“deadly” tight ends, convinced Stetson Bennett

ATHENS — It’s fair to say that Georgia’s football offensive has faltered lately with quarterback Stetson Bennett not playing his best football of the season.

But when LSU coach Brian Kelly looks at the Bulldogs’ offense, he sees the best in them, starting with the Bulldogs’ dynamic, tight-ended duo.

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Kelly said “fatal” is a good word to describe how the defense perceives Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington.

“A tandem is as talented and productive as you will see,” Kelly said, putting the talents of the Georgia tight ends into perspective.

When the Tigers play the Bulldogs in the SEC championship game next Saturday at 4 p.m., LSU will no doubt consider UGA’s #19 and #0.

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“Darnell Washington is a big person, 6-7, I mean there’s nobody that really has a cheap matchup against him,” Kelly said.

“Then Bowers… Coach (Todd) Monken involves him in everything from handoff sweeps to “I don’t know if he’s thrown the ball yet, but I’m sure he will.” He’s just a versatile player. He’s a guy who can break up games.”

Kelly noted that Bowers leads Georgia in receptions (46 catches, 645 yards, 5 TDs) in addition to the momentum he brought as a ball carrier with six carries for 93 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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The Bulldogs’ most dangerous weapon of late is jammed Kenny McIntosh, whose 177 yards in the 37-14 win over Georgia Tech was the most by a Georgia back in a game since D’Andre Swift in 2018.

In the game before, Kirby Smart turned to McIntosh to carry the load in a 16-6 win over Kentucky. McIntosh rushed for 162 yards total, including 143 rushing yards on a day when Bennett passed just 116 yards.

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Smart has pointed out the ups and downs of UGA’s offense and Bennett’s recent performances, but he accepts it as part of playing the quarterback position.

Smart remains confident Bennett will perform under the pressure of the postseason and put the ball in the hands of Bowers and Washington, and Kelly also believes Bennett is capable.

“He has full control on offense, full control,” Kelly said when asked about Bennett.

“The confidence in the film in terms of what it conveys is amazing. I think he’s about 26-3 as a starter.

Here’s a look at where Bennett ranks among SEC quarterbacks at the end of the 12-game regular season:

Stetson Bennett SEC rankings

Efficiency passed 5

QB rushing yards: 8

Passing yards per completion 7

Passing yards per game 4

Yards per pass attempt: 3

Completion Percentage: 5th

Completions per game: 4

Passing touchdowns: 8