Georgia’s players were off all weekend in adherence to the altered SEC schedule to adjust to COVID-19 postponements of two games the previous week. Instead, of playing Kentucky this past Saturday, the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (3-1) will play the Wildcats (2-3) in Lexington this Saturday (noon, SEC Network). Kentucky lost on the road to Missouri, 20-10, this past Saturday and will be playing for the sixth consecutive week.
That would seem an ideal time for Georgia to experiment with its offense. But there was no evidence that the rotation was altered during the three practices conducted last week.
“We’re always evaluating guys; it doesn’t change,” Smart said. “Y’all keep asking the questions, but we’re always evaluating our guys at quarterback and we’re always trying to get better and growing their game. We’re trying to look at it as, ‘what do we have to do to get our team from Point A to Point B?’ That’s growth, that’s competition. Every position has that. It doesn’t change at quarterback. It’s what you need to get better and that’s what we’ll continue to do this week.”
Chiefly, that’s not turning the ball over, achieving more balance and creating more explosive plays.
Heading to Kentucky, Georgia’s 41st overall in both total offense (418.5 ypg) and scoring (33 ppg). That’s sixth and fifth, respectively, among SEC teams.
Bennett’s quarterback rating dropped significantly this week to 135.95. For the season, he has completed 57.26% of passes for 958 yards with seven touchdowns. The 5-foot-10 signalcaller had five throws deflected against Alabama, four of them at the line scrimmage.
But the Bulldogs don’t believe Bennett’s performance against the Tide is reflective of his relative abilities. Smart and Bennett’s offensive teammates emphasized those around the quarterback need to play better.
“As the tight ends, we wanted to focus on being stronger in the run game and being more efficient in our routes,” sophomore right end John FitzPatrick said. “We took those three days (last week) to work on that and we got better.”
Said running back Zamir White: “We feel like that outbreak game is coming and we’re going to get it.”
Kentucky’s a tough crew to get well against. The Wildcats are fourth in the SEC and 30th in the country in total defense (357.2 ypg), just 10 spots below Georgia’s heralded group.
But expect a concerted effort from the Bulldogs to get back to basics and take some pressure off their quarterback, whoever it happens to be.
“They are really big and stout,” Smart said. “I thought they did a really good job against us last year and their defense is one of the best in the conference.”