When Rick Pitino was head coach of the Boston Celtics, he once famously exclaimed the the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish are ‘not walking through that door.”
That, to me, is the realization that is more real than ever for Georgia football when it comes to Hutson Mason.
Mason is the best option under center for this team right now. He won’t be Aaron Murray, no one else will be, and Mason is in the unenviable position of replacing one of the top signal-callers in Georgia history.
Fortunately for Mason, he has a healthy Todd Gurley in the backfield. This team has gone from being carried by Aaron Murray a year ago with patchwork running backs at times to Gurley carrying this team’s offense with a limitation at quarterback.
The good news for Mason is that I’m not sure we’ve seen all that he can do. Not even going back to last season against Georgia Tech and Nebraska, Hutson Mason did not have the full arsenal of receivers to throw to.
As frustrating as it may be to not see Mason stretch the field, he can only take those shots if the chances are there. This team has had one true deep threat the past four games in Chris Conley. So when defenses key on him, it’s easy to stack 10 in the box.
But if you get even a somewhat healthy Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell on the field, it gives defense something to at least think about – and more receivers that can stand a better chance of getting open.
It’s an adjustment not having a QB who can chuck it deep. And not an easy one to get used to. But having more to work with will at least give Hutson Mason a fighting chance.
As odd as it sounds, the Vanderbilt game will be highly important for this team. It’ll show if it has any chance to have any sort of passing attack or if its hopes will hinge on Todd Gurley staying healthy.