The Georgia Bulldogs are highly considered to represent the SEC East in the conference championship game in Atlanta. The opponent that they will most likely face from the SEC West will be the Alabama Crimson Tide. The contest between the two programs will have a college football playoff feel before the actual postseason even starts.
If Georgia gets past Alabama, are they a lock to win the national title? Their defense is one of the best that we have seen in years, but can their quarterbacks do enough to bring home the Dawgs’ first national title since 1980? The last four national title winners have had quarterbacks that were first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
Starting Quarterbacks for the Last Four National Title Winners Since 2017
Tua Tagovailoa: 2017-2018
Trevor Lawrence: 2018-2019
Joe Burrow: 2019-2020
Mac Jones: 2020-2021
The verdict is still out on if Georgia QBs JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett are NFL starters, but the style of play that has won national championships in the last four seasons has been quarterbacks that go above and beyond in big games. So far, neither Bennett nor Daniels has been in a situation where they have to go out and win the football game for the Bulldogs. Right now, their defense is playing on an entirely different level compared to the other elite programs. Georgia leads the nation in scoring defense (6.6 ppg), total defense (207 yards per game), rushing defense (64.9 ypg), and passing defense (144.9 ypg).
What program do you know of can say that they have held their opponents to 6.6 ppg through the first seven games of the season? The last team to pull it off was the Alabama Crimson Tide back in 1992. These are a type of stats that allows quarterbacks such as Bennett and Daniels to manage the offense for the most part. Here is what a few SEC head coaches have said once their teams have faced the Georgia defense.
“Oh yeah,” said Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops when asked if Georgia had a national championship defense. “The problem is that when they take a guy out, the guy they put in is just as good. They are relentless.” Kentucky was off to their best start in program history until they took a trip down to Athens. They were no longer undefeated when it was over.
“They’ve got like, 100 five-star players on their defense. They have a 340-pound defensive lineman (Jordan Davis) who can run faster than anybody on this call (Zoom).” Said South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer. Georgia steamrolled the Gamecocks 40-13. No matter who is in the game at quarterback, they have done everything expected of them at the position. Daniels has done an exceptional job even though he has battled numerous injures throughout the season. His counterpart Stetson Bennett has exceeded the expectations of being just a backup QB to Daniels.
So far this season, Bennett had tied the school record for touchdown passes in a game when he threw five against UAB. He is completing 70% of his passes, even though it’s a small sample size through seven games. Georgia will be taking on the Florida Gators in the annual “Cocktail Party Game” off their open weekend in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida does not have the personnel at quarterback to potentially rattle Georgia’s defense at the moment.
So it could be another game where Daniels or Bennett may not do too much. Can the Bulldogs win a national title with the services of JT Daniels or Stetson Bennett? We may not get our answer until the SEC championship game or the college football playoffs. Even if Georgia losses to Alabama, there’s still a significant chance that the playoff committee will allow them to qualify for the postseason.
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