Hope you saw the football notebook I filed late yesterday that included an item on Georgia’s coaches being pleased with the play of Hutson Mason to the point of considering playing the sophomore quarterback from Marietta on a more regular basis.
To be clear, the comments of head coach Mark Richt, which you’ve read, and those of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo, which you’ll find below, were responses to questions directed to them by reporters. So it’s not like they came out this week and volunteered that they’d like to get Mason more playing time.
But the whole point of the line of questioning is that coaches and players have spoken so glowingly of Mason since the beginning of camp in August that it merited more exploration. And, as you’ll see, there is very little retreat to be found in the coaches’ replies.
So here’s what Bobo had to say last night after the Bulldogs’ “Bloody Tuesday” practice at Woodruff Practice Fields:
On Mason’s performance to date . . .
“Hutson’s done just a fantastic job all camp of continuing to make plays. We told him we were going to put him in no matter what this last game as an opportunity to show what he could do and there could be some things in the future for him. You’d like to play a guy a series a game or so. You never know but he’s a guy we’d like to get in there. He’s played well. I have no doubts he can go in there and play well. He had an outstanding practice [Tuesday] and that’s going to help his cause.”
On the Shockley-Greene comparison . . .
“Hutson is a little bit different than Aaron. He’s more of a — I don’t want to say spread-type quarterback because Aaron ran spread in high school, too — but Hutson, he’s likes to spread it out and dink it around. He has a really quick release, throws with a nice touch and has really, really good vision of what’s going on. He probably couldn’t tell me everything Aaron can if I graded them on saying it the way I say it or things like that. But when the ball is snapped the kid can see it and puts it on the money.”
On whether more playing time awaits Mason . . .
“I’m always talking to him about opportunities. You’re always practicing and playing for an opportunity. He had a chance to play for the opportunity to play again last week and that’s what he’s trying to prove, that he deserves to play in a ballgame. He’s helping himself with the way he practices.”
Just for comparison sake, here’s what Richt had to say about the quarterback rotation when asked about it at his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon:
“Right this second I wouldn’t want to make a comment on that. We haven’t really gone any further with that discussion, not to say we won’t before the week is over. I’m talking about Mike Bobo and myself. But Hutson is practicing well, he’s playing well. He really runs our system well, and he’s earned playing time in my mind. How we’ll manage that, I’m not ready to make any promises I can’t keep.”
Here’s a quick statistical comparison. Obviously Murray has played much more and faced much stiffer competition to date:
Also, Murray is 6-foot-1, 211 pounds; Mason is 6-3 and told me recently he’s now over 200 pounds. No sense in getting into rushing stats — Murray’s are skewed by all the sacks this season — other than to say that Murray (87 yards, 5 TDs) is more mobile and a better overall runner than Mason (0 yards, 1 TD).
So, today I’d like to hear from you. Is playing Mason more something you’d like to see prioritized? Or does the circumstances of his appearances skew his abilities? Should the Bulldogs leave well enough alone and be satisfied that they have a backup in which they have great confidence? Or do they need to be sure to keep Mason happy and well-oiled by finding a way to play him regularly a la D.J. Shockley-David Greene?
Please take a minute to vote on the poll above as well as providing your comments.
– Chip Towers