University of Georgia

Georgia’s Carson Beck details what went into his decision to return to Bulldogs in 2024

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — There is a silver lining of sorts for Georgia, even after seeing its school-record run of 29 consecutive victories end and not being selected for the College Football Playoff to take a shot at what could have been a third consecutive national championship.

Carson Beck is coming back.

And if things had gone a little differently for the Bulldogs, that might not have been the case.

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Beck detailed what went into his decision to return to Georgia in 2024 on Thursday, with the notion of having some unfinished business next season — after this season’s plans went awry by the Bulldogs losing to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game — prominent in his thought process.

“I mean, I feel like that’s always part of it,” Beck said. “I feel like if we hadn’t of lost that game, maybe things would be different. But obviously that’s the way that things panned out and mentally that definitely had an effect on my decision.”

Beck is expected to be Georgia’s starter on Saturday when the sixth-ranked Bulldogs (12-1, No. 6 CFP) take on No. 4 Florida State (13-0, No. 5 CFP) in the Orange Bowl. It’s a chance for Georgia to give its senior class a 50th win, which would be a school record for one class.

Beck surely could have gone pro after this season. The fourth-year junior — who waited three years for his shot at being a starter — was generally considered to be a first- or second-round NFL draft prospect after a season where he completed 72% of his passes for 3,738 yards and 22 touchdowns.

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But Georgia lost to then-No. 8 Alabama 27-24 in the SEC championship game and that left Beck with a decision. Stay and try to win the SEC and CFP next season, or go pro now.

“I think I knew, truly, like a few days after the game,” Beck said. “In my heart I knew exactly what I wanted to do and what I was going to do. I just had to talk to people and make sure that everyone was kind of in agreement with what I wanted to do.”

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Florida State understands the challenge that Beck presents. He’s remarkably consistent, with at least 243 yards in 12 of his 13 games this season. He rarely turns the ball over; he had six interceptions in 399 pass attempts. He ranks sixth nationally in completion percentage and passing yards, plus eighth nationally in yards per pass attempt.

“And what you see with him that he probably doesn’t get acknowledged for — he’s not a scrambler — but he does know how to escape the pocket and when to escape,” Florida State defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said. “He usually does it with really good efficiency and gets first downs. So, I mean, you put that together and, that’s why he’s had such a good year. That’s why they’ve been so efficient on offense. He gets a lot of credit for that. He deserves it.”

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