For the better part of the last three weeks, the talk was who'd be the starting quarterback for Georgia when JT Daniels got back to health. After missing the last three games with a lat injury, the University of Southern California transfer is back to participating in practice during the bye week with some competition for his starting job.
The play of backup redshirt senior Stetson Bennett in the absence of Daniels has been noteworthy. Bennett led Georgia to three straight wins over ranked opponents and did it with efficient, turnover-free play.
The strong performance of Bennett over the last month now brings questions of who should Georgia start against Florida next weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
Brooks Austin: It Doesn't Matter
Oh, look at me being that writer. Though if you're being honest with yourself as a reader of an article like this, you need to be able to see the full landscape of the discussion. Georgia's National Championship aspirations are not dependant upon quarterback play. They're not.
They are dependent upon a defense that is allowing a college football best 6.6 points per game. In the last 45 years of Georgia football, they've never held teams to fewer than 10.2 points per game (1981). They are considerably better than any unit in college football and they are the primary reason for the No. 1 ranking.
Additionally, this offense at points this season has been without George Pickens, Arik Gilbert, Dominick Blaylock, Kearis Jackson, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Darnell Washington, Jermaine Burton, Tate Ratledge, Warren Ericson, Jamaree Salyer, Kenny McIntosh, and Kendall Milton... and they are averaging 38.6 points per game on offense. All while playing through multiple quarterbacks. You start Todd Monken.
As in, you start every conversation about this Georgia offense with Todd Monken.
Harrison Reno: JT Daniels
The case for Stetson Bennett is obvious; Bennett is the hot hand so far this season. The "Mailman" is fresh off three straight strong performances in wins over ranked opponents and leads the Georgia offense at a much higher level than he did a year ago. Some could even argue that Bennett's done more with less than he had last year due to the mass amounts of injuries this season.
On the other hand, Daniels is coming off an injury and, to this point, has not done anything worth losing his starting job that he came into the season with. The game in Jacksonville will be almost a month to the day that Daniels last saw action against Vanderbilt, and many can argue that Daniels needs the starting reps if Georgia hopes to use him later in the season.
Andrew Carroll: JT Daniels if 100%. Otherwise Stetson.
Even in a good year, Georgia cannot escape Quarterback debates. Bennett has done exceptionally well filling in for the injured JT Daniels. His deep ball completion percentage leads the NCAA. He has taken care of the football as well, not having thrown an interception. He's made the throws when he needed to. Make no mistake, the second half against Kentucky was an absolute work-of-art by No. 13.
At the same time, JT Daniels has proven that he can be simply electric with the ball in his hands. That being said, he has yet to be at full strength this year. We know what Daniels is capable of when he is able to go. The real question is, is he fully ready and capable to take the reigns of the Georgia Offense? He's back practicing, but it's hard to know if he is fully healed or not from the lat injury.
If it were me in the coach's shoes (thankfully it's not), I wouldn't make the decision of who starts against Florida until next Wednesday or Thursday. By then JT Daniels will have plenty of reps to prove that he's fully healed up, and he's knocked the rust off.
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