Carson Beck Named Georgia Starting QB by Kirby Smart to Replace Stetson Bennett

Carson Beck Named Georgia Starting QB by Kirby Smart to Replace Stetson Bennett
Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVAugust 19, 2023

ATHENS, GA - APRIL 15: Georgia Bulldogs Jr. QB Carson Beck (15) during the G-Day Red and Black Spring Game on April 15, 2023, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs now know the quarterback they hope guides them to a third consecutive College Football Playoff national championship.

Head coach Kirby Smart told reporters Saturday that Carson Beck will be the starter.

“Carson Beck is going to be our starting quarterback,” Smart said. “He’s done the best job. We communicated that early in the week to the other quarterbacks.”

Beck arrived at Georgia as a 4-star prospect and the No. 9 pro-style quarterback in the 2020 recruiting class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

While he was a highly regarded recruit, the Bulldogs have proven of late they don’t need one to compete at the highest level. After all, Stetson Bennett was a 2-star prospect and the No. 103 pro-style quarterback in the 2017 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

Bennett parlayed that recruiting ranking into becoming one of the program’s all-time legends after leading Georgia to back-to-back national championships. He threw for 304 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions in last season’s title game victory over TCU.

Whether Beck can successfully replace the departed Bennett, who is now with the Los Angeles Rams, is one of the biggest storylines of the college football season with the Bulldogs starting the season at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 and the coaches’ rankings.

Fortunately for Georgia, he’s going to face about as easy of a schedule as a team in the SEC could realistically ask for.

The reigning champions play UT Martin, Ball State, UAB and Georgia Tech in nonconference play. They do not face Alabama. They do not face LSU. And Tennessee (No. 12) and Ole Miss (No. 22) are the only teams on the entire slate who are ranked in the AP Poll.

Georgia can probably ride even mediocre quarterback play into the Nov. 18 matchup at Tennessee and still be undefeated given the reality of its schedule.

But it is still facing championship-or-bust expectations and will likely face quite the test in the SEC Championship Game and CFP when the time arrives. That is when Beck—who has thrown for 486 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions in limited playing time during his career—will be asked to make a play.

Bennett consistently made those plays when the lights were the brightest. If Beck does as well, Georgia could take home the trophy once again.

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