Stetson Bennett taking the starting spot, Dominick Blaylock blows up

ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett maintains his spot as the Bulldogs’ number one option under center with two weeks left in the spring football session.

Coach Kirby Smart said Thursday that he was excited about the team’s first major practice, the ninth of 15 assigned spring practices that culminated in the G-Day Game on April 16.

“Coaches come off the field and (we) figure out who can tackle,” Smart said.

Bennett was the first-team quarterback for the first two drives before Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff took turns leading the team’s practice Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

The quarterback position has been a focal point in recent weeks after Smart said he was challenging the 24-year-old Bennett on and off the field to improve his decision-making.

RELATED: Kirby Smart’s challenges to Stetson Bennett resonate

“You could come back 10 years from now and it will be the same as last year: decision-making, accuracy, leadership, intangibles — great quarterbacks are accurate and make good decisions,” Smart said.

“I want to see them run the offense, lead the offense, make plays with their feet when things break, things that make a difference for them, and get through mistakes because there’s going to be adversity.”

RELATED: Todd Monken tells boosters it’s Stetson Bennett’s program at QB

Bennett’s coding drills were on display, but like in the CFP Championship Game, he too was sacked more than once and his shooting success was inconsistent.

Bennett’s experience on offense makes him the prohibitive favorite to fill the job, despite all the questions some have raised.

RELATED: Bennett Said Things “Have Gotten Easier” Since Taking Over As No. 1 Quarterback

Beck, meanwhile, had one of the best pitches on Saturday, a deep pass to Dominick Blaylock.

Blaylock, coming off two knee surgeries and a strained hamstring, is close to getting back to the same form he showed in 2019 as a freshman, according to those who watched the fight.

Blaylock’s performance is encouraging, as coach Kirby Smart has said Georgia is limited at wide receiver.

RELATED: Kirby High On Dominick Blaylock’s Return From Injury

Sophomore AD Mitchell, who took over the “X” wide receiver duties last season with superstar George Pickens sidelined with a knee injury, had a tough day.

Mitchell, viewers said, had multiple knockdowns on what would normally be routine sacks for him.

RELATED: Kirby Smart challenges AD Mitchell at UGA practice

Running backs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton looked good catching the ball, Milton working his way past tight coverage in the end zone to catch a well-thrown pass from Vandagriff.

Milton, however, also had a fumble for a fumble.

Meanwhile, McIntosh took a shot from rising defensive star Jalen Carter but was not injured.

Daijun Edwards, the No. 3 running back, has also reportedly looked good.

Vandagriff, who had 3 touchdown throws on the day, also had an interception when a ball he handed to Jackson Meeks went out of Meeks’ hands and was intercepted.

RELATED: Broderick Jones settling in at left tackle, ponders raise

Tight end Arik Gilbert, whose size (6-5, 265) and athleticism make him stand out on the field, also looked good with a couple of catches.

The media was not allowed to observe practice, and neither Smart nor any of the players were available for interviews after Saturday’s practice.

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