The place where Georgia can least afford a serious injury is…

Got my Steele 2014 yesterday and started slogging my way through the deluge of information he’s published.  One of the items I usually look at early on are his conference rankings for positional groups.  The first thing that caught my eye was a wildly high ranking for Georgia’s special teams.  The second thing was a fairly low ranking for Georgia’s quarterbacks.  And that gave me some pause for thought.

In his team analysis, Steele isn’t dismissive of Mason, so all I can think is that he’s not particularly impressed with Georgia’s depth at the position.  And after watching the backups perform at G-Day, I can understand that.  It’s not that the Dawgs lack talent there; it’s that the talent is very, very raw.

And that led me to this:  is quarterback the position at which health is most critical for the team’s success this season?  I believe it is.

Keep in mind that Georgia’s been incredibly lucky avoiding serious injuries to established starting quarterbacks during Richt’s tenure.  David Greene hurt his thumb against Georgia Tech and had to leave the game (and then return late to bail out his offense) and Aaron Murray lost the last two and a half games of his career when he blew out his knee.  Other than an odd play or two here and there, that’s about it.  (Joe T wasn’t an established starter, so don’t bother to go there.)

We’d better hope that keeps up.

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71 Comments

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71 responses to “The place where Georgia can least afford a serious injury is…

  1. Rp

    Thank god cox stayed healthy or that could have been a bad year.

    Please pray for coach Friend and our oline this year.

    • Cox had problems with his arm after the Arkansas game. He played very well in that game too! He was like a baseball pitcher with a dead arm for parts of the season. Interesting factoid for Mason. He threw for 1000 yards last season in mop up duty and 2 and 1/2 games. That ain’t bad sports fans!

  2. Ugamelt

    Shockley?

  3. JG Shellnutt

    Aren’t we all supposed to knock on wood after a post like this? You’re going to jinx everything.

  4. Skeptic Dawg

    Mason has yet to prove anything as a started, so losing him would not the end of the season for the Dawgs. The O-line has been cobbled together with round holes in square pegs, so any disruption to this position group would be devasting ( not that they will be world beaters to begin with). An injury to the OL would negate Gurley’s running ability and Mason’s time in the pocket.

    • WF dawg

      I’m not sure I agree that Mason has yet to prove anything as a starter. He’s proven that he’s at least good enough to beat Tech. It’s not a given in my mind that our other QBs don’t fall below that level.

    • Dawg93

      Sorry, but I completely disagree. We will be a complete mess if Mason is hurt. I’m not saying Mason is the next Montana, but I see a HUGE dropoff from Mason to Bauta/Ramsey. If we had a more dominating OL, then maybe I wouldn’t be as concerned with an injury to Mason because we could rely on our running game more. But with this OL and a green QB, our running game won’t be able to do much against defenses that key on it every play.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        Dawg93 and WF Dawg, we have seen Mason play well vs GT and play poorly vs Nebraska. That tells me that we aren’t sure what we’ll get from the QB position. Losing an uncertainty is not really a loss in my book. Whereas losing one or more O-linemen would destroy both the QB position and the RB position. This team is going to struggle to move the ball and put up points early as is. Any loss on the O-line makes that task nearly impossible.

        • charlottedawg

          Just because he wasn’t the second coming of Peyton manning in his 3 starts doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge drop off after mason. If you think mason , a senior in the system, is unproven, how are two guys with zero starts and maybe don’t even know the entire playbook more of a sure thing. Unless you’ve been to practice and Just seen Bauta and Ramsey light it up; there’s a reason Richt and Bobo trust mason with the keys.

        • Dawg93

          Agree to disagree on Mason. Weather was a factor and it was his 2nd start. He threw for 300+ so I think saying he played poorly is a bit much.

          I’m sure this is blasphemy to some, but I’d rather lose Gurley than Mason. Lose Gurley and you still have a wealth of depth at RB plus several very good WRs to offset the loss. Lose Mason and our choices are Bauta or Ramsey? Yikes. Here’s hoping one or both make some real progress this year because it’s either one of those guys or Park that’ll start in ’15.

      • I am not sure that I agree with a lack of Mason leading to a complete mess on offense. One could argue that Bobo was able to string together a decent offense with a slew of key pieces missing last year. Who’s to say he can’t tailor the offense similarly to Bauta/Ramsey’s skillset?

        • Dawg93

          Losing a couple of RBs and a couple of WRs is one thing when you have Aaron Murray at the helm. Losing the QB is entirely different. Now last year we made out okay because we had a guy like Mason, who had practiced enough to know what to do and could throw the ball pretty well, although not as well as Murray. Bauta knows the system the best but, sorry, I just don’t see his skills coming close to what Mason has. And Ramsey obviously has the arm but a long way to go before he knows what he’s doing out there.

          I like what Bobo is doing, don’t get me wrong. And kudos to him for what he did when we lost so many guys last year. But we have to give a lot of credit to Murray, who carried the team on his back when the injury list was at its worst.

    • Moe Pritchett

      Skeptic Dawn Munson.

  5. Mason gets hurt for an extended period. Dawgs are in serious trouble as a result. I don’t trust Bauta or Ramsey at this point with the keys.

  6. Spike

    Check out that new freshman walk on Sam Vaughn and his highlight film..

  7. I Wanna Red Cup

    Can’t we say the same about all the SEC teams? Certainly FU, Bammer, Auburn, Cocks, Ole Miss and Mizzou will be in trouble if they lost their starting QB. I am not aware of any backup with much experience on any team. LUS hasn’t decided on anyone yet and no one there has any game experience. Tenn is a brush fire anyway you look at it. Need to keep HM healthy for sure.

  8. Macallanlover

    Mason is the most significant followed by Morgan, imo. PS does rank by unit, so UGA seems fairly ranked at this point. I am hopeful that Mason is solid enough to get us in contention for a trip to Atlanta but if we aren’t in that position, I want to see another QB getting reps/starts. I see no reason in risking a chance for next season to reward a 5th year starter. It worked for us in 2005 with Shock so it can work again in 2014 but we need to find a few games to get some significant reps for our backups to see what we have in reserve.

  9. CannonDawg

    Agree that Mason’s the key. If we get past the first two and then have a string of 3 or so games where we can build some leads, it’ll be interesting to see how Bobo handles this. Does he leave Mason in a decided game and let him gain experience, or does he pull him and let Ramsey or Bauta get some snaps?

  10. Daniel Simpson Day

    We may have kept our starting QB’s healthy enough to keep our backups on the bench. For all the development of great QB’s, sans Shockley, who have we ever felt comfortable with (based on non-garbage time playing experience) being one play away from starting? Greene, Stafford and Murray all had long term runs. Cox and now Mason did not have a whole lot of good game experience going forward. Next years starter, baring injury to Mason, will have next to nothing. We tout all the talent but that’s a really difficult job for an experienced player much less someone with only practice time. Am I missing something here?

  11. SAtownDawg

    I can’t remember a time in the Richt era when both our QB talent and depth is as poor as it is now…hopefully Mason will be better than Cox, but he is somewhat limited as seen in his starts last year….hopefully the backups will be coached up but they don’t look like much as of right now….we have always had a Shockley, Stafford or Murray waiting in the wings….I don’t see that guy right now

    • sUGArdaddy

      You don’t see that guy? Everybody wanted Ramsey and Park. One of those kids will be fine.

      Btw, try to name an SEC champion UGA team that had a qb that didn’t hail from the state of Georgia?

      05 – shock
      02 – Greene
      82 – Lastinger
      81 – Belue
      80 – Belue
      76 – Goff & Johnson
      68 – Cavan
      66 – Kirby Moore. He was the last to not be from Georgia.

      Hutson’s from Marietta. Can’t hurt.

      • 66 – Kirby Moore. He was the last to not be from Georgia.

        Yeah, Kirby was from Dothan.

        The one before that was 1959. Tarkenton was from Athens, and Charley Britt was from Augusta. The rest, ’48, ’46, and ’42 (I think) were all from the NE – Rauch and Trippi from Pennsylvania and Sinkwich from Ohio.
        ~~~

      • Slaw Dawg

        It was Matt Robinson, “the passing quarterback,” who was partnered with Goff back in ’76. Andy Johnson was doing the tailback thing for the Patriots, having done some great work at QB for our Dawgs from 71-73 but, alas, never winning a title. Matt R did hail from Atlanta, as I recall, so your point is still valid.

        • sUGArdaddy

          You’re right. Missed that one. Still kind of crazy to think about. We’ve had some darn good out of state QBs, but none of them have been able to win a title. It could be just luck, but I wonder if there’s something to it. Nobody in recent memory bled red and black as Murray, and I’m certain him being from Florida helped him steel his nerves for miraculous 2nd halves in Jax in ’11 and ’12. Heck, even in ’10 he put on a show in the 2nd half.

          Just wonder if there’s something in the games, the huddle, the prep, the summer workout about Georgia boys. Maybe not. Maybe so

          • Slaw Dawg

            Could be, could be. The QBs you mention certainly shared mental toughness, resilience and leadership qualities. Now, their teams also had stellar defenses and very good STs. And while I don’t have the stats, my (sometimes fuzzy) recollection is that they were ballhawk teams; I know at least several had serious turnover margin edges. But w/o those tough and steady QBs, the bacon isn’t brought home.

          • Dog in Fla

            Being from Florida also helped Steven Garcia steel his nerves for miraculous things too in the Hospitality Management arena

  12. PTC DAWG

    Bauta was offered by a TON of schools, including Alabama….I think he may be better than some of you suspect.

    • Talent isn’t the issue. Lack of experience is.

      • PTC DAWG

        Like it was pointed out above, this is true at most schools. Bama comes to mind right off the top of my head, who has played behind Carolina’s QB? What about Mizzou? Is there great QB depth at UF?

      • Normaltown Mike

        and an unpronounceable name

    • There are many unsuccessful SEC QB’s that got offers from a TON of schools, including Alabama. Xavier Lee, Russell Shepard, John Brantley, etc. For every 5 signed, maybe 1 pans out. I think that Bauta even being the backup at this point is a surprise to most of us.

      • Dog in Fla

        “I think that Bauta even being the backup at this point is a surprise to most of us.”

        Not me. Faton’s a great single-wing kind of kid like Tebow except he’s not a moyel. When Faton was back down home for the Summer, I was doing rounds on my Hoveround for a Reason® Personal Mobility Solutions motorized scooter, saw him outside the walls of the compound, said hi to him and wished him luck. Told him Del Boca Vista is 55 years+ of age only and he needed to leave before the condo association Homeland Security saw him and went after him on their Hoveround for a Reason® Personal Mobility Solutions motorized scooters to taze him bro

  13. Let’s take another moment to admire the durability of Murray and add that to the long list of accolades thrown the kids way. Murray was a warrior, and I’m not sure we have that sort of pure physical toughness back there now (or anywhere in the SEC). I only hope we do more to try and protect our QB from cheap shots, but all I keep seeing is refs looking the other way when our QB takes a illegal hit.

    • DawgPhan

      All we need is for IvyLeaguer to stop by and drop 8000 words about how he was the first person to notice how Mason was better than Murray.

      • I met Mason once in the elevator at the Grad Studies building. Nice guy and very open minded. I explained that I felt he needed to use his legs more to strengthen his throw. I hope he paid attention. We will see this fall.

      • All we need is for IvyLeaguer to stop by and drop 8000 words ……

        Only eight words for you, arsehole: Eat Yourself.
        ~~~

      • Dog in Fla

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nobody does 8000 words better and it goes a little something like this

        • Whoa! DIF! Thaz a little light in the loafers for Ivey doncha think? Here! FIFU!

          • Dog in Fla

            Damn it, AHD! She’s not IveyLeaguer, she’s singing to him. It’s like a compliment or something. I have hot girls sing to me all the time

          • Normaltown Mike

            ADH, you could’ve gone for the same song, with a little more edge to it.

            • Dog in Fla

              Excellent selection Normaltown. I actually thought about cueing that one up but then the thought occurred to me that Ivey probably doesn’t even listen to radio

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Or for you to swing by and make a totally uncalled for comment about somebody who contributes quite a bit and as far as I can see is pretty well-liked around here. The Senator doesn’t really police the comments, and I have no desire to play hall monitor, either, but if you actually want to be a welcomed voice and enjoy whatever feeling of camaraderie and fellowship one can experience from behind a laptop, you may consider adopting the civil tone of the others who come here. We all have our moments of pretense, problems with grammar, we get facts wrong and can’t remember events and how to spell names, etc, but there’s no need to take a cheap shot at somebody who can probably back up his claims of predictions.

        • Dog in Fla

          “We all have our moments of pretense, problems with grammar, we get facts wrong and can’t remember events and how to spell names, etc…take a cheap shot…”

          Oh my, I’m getting the vapors just thinking about all the good that can happen here

        • Jeepers! Bluto will smack you if you get too far afield. Ya wanna see my scar? Point being.. Ivey can handle himself. And he should. And he did. I like your stuff Cosmic. Keep it coming.

    • Indeed! He was a warrior. Tragic that he went out in his next to last game. I think Zeier (another warrior) went out his senior year in his last game with Tech. Also a knee?

    • Let’s take another moment to admire the durability of Murray and add that to the long list of accolades thrown the kids way. Murray was a warrior, and I’m not sure we have that sort of pure physical toughness back there now (or anywhere in the SEC). I only hope we do more to try and protect our QB from cheap shots, but all I keep seeing is refs looking the other way when our QB takes a illegal hit.

      It’s a great point. Murray was a tough hombre, almost a gym rat. Mason can take a hit, but doesn’t have that same physicality. We’ve GOT to protect him. And doing that is a HUGE concern.
      ~~~

  14. It’s QB. And it’s not that close. Lose Mason, and we’re in big trouble with the teams that can match up with us.

    But you never know. I’ve been thinking for some time that the light will one day come on for Ramsey. And he’ll be special when it does.
    ~~~

    • I Wanna Red Cup

      Agree. Suire hope we can get those backups some game time reps after the first two games and before we hit the road in October. Too much to ask for any playing time against Clemmons and the Gamedicks.

  15. Otto

    RB and secondary are my concerns. Bobo thrives when he has a great RB struggles when he doesn’t

  16. Bulldog Joe

    “The place where Georgia can least afford a serious injury is?”

    I would have to say it is in the nuts.