Bulldogs Beat

Mason's redshirt plan still a dilemma

b>ATHENS >- There is now a contingency plan for Hutson Mason's redshirt. Sort of.

Mason is Georgia's top backup to starting quarterback Aaron Murray, but Mason, a junior, wants to redshirt so he can be a year behind Murray. (Both are juniors.) But third-stringer Christian LeMay, a redshirt freshman, is still pretty raw, so the dilemma is what to do if Murray gets hurt during a game, particularly a close game.

After meeting with the coaches recently, Mason said the severity of any injury to Murray will dictate whether the redshirt comes off.

"If it's a two-quarter, three-quarter thing, then probably not," Mason said. "If it's more than three weeks, more than likely I'll have to step in."

So how is that kind of snap judgement made if it's in the middle of a game? Mason is deferring to head coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

"It's not really my call. I'm sure coach Bobo and coach Richt have talked about it. But I think we're all just hoping we don't have to cross that bridge," Mason said. "Coach Richt is the one who's gonna make the decision. I know he's gonna do me right. He's gonna see the big picture. In the end, we're all just trying to create a common goal and get to Atlanta. If my redshirt gets pulled for two games, that might be kind of unfortunate at the beginning. But if I can help this team get to Atlanta, what a great opportunity that would be to continue the team's winning streak. You never know when you're gonna get your chance, so you've just gotta prepare mentally."

The decision for the coaches would be easier if it were evident that Christian LeMay was ready to step in for Murray. But the redshirt freshman had an uneven performance in the fourth quarter against Florida Atlantic: One of LeMay's passes was picked off and returned for a touchdown.

Mason said he tried to give LeMay some moral support on Monday, citing a scene from Will Ferrell's basketball movie "Semi Pro."

"He's in the wrestling ring, wrestling with the bear, right, and the bear gets loose, and he's like: 'Panic! Everybody panic!' And I was like to LeMay: That's not what you wanna do, man," Mason said. "It's just stuff like that where you can keep him loose and get a laugh out of him. Because I mean, there's so much pressure on him, and it's just one game. I know he had nerves, and people are expecting a lot of things out of him. You know, he's gonna continue to work. He came in today, you could tell he was a little down, but the great ones just ignore the noise and keep coming back. And I feel positive that's what he's gonna do."