Countdown to national championship: Three questions with the quarterbacks

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett chats with the media Saturday in Los Angeles. (Hyosub Shin /



Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett chats with the media Saturday in Los Angeles. (Hyosub Shin /

On the eve of the College Football Playoff Championship game, the quarterbacks will be at center stage. Here are three questions from Saturday’s Media Day with Heisman Trophy finalists Stetson Bennett and Max Duggan.

Stetson Bennett, Georgia

Q. You were pretty outward bound to how you played last week. Kirby (Smart) was, too. What do you take from it?

A. You know, I think I started off the game pretty well. Finished it pretty well. There was a little period in the middle I would like to have some things back, but that’s football, and they’re a really good team. You know, they’re going to coach you to make mistakes sometimes. So just work to fix that.

Q. The fact that this is going to be your final college game. I know you talked about it before, but does it make it a little bit easier to really put extra in on this point?

A. I think it’s the national championship. Regardless, if I had years left, but it’s the national championship. It’s the last one of the year. It’s the big one. It’s why we were doing this winter workout so hard. It’s what we dreamed about it when we were kids. I don’t think really me leaving has anything to do with how hard I’m preparing.

Q. How surprised are you that your opponent in the title game is TCU, and they’ve been fairly off the radar?

A. We were all worried about what we were going to do at the beginning of the year. I really didn’t know how good any team in the country was going to be until we played them that week really because we were focused on who we are as a team, focused on us getting better, and then whoever we were playing that week, then we would move on to them. In our building it’s always been it’s about us. We prepare, and then we go – we play the opponent that week.

Max Duggan, TCU

Q. What challenges does Georgia present?

A. Yeah, well, Michigan’s defense was obviously so great and they played so well, but I think with Georgia you’ve seen obviously coach Smart being a defensive guy and the talent that they have on that side of the ball and their coaching staff, it’s going to be a real challenge for us. We know what they are as a team. They’ve been so great on defense and creating trouble and challenges for all offenses this year. We know it’s going to be hard, but we’re looking forward to it.

Q. The underdog label has kind of developed for you guys.

A. Yeah, I guess in our eyes for our program, I guess we don’t really see it as a Cinderella story. We believe in ourselves, and we feel like we’ve earned this position. Obviously, we know what type of challenge is in front of us with Georgia and how great they are offensively, defensively, special teams, the staff that they have. I think it’s just a great opportunity for us, and we’re looking forward to it.

Q. What are some things that you think you’re going to have to do differently against Georgia?

A. Yeah, what they do defensively is pretty special. They’re so well-coached. They’re so talented. They do a lot of different things, whether it’s in coverage, whether it’s with their backers, pressures up front, things of that sort. We know what they’re going to be like, and it’s going to be a challenge for us because of how good they are. But I think something that we need to do is we’ve got to execute at a higher level than we did against Michigan. We know if we don’t execute or have those opportunities that we kind of take, it’s going to be a long night for us because we know how good they are and the challenge that they provide.