Georgia’s Stetson Bennett IV named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week
NEW ORLEANS – Stetson Bennett Iv, a junior at the University of Georgia, has been selected as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. He earns the honor over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Facebook contest.
Bennett, making his second career start, directed the third-ranked Bulldogs to 431 yards of total offense on 77 plays in a 44-21 SEC win over No. 14 Tennessee. He completed 16-of-27 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding a rushing touchdown, as he led the Bulldogs to 27 unanswered points in the second half.
The Blackshear, Ga., native was listed as the Bulldogs’ fourth-string quarterback to open preseason camp. However, one quarterback opted out of the season, another has battled injuries and the third struggled in the season-opener, which opened the door for Bennett to take hold of the QB position. He has completed 63 percent of his passes and tallied five touchdown throws, but most importantly, he has zero interceptions as Georgia has maintained its ranking among the top teams in the country (currently No. 3 in the AP Poll).
The Bulldogs go on the road to face No. 2 Alabama this Saturday at 7 p.m. CT on CBS in a matchup of the SEC division leaders.
Bennett won this week’s award over Missouri’s Connor Bazelak and Gunnar Watson of Troy. Bazelak, a freshman who picked up his first career win, completed 29-of-34 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns on his way to setting career-highs in nearly every category. He connected on three second-half touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 5:18 to go as the Tigers upset No. 17 LSU, 45-41, in SEC action. Watson completed 33-of-46 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns, also tallying career-highs in nearly every category, including five passes of 20 yards or more, as he led the Trojans to a 37-17 Sun Belt win over Texas State.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. Ten finalists will be selected and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In its first 16 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 12 different schools and from four different conferences. The Big 12 Conference (Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Vince Young, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III) and the Southeastern Conference (Joe Burrow, Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow) lead the way with five Manning Award honorees each, while and the Atlantic Coast Conference (Deshaun Watson twice, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston) has had four Manning Award winners. LSU (Burrow and Russell) joins Oklahoma (Murray and Mayfield) and Texas (McCoy and Young) as the only schools with two different winners.
All the Manning Award winners follow in the footsteps of the Mannings themselves. In college, Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning combined for over 25,000 passing yards and 201 touchdowns while playing in 10 bowl games and earning four bowl MVP awards. Archie was the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft, while both Peyton and Eli were selected No. 1 overall.
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