Hutson Mason has been yearning for his shot as Georgia's starting quarterback, and he got it Tuesday in the Bulldogs' first major scrimmage of the spring.
Aaron Murray was away receiving an award, and Mason worked with the first-team offense. He finished 14-of-23 for 186 yards with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley and also threw two interceptions. The wind was whipping Tuesday in Athens, and coach Mark Richt said there were several drops and wind-swept passes.
Still, he was impressed with Mason's command of the offense and has said that Mason will get a chance to play some in 2013 even with the record-setting Murray returning. It's not going to be a rotation by any means, but the Dawgs will look for situations to get Mason into the game.
"It's his fourth year in the system, so he's very capable of running the show," Richt said.
Mason has considered transferring a couple of different times, but decided to stay. He redshirted last season and will be a junior in 2013. It's obvious that his coaches and teammates have confidence in him. He's not afraid to mix it up or get on teammates, either. Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mason and linebacker Amarlo Herrera got into a scuffle during Tuesday's scrimmage.
A lot of quarterbacks playing behind Murray would have already left. Kudos to Mason for sticking it out, and it's a great deal for Georgia.
We've seen time and time again how crucial it is to have a second quarterback who can play and has the confidence of the team. Several people in and around the Georgia program feel like 6-foot-3, 205-pound Mason will definitely get a shot in the NFL.
Defensively, one of the most promising things to come out of Tuesday's scrimmage was the play of freshman safety Tray Matthews, who made a couple of impressive open-field tackles on Keith Marshall and also broke up a pass in the end zone. The Bulldogs need Matthews to be a factor at safety next season.