Photo: Logan Booker/BI
North Texas is coming to Athens this Saturday. We all now that. We also all know that this time next year, coach Bobo and the offense will still have very potent weapons within its arsenal, and an grossly inexperienced fifth-year senior quarterback to lead them named Hutson Mason. Which leads to a valid question: Should Aaron Murray or Hutson Mason start vs. North Texas?
There is no second-guessing what Aaron Murray can do on the football field. Unfortunately, we have absolutely no idea what the heir to the quarterback throne, Hutson Mason, is capable of. In his fourth season at UGA, one of them a redshirt year, Mason has only attempted 47 passes for 356 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Basically, stats that resemble a single, good game for Aaron Murray.
I want you to ask yourself, with an open mind, “what is there to lose if Hutson Mason started the North Texas game?”
You do know if things start off awry for Mr. Mason, you would have the best backup quarterback in college football (history?) prepared to take the game over right away, right?
The few times we have seen Mason has been during “garbage time” in a route of an FCS school, or a much lesser opponent. That means he was working without the first team offense, and against the non-starting defensive players on the opposition. Would you like to see what Mason can do with the first-team offense, against a first-team defense of a team that may or may not be considered “low-risk?”
In UGA’s 2005 season, fifth-year quarterback DJ Shockley took the quarterback throne from super-successful four-year starter David Greene. Shockley had seen plenty of significant snaps throughout his three playing seasons as a backup. He led those 2005 Dawgs to a 10-3 record which included an SEC Championship and a trip to the Sugar Bowl.
In UGA’s 2009 season, fifth-year quarterback Joe Cox took the quarterback throne from the NFL’s first overall draft pick Matthew Stafford. Cox only saw playing time during his first three playing seasons in “garbage time” (except for a comeback win against a mediocre Colorado when Stafford went down with an injury in 2006), and rarely, if ever, played with the first team offense. He led those 2009 Dawgs to a very underwhelming 8-5 season with a trip to Shreveport, LA to participate in the embarrassing Independence Bowl.
Hutson Mason (14) hands off to Todd Gurley during practice. Photo: Logan Booker/BI
Chances are, the North Texas Mean Green’s defense will not exactly be that of the defenses Hutson Mason will face on a weekly basis in the SEC in 2014. But a chance to start a game with the players he will surround himself with in that 2014 season in a situation where he needs to build his own lead, and maintain a steady game plan, could only be beneficial for the overall good of the UGA program going forward.
Are you convinced that Aaron Murray, who has been about as consistent as any quarterback that has ever come through UGA, will take an inkling of a step back if he does not square off against North Texas? You do know he practices with his boys 4 times a week, right?
Coach Richt has already said Aaron Murray will start against North Texas. And that is certainly not a bad thing for fans wearing red this Saturday. But this fact does not mean we can’t do what fans do best: play coach.
I think by now you know my vote, and it’s going for Hutson Mason to start this Saturday. And now it’s your turn to let me know what you think:
Please debate in the comments below!
Please follow me on Twitter @LoganBooker_BI
Countdown To Kickoff 2015
Bulldawg Illustrated's Countdown to Kickoff Fan Festival is a day for fans of all ages to get up close and personal with their favorite Dawgs.
Where: Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga (2014 Pics HERE, HERE and HERE)
When: Saturday, July 11th 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Cost: Individual Tickets are $25 each - Family Packages are $75 each and include 4 tickets and refreshments at the event