ATHENS — Hutson Mason hopes his college career has more chapters, but at a minimum it had a storybook start.
The true freshman threw a touchdown on his first pass attempt, a 26-yarder to Logan Gray. According to the NCAA record book, Mason became only the eighth quarterback to do so in FBS history.
The fact it went to Gray added to the storybook nature. Gray’s move from quarterback to receiver after spring practice, along with the dismissal of Zach Mettenberger, was what caused Mason to become the backup quarterback.
“When I was walking down the Dawg Walk, I was like, ‘Man this is what I’ve been waiting on for five years,’ ” said Mason, a Marietta native. “Those kids that are yelling out my name, that’s who I was about five years ago. Just to be sitting in this locker room, letting alone throwing a touchdown in my first college play, it’s kind of hard to grasp. It’s so mind-boggling.”
Before Saturday, it wasn’t even publicly known if Mason would play or if the coaches would try to save his redshirt this season. Mason said he was told Thursday he would play in the second half.
“It’s good to get in there and show my guys and my teammates and my coaches that I can make it happen,” Mason said. “If Aaron is to get hurt or anything like that, (and) my number needs to be called on, that we’ll still be able to win. We’ll still be able to move the ball down the field. Just be ready when my name is called.”
As for Gray, he granted it was a “little bit different feeling” than he was used to. He granted that being the recipient of the pass may have looked planned, but it wasn’t.
“It kind of just worked that way, I guess,” Gray said. “He just went through his progression, made a good throw, and the rest was history, I guess.”
Mamma’s boy comes through
Kris Durham was so nervous about playing for the first time in two years he couldn’t sleep. The senior receiver even texted his mother at 4 a.m. to say so — and she answered back.
“It may have woke her up, I don’t know, I didn’t ask her,” Durham said. “She just responded right away. But I’m a mamma’s boy.”
Durham was also wearing No. 31, as opposed to his normal No. 16, to honor Quintin Banks, who had to quit the team because of chronic knee problems. A different senior will wear No. 31 each game this season to honor Banks.
Durham did Banks proud, leading Georgia with five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.
“Coming back off of injury it was my goal to contribute regardless of how it was,” Durham said. “Hopefully this can just spring us forward, with (Tavares King) and A.J. (Green) and everyone coming back.”
Rambo absorbs the hit
Safety Bacarri Rambo was the one who blew the coverage on Louisiana-Lafayette’s lone score of the game. Following the 60-yard pass play, Rambo got an earful on the sideline from new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“I just sucked it in, because I knew it was all on me,” Rambo said. “It’s his job to get on us like that. We were doing great on defense. I mean we were doing terrific, and we allowed a big play. But it was all on me.”
Rambo said he had his eye on the quarterback, and not on the tight end slipping behind him. He issued a guarantee that such a lapse wouldn’t happen to him again.
“I’d rather for it to happen now than later on,” Rambo said. “That double-move that he ran, I’m ready for it to happen now. When we play South Carolina or Arkansas or any team in the SEC, because our goal is to win the SEC. So I can’t allow that to happen again.”
This and that
Junior tackle Trinton Sturdivant didn’t play after coming down with stomach sickness before the game. The junior was supposed to see action to test his twice surgically reparied knee. … Place-icker Blair Walsh is now 7-for-11 from 50 yards and beyond. His career long is 53, which came in last year’s season opener at Oklahoma State. … Walsh had a sore leg last week in practice, which led to Brandon Bogotay handling kicking duties early in the game. But Walsh replaced him later in the game.