JT Daniels Moment Has Arrived, What Does It Mean for Georgia?
There are many in and around the Georgia Bulldogs fanbase saying that Saturday is a "big moment." All this week, even before JT Daniels was rumored to be the starting quarterback, time after time, people on the radio, TV broadcasts and social media have been talking about the "moment." That becomes amplified even more when the hype around Daniels gets projected to the field. It results in this question: What does this moment mean for the Georgia program?
Of course, the truth moving forward that Bulldog Nation should understand is that this could be temporary. The only ones that really know what to evaluate in this quarterback competition and where everyone stands are head coach Kirby Smart, offensive coordinator Todd Monken and the remainder of the offensive staff. That's it. Even if Daniels finishes the year strong, Brock Vandagriff is still looming on the horizon, as is yet another competition.
What also has to be understood is that the Georgia staff is taking extensive note of not only what Daniels can do on the field Saturday but what he can do 20 Saturdays from now. It is clear that Monken and the overall offense have a specific scheme they want to use, and whichever quarterback best fits their mold will be rolled with.
Daniels has to rise above expectation in these next few games to get a head start on what could be the future at the position when Vandagriff arrives in the spring. That task will start this weekend in prime time on the SEC Network, but the reality is that the job will be determined over the span of the remaining season, not just Saturday.
Georgia has been a run-heavy offense for the majority of the season. Saturday will be no different, and running back Zamir White could see a 20-plus carry day for the second time this season. The odds are Daniels won't be asked to do that much and will be expected to execute play-action passes, not turn the ball over, and keep the defense honest by occasionally testing coverage downfield.
As the weeks wear on, it's possible a big Daniels day could occur. Who knows; perhaps it will happen Saturday. Daniels could connect on numerous deep balls, which would call into question why he wasn't thrust into action the moment head coach Kirby Smart "cleared him" prior to the Auburn game.
The more likely scenario resembles the Kentucky game. The job won't be won drive by drive and won't even be won Saturday, largely due to the fact that it isn't an actual job.
It's an audition where the winner hopes for a call-back.
So on Saturday, if the offense staggers and can't work things through the air, don't rush to Twitter to talk about how the Bulldogs offense is horrible, how the coordinators can't get it right, how Smart mismanaged the quarterback room, and how recruits should decommit.
On the flip side, if they light it up, don't talk about playoff hopes and how much better Daniels is than his competition. Let him compile a legitimate body of work before judging. And most important, understand that this moment does matter but is only temporary.