ATHENS - Hutson Mason doesn't seem to be getting antsy. In fact the longer he waits, the more patient Georgia's backup quarterback seems to be getting.
"What's four more months?" Mason said. "I've been here four years. Four more months is nothing."
Yes, Mason has been Georgia's top backup quarterback for four years. The only time during that span he wasn't poised to enter the game if Aaron Murray got hurt was last year's Capital One Bowl, when Mason's redshirt season was officially being preserved.
Otherwise Mason has been waiting in case Murray got hurt or had to be pulled. It's never happened, and on Saturday Murray will start his 50th consecutive game at Georgia, and Mason will serve as the No. 2 quarterback for the 50th straight time.
But Mason, a fourth-year junior, now has a sense of humor about it.
"Maybe it's not meant to be. Maybe it's meant for me to just come out next year with no reps, no snaps, and no one know about me," Mason said, laughing. "Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be, I don't know."
Even the mop-up duty has been few and far between: Mason has not thrown a pass in a game since the 2011 season. His only action this year was against North Texas, when all he did was hand off so Georgia could run out the clock.
Mason joked about that game, quipping that he was actually glad he didn't have to throw a pass: "I had no problem with it because it's pouring, it's muddy. I honestly didn't want to go out there and try to sling it around. We'd look ridiculous. We'd look like the Bad News Bears out there."
There have been times this season when Mason thought he'd at least get some mop-up duty. The Tennessee game, when Georgia led 17-3 at halftime, and even the Florida game, when Georgia was up 23-3 midway through the third quarter.
This week would appear to be the best chance for Mason to see some significant action. Appalachian State is an FCS program that is 2-6. But Georgia coaches have resisted all questions about getting Mason in the game.
"I really don't want to answer that, I really don't. It's just awkward," head coach Mark Richt said. "I just want to win the game."
Mason doesn't blame the coaches for not getting him more - well, any - game action.
"If we could finish games out on a less stressful note, and there was a wider window of victory, so to speak, at the end, I think the coaches definitely want to get me in at the end," Mason said. "But when can you really say there's been opportunity to get me in this year? There really hasn't. So I don't take it personal or anything."
Mason has only thrown 47 passes in his career, getting into a total of nine games. He does have three touchdown passes, in garbage time against Coastal Carolina (2011) and New Mexico State (2010). He has yet to even really take a snap when a game was in doubt.
And it's been that way for four years.
"It's a funky situation," Mason said.
But is he starting to see ...
"The light at the end of the tunnel?" Mason said. "Yeah, I am."