The Mailman Rings Twice for Georgia Football
HAN VANCE on Georgia football: Dawgs 1-0.
MAILMAN DELIVERS IN HOGLAND:
IV, the fourth rangeth twice ‘fore loud Chapel Bell clanged into an autumnal Classic City night. Talk about knowing who your people are, Stetson Bennett IV hails from Georgia, unlike his competitors at the most important football position at any level, and – like me (1990-1993 & 1996-1998) – he has chosen to attend UGA twice. It’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog, I bet he is thinking right now.
Nicknamed “The Mailman” for his postal worker unassuming (good, wholesome) looks at just 5-11, at the tallest, and “ahem almost” 200 pounds (soaking wet maybe, in full pads and with a fully-inflated helmet on); he’s listed at 190. Postal delivery.
And, even more so for the now indisputable fact: the Georgia junior delivers the football with pinpoint accuracy. Boom!
And how about that will to win in getting the pylon tapped with the rock in the front corner of the end zone, at Fayetteville – where my in-laws watched many a game.
Don’t Rock’n’Roll No…Now Rock’n’Roll Go…
Dawgs, the season started out scary, about like 2018’s one ended – Ol’ Georgia getting beat by a lesser team from the Southwest in an upset. But, that was before the re-enrollee was given his shot. D’Wan Mathis is 1-0 as a starting QB, already fulfilling my projection at the time of his flipped from Ohio State recruitment that he would someday start for the football program which invented Deep South college football in the old cold white winter of 1892.
A home win at Herty Field (vs Mercer, of Georgia) game before playing sister school AU-barn in Atlanta. Kind of a big deal, down here. College football. Auburn-Georgia was (not until) Feb. 20 of 1892, y’all.
Now hear this, alumnus head coach Kirby “Not Offense” Smart begged our boy Bennett to return to the fair university in Athens, the birthplace of American public higher education (1785!), to complete his studies. See, Georgian Justin Fields (of Cobb County) had bolted for the greener pastures of the more easily comprehensible Ryan Day offensive passing scheme in the Heartland; Justin simply couldn’t unseat Georgian Jake Fromm when Fromm was just becoming a true sophomore, who had thrown the ball notably sparingly as a frosh starter from on into game one of his college career, when five-star then-sophomore Jacob Eason got hurt.
When Bennett captained the scout team, now Colorado head coach Mel Tucker raved about him kicking his guys’ butts so much so that they/he said that Bennett was better than Baker Mayfield, who won a Heisman and embarrassed Ol’ Georgia in the football school’s first ever half in the CFP. Fromm never got back there, to the college football playoff, losing to Bama in OT in ATL after ousting Choklahoma in double OT in pretty Pasadena. When NFLer Eason left after being a backup, Justin Fields came in and Stetson took his considerable talents to junior college to be a starter.
It was way too much, the Kirby-driven (also all so unnecessary, fans) crazy quarterback carousel, which if you think about it, Georgia was the first major program to set it a spinnin’ as it is.
It’s free agency football, bad for the college sport as far as team depth, but great for a few kids and the fans of, say, Miami…or Ohio State. It is now just part of the new normal. Like straight BS voting to BCS to CFP playoff, to inevitable expansion to a legit playoffSSS, changes have happened or will happen. Even in college.
Back here in the True South – which is an excellent SEC Network travel TV show written and hosted by a razor sharp UGA alum I chat with on occasion, by the way – while Fields was mopping up for Iron Man, Fromm, and planning his exodus (and Heisman speech) to Ohio, we each knew somebody good had to be a number two.
Re-enter Mailman…2020 happened, too…Boom!
He was 20-of-29 for 211 yards passing and two passing touchdowns. He had only eight balls touch turf. And, he led our talented team to 32 points in the second half.
Our D, straight nasty, too, but that’s like another Blawg, bro.
PITT-BOSS TAKES A LOSS, NOBLY:
Not medically cleared USC (the real one in SoCal) hardship waiver transfer sophomore J.T. Daniels is suddenly a long-shot to unseat Bennett IV, if the precision scoring keeps coming, without any major errors. He was about flawless, folks, playing in a new offensive system on the road off the bench cross-divsionally in the vaunted SEC. Where Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom – he was SEC East brethren Mizzou’s solid promoted from being an excellent defensive coordinator there head coach the last few years – clearly knew what to do to stop Todd Monken’s not all that great first Air Raid game plan at UGA.
And Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman – UGA’s associate head coach last year and O-line coach for four strong years – is the big guy who really brought in-the-trenches power football to Georgia for Kirby Smart, recruiting the best offensive linemen in the country and in the school’s history, and leading the SEC in rushing throughout his tenure. He just put two offensive tackles into the first round of the NFL draft, one a great-get good guy who went to private Pace Academy in Atlanta and the other a straight-up NYC goofball who keeps getting in trouble before he even gets on the field, but is a certifiable giant. Pittman’s third lineman taken this last draft was an opening day starter for the Miami Dolphins. Pittman knew exactly how to get Kirby mentally off, period.
Kirby said, “Coach Pittman really cares about all his kids.” Novel notion, there. He’s just a genuine good guy and power football guru. He knows how to calmly with composure coach up an offense and every member of an organization – installing former Baylor at its best son of bad dad boy wonder Kendal Briles to call the plays for the Hogs.
Young Kendal played quarterback, wide receiver and safety, for both Texas and Houston, by the way. Great get.
Mailman for Heisman! (…too soon?)
…Good win, because there are no bad wins, especially versus the SEC West or in the SEC, at all. It’s always good to win! Our most common postseason opponent ever when including the SECCG and most common bowl opponent as well, young Arkansas is suddenly a team to watch for the next few years, in good hands with the Pitt-Boss at the helm.
Georgia is in good hands on offense, too, those of IV.
Feature photo today is actually lil ol’ me. I’m taller, bigger (and oh so much meaner) than Bennett, here wearing a satchel full of unique merch I designed and handcrafted artisanal books, which I wrote.
But I thought it looked very Mailman-ish.
P.S.: The pilot episode of my new podcast was called “The Dawg Days of Fall” and is up (on SoundCloud). For the record: we were the only Georgia media or national football media at all saying that The Mailman would quite likely see game action Saturday, folks.