the season. JT Daniels got his first start as a Georgia Bulldog Saturday, and the former USC Trojan did not disappoint in a 31-24 victory over Mississippi State.
Daniels completed 28 for 38 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He made one poor decision all night and it came early in the game. Clearly, he was the primary reason for Georgia's win. The Bulldogs had a season-low eight rushing yards, but Daniels put them in a position to win.
Daniels did an outstanding job giving his wide receivers a chance to go up and win 50-50 balls. He has a tremendous amount of confidence in his ability and he will place the ball in windows where only his receivers can get it.
He was also borderline ridiculous on third down. Georgia was 8-for-13 in those situations, a 61.5-percent success rate. Entering Saturday night's game, Georgia was converting on just 42 percent of its third-down opportunities.
As the game wore on, Daniels became more and more confident and consistent in his pocket presence. There was a possession midway through the third quarter that culminated in a touchdown pass to wide receiver Kearis Jackson where Daniels had two would-be touchdown passes dropped. One drop by wide receiver George Pickens was a play in which Daniels made a defender miss, stepped into the pocket and delivered a strike.
That's the type of production Georgia has been missing at the quarterback position for quite some time. In fact, Daniels is the first Georgia quarterback since Aaron Murray in 2013 to throw for at least 400 yards in a game.
Georgia has had wide receivers running open all season, and head coach Kirby Smart said they just needed a quarterback that can hit the layups. Well, Daniels was hitting the three-ball from the logo Saturday night.
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