It was truly heartbreaking last Saturday. One of the most accomplished quarterbacks in SEC history fell. Aaron Murray was injured in the first half against Kentucky and had to be virtually carried off the field and into the locker room. He was x-rayed and found to have torn his ACL and was ruled out for the season. What a sad way for the veteran signal-caller to end his career.
Quietly waiting in the wings is Hutson Mason. The Marrieta, GA, native had a magnificent senior season in 2009 at Lassiter High School where he passed for 4,532 yards and 54 TDs. Still, Mason was largely hidden from the limelight and was thrilled when he was offered and signed with the Bulldogs.
Mason has been in the Georgia system for almost 4 years. Because of this, he knows the playbook very well, and his teamates are confident in his abilities. Georgia coaches have said that Mason could start at another SEC school but hasn't seen the field due to the closeness of age to Aaron Murray. He is considered to be a lock to start at QB for UGA in 2014, but even Mason couldn't imagine that he'd see the field this quickly.
Head Coach Mark Richt had this to say about Mason in an interview with redandblack.com,
"It'll be nice that that his first start isn't the first game of the year. We have faith and confidence in Hutson. He's been through a lot of games. He's been through a lot of game plans. He's played a little bit here and there. I don't think he wants to play in this circumstance, but he's ready."
Richt even compared him to another great Georgia quarterback,
"David Greene and Mason are similar in the type of ball they throw. They have a great sense of anticipation. They put it to a spot before the guy gets his head around."
Hutson Mason has played limited minutes on the field for Georgia but has impressed everytime he has seen the field. In 2010, Georgia routed Louisiana-Lafayette in the first game of the season. Mason saw the field for the first time and threw a touchdown pass in his first collegiate play. He got in several games in 2011 and was redshirted last season to create seperation between Murray and himself.
Hutson Mason This Week
Mason saw the field for the first time in 2013 when he played against App State earlier this month when he threw for 160 yards on 16 attempts and a touchdown. Last weekend when Murray was taken out of the game, Mason was forced to take the field. He truly played a great game. Mason went 13-of-19 for 189 yards and a touchdown. He played with great poise, made good decisions under pressure, and was able to get the ball out when he needed to. Mason showed his accuracy as well.
Now we enter the present, Mason will finally get his first start this Saturday as Georgia travels to Atlanta to take on in state rival Georgia Tech. Talk about sacrifice by fire. Despite the enormous amount of pressure, Mason's teamates are confident that he is the man for the job and that he can he can help them all finish the drill.