AUBURN, Ala. -- The potentially difficult decision the Georgia football team hopes it never has to make almost occurred Saturday night.
Early in the second quarter, quarterback Aaron Murray had to leave the game after taking a hard hit. Parker Welch, a sophomore walk-on, entered the game for one play in Murrays place.
Murray was able to return, but if he didnt, it would lead to the Hutson Mason dilemma: Mason, a junior, is the teams No. 2 quarterback but is hoping to redshirt. The team only wants to take the redshirt off Mason if Murray is out for an extended amount of time.
So how does Georgia judge that in the heat of a game? Mason, speaking earlier in the week, put it this way: I had a conversation with (offensive coordinator Mike) Bobo this week, and as of right now if Murray was to go down in the Auburn game Id be going in. It being this late in the season, its basically just a week by week thing. And were just kind of taking it from there. But I do know I spoke with Coach Bobo, and Im preparing as if Im the No. 2 guy this week. I think what theyll do is if Murray goes down, somebody else will go in first, and theyll get a prognosis of how serious Murrays injury is. And then if it is really serious then Ill probably go in from there.
Mason agreed that the way this has been handled actually has helped him not to feel like he has taken a year off. That not only puts him in better position if he is rushed into duty in 2012, but in 2013 and beyond.
Its weird because Im redshirting, but Im getting so many reps. It has helped me get a lot better, Mason said. I try and compete every day and try to show the coaches if Murray leaves next year that I want to be the guy. And I try to take every rep for every snap to prove to them to show to them that Im reliable and dependable. Not for only this year but for the years to come.
King honors Brown
Marlon Browns career might be over, but it seems like hes still out there. Fellow senior receiver Tavarres King wore Browns No. 15 on Saturday night, as a means of honoring his injured teammate.
King made Brown proud in the second quarter, making a beautiful touchdown catch. On third down, King twisted his body and reached up to grab a 17-yard pass, and a replay review confirmed that King barely got his foot inbounds.
It was the 19th touchdown catch of Kings career, moving him into a tie for fourth in school history, with Brice Hunter.
Right guard Chris Burnette, dealing with a shoulder injury, didnt make the trip to Auburn. That created some juggling among the starting five.
Kenarious Gates, normally the left tackle, moved to left guard, and Dallas Lee shifted from left guard to right guard. Mark Beard, a sophomore, then replaced Gates at left tackle.
It marked the end of an 18-game starting streak for Burnette, while it was the first start of Beards career. Gates had been the starter at left tackle, and Lee the starter at left guard, for the first nine games this season.