ATLANTA – Hutson Mason nearly transferred, and then nearly transferred again. He admitted to being frustrated multiple times.
So a few minutes after his starting debut ended with a victory, Georgia’s new starting quarterback got reflective.
“This is what it’s about,” Mason said. “I mean, every time when I was thinking about leaving, when I was thinking about transferring, and I was sitting in coach (Mark) Richt’s office, and just being here for four years. This is the game, these types of games are the kind you dream about being a part of.”
But the double-overtime, come-from-behind 41-34 win at Georgia Tech didn’t start that way for Mason. In fact the fourth-year junior struggled immensely for most of the first half.
By that time Georgia was trailing 20-0. But in a way that helped Mason: It forced Georgia to go more up-tempo, which suited Mason better, and he ended up leading a comeback from 20 points down, just like Aaron Murray did two weeks ago.
Mason, elevated to the starting job after Murray’s season-ending ACL surgery, admitted too being tentative to start the game.
“I didn’t have a very good first half, and they were doing some stunts and stuff that were putting a little pressure on me,” he said. “I wasn’t really trusting my protection like I should have, and I was kind of leading myself into my own sacks. Really all we needed was that one touchdown. We needed one touchdown put on the board to just calm all the nerves. And I think you saw after we just scored the touchdown things just started to roll.”
Mason finished with 299 passing yards and two touchdowns. His lone interception came in the first half, when he had less than 100 yards prior to the late touchdown drive.
“He was just a little antsy,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “A little bit quick in the pocket, moving around off his first progression a little too fast. But I don’t know, what’d he end up with?”
Bobo looked at the box score, which read 22-for-36.
“He did a nice job tonight,” Bobo said. “Hadn’t played in four years, and to be down 20-0 on the road and come back says a lot about him.”
Murray stays home
Murray had hoped to attend the game, but elected not to come after realizing what trying to move around after knee surgery would be like.
Murray attended Thanksgiving dinner at Bobo’s house, according to Richt, two days after surgery.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of activity I’m sure over there. (But) I think he realized how much that took out of him, and to try to go to a game probably wasn’t going to be wise, so he decided not to come,” Richt said.