Hutson Mason threw for 160 yards and a touchdown in Georgia's 45-6 win against Appalachian State.
Nov. 9, 2013
ATHENS, Ga.----For the first time since the 2011 Southeastern Conference Championship game Hutson Mason threw a pass in a Georgia football game. After redshirting 2012, and not being able to step on the field yet this year due to the Bulldogs nerve-wracking season, the Marietta native's opportunity finally came with 14:52 left in the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs leading Appalachian State 31-6.
"Really words can't describe it. Sometimes you take for granted the opportunity that you have, not only to play at Georgia and wear the G, but to play in front of 90,000 whether we're playing App State or we're playing LSU," Mason said. "After the process that I've been through, every time I step on the field if that's again this year or if that's next year I'll never take it for granted."
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo didn't put the reins on when Mason entered the game, allowing the Bulldogs to keep throwing the ball as both the quarterback and some unfamiliar receivers saw extended action.
"It did feel good," Mason said. "You always want to go out there and execute and I kept preaching to the guys to keep the gas pedal on; don't settle for just running the clock out. We take pride in that and want to move the ball and put it in the end zone."
Mason and the Bulldogs did that with him piloting the offense, scoring two unanswered fourth-quarter touchdowns. Mason went 11-of-16 for 160 yards with one touchdown pass to Kenneth Towns, the receivers' first career touchdown grab, and a pick that Mason said would serve as a learning experience.
For the first time in his career, the former Lassiter High School stand-out began the week expecting to see game action with the Bulldogs facing their only FCS opponent of the season. Mason said he didn't think too much about this and didn't alter his preparation at all, but it did feel a little different preparing to step across the touchline for the first time in 2013.
"I really don't get into it that much. I know people were anxious to see me play today but I try not to put that pressure on myself. I try to prepare every week like I did this week and when you prepare and your opportunity comes that's when success happens. It's just a routine of preparation, preparation, preparation," Mason continued. "No doubt this week felt a little different, for a while I was wondering if I was going to get my opportunity. Whether it's the fourth quarter or the second quarter I take pride in how I play and what I put on the field so I always want to execute and perform at a high level."
Mason's first appearance for two years game in the same game that Georgia's current starting quarterback Aaron Murray broke the SEC career passing touchdowns record. Despite sitting behind Murray for four years, Mason said the relationship has helped him enormously and he has learnt a lot working with Murray every day.
"I've learned a lot from Murray, it's crazy to sometimes to think that I've had the opportunity to learn and to pick the brain of the guy who has every SEC passing record known to man; that kind of blows your mind," Mason said. "People think there's some kind of magical potion to it but there's not. It's the same thing every week, we come in on Sunday and watch a ton of film for a ton of hours and me and Murray meet in the QB meeting room and we break down the opponent, take a pen and paper, write down what we think is good and give it to Coach Bobo. It's just the same thing every week. Like I said there's no magic potion to it, it's just preparation."
And tomorrow the two quarterbacks will begin preparation for one of the Bulldogs' biggest tests of the season as they go on the road to Auburn to face the ninth-ranked Tigers. It will be the fourth top-ten team Georgia has played this season and fifth ranked opponent.