Saturday Night in Athens provided a chance for Georgia fans to see quarterback Aaron Murray play his final game ‘Tween the Hedges.” Instead, fans saw the worst case scenario for Murray, a torn ACL end his career with the Bulldogs.
So with that being the case, the Georgia Bulldogs now turn their attention to fourth year junior Hutson Mason out of Marietta, Georgia as the program’s new starting quarterback. Mason was slated to be the starter this season in the event that Murray didn’t return for his fifth and final season. Coach Mark Richt had him redshirt the 2012 season in the chance he could get two seasons as the team’s starter. 2014 was supposed to be Hutson Mason’s time and now his era begins in 2013. This is something he’s ready for, but at the cost of a friend.
“It’s a shame that it had to come with an injury,” Mason said. “The sad thing is, that’s the nature of the game, that’s the nature of sports. When one guy goes down, the next guy’s got to be ready and that’s the reality of it.”
Mason’s most extensive action on the field came Saturday night against Kentucky, after Murray was carried off the field with the knee injury in the second quarter. In his relief appearance, Mason went 13 of 19 through the air, with 189 yards passing, and one touchdown. Before that, Appalachian State was his most extensive playing time. Sure Mason had played in some games during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, yet nothing like he’s seen this year. So with that said, Mason isn’t concerned or nervous when he gets the chance to play.
“I’m not a very uptight type of guy,” Mason said. “I just kind go with the flow, go with the emotions, and let the game play out itself so to speak.”
Even before his extensive playing time on Saturday, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was impressed with Mason’s ability and believed he’d be ready when called upon.
“He’s been preparing for four years now for his moment (and) his moment is just coming a little earlier than we thought it might,” Bobo said. “I know he’s ready and I know everybody believes in him.”
Mason has been a mainstay in the programs ‘G-Day’ Spring Game’s the past couple of seasons, winning the Co-MVP honors in 2012 and the most improved player on offense award at the end of the 2011 spring practice’s.
Now that he’s taking over, people will get to see him starting this Saturday against Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium for this year’s edition of ‘Clean, Old Fashioned Hate.’
Running Back Todd Gurley is ready to see him under center and as Mike Bobo mentioned, is one of those players who believe’s in Mason.
“He’s definitely a great quarterback,” Gurley said. “He’ll do great things at the position.”
Good news for Mason, is that his first start at quarterback is against a Georgia Tech defense that is 83rd in FBS at stopping the pass, with about 239 yards a game. Plus, as Mark Richt pointed to during his Sunday teleconference with the media, come 2014 when the Bulldogs open their season at home against Clemson, that won’t be Mason’s first collegiate start.