Bennett: ‘Pretty obvious’ UGA can play better
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett said “it’s pretty obvious” the No. 1 Bulldogs can play much better than they did Saturday in their 42-41 win versus Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, a motivating factor as they prepare to deal with No. 3 TCU at SoFi Arena on Monday in Los Angeles (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App).
Bennett stated Tuesday one of the reasons he grew in the fourth quarter was because he needed to, as Georgia tracked 38-24. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 190 backyards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the most passing yards in the final quarter in CFP history. The pressure was on after Georgia opened the 2nd half with two three-and-outs.
“Who understands what the reason was, but it does have to be fixed,” said Bennett, who likewise threw an interception versus the Buckeyes. “We’re attempting to be ideal. And we’re attempting to do everything that we can to make every play best. And when it’s not– win or lose– we’re not delighted with it.”
It’s a message that was sent out immediately after the clock expired on Saturday night, after Georgia was shut out in the third quarter, transformed just 2 of 10 third downs, and the defense didn’t have an answer for Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. Georgia will deal with another Heisman Prize finalist in TCU quarterback Max Duggan as the Bulldogs want to become the very first program to win back-to-back championship games since Alabama in 2011-12.
“I think the whole group can attest that we didn’t play our finest game,” stated Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard, “but at the end of the day, it’s just one result that matters the most, and that’s the W. But there’s a lot we can fix … communication and things like that, simply the basic things like that, knowing your take advantage of, talking. I understand we’ve got to talk better throughout with the secondary and things like that. Like I stated, throughout this week we’re just going to deal with some other things and try to information our work to the very best of our ability.”
TCU coach Sonny Dykes said he discovered Ohio State’s capability to make some big plays in the death game, but he makes certain Georgia will “work to get a few of those concerns dealt with.”
“Rather frankly they just made some contested plays, and Ohio State’s got an actually great group of wide receivers and those people truly played well, and credit their quarterback,” Dykes stated. “Georgia is not accustomed to giving up that numerous points, however you got to see what Georgia is all about in the fourth quarter of that game.
“I make sure they’re correcting a few of those plays in the death game,” he said. “Those are the sort of plays we’re going to need to make. We’re going to need to make some of those 50-50 ball plays, and we’re going to need to have our finest players step up and play big games, kind of like they did last week.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he is “confident” linebacker Chaz Chambliss (knee), tight end Darnell Washington (ankle), and right tackle Warren McClendon (knee) will be able to play, but he didn’t offer a definitive status.
“Darnell is getting treatment,” Bennett stated. “He’s resting up. And hopefully he’ll be good to go. But he’s an incredible talent. And he’s amazing. However if he can’t go, then we’ll simply have other people step up. That’s the method it works here. … He’s one of the game-changers we have, but if we don’t, then we still have to go win a football game.”