If there are still questions surrounding Hutson Mason – and there seem to be (“Georgia certainly holds promise, but quarterback Hutson Mason still needs to show he can carry an offense…”) – you’d have to think that’s a bit unfair in that he’s missing a couple of his most potent weapons in Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. Richt is still a little closed-mouth about their health, but Mark Schlabach sheds a little light on their current status:
Mitchell, a junior who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, is still recovering from preseason surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. He watched the Clemson game from the sideline and wasn’t using crutches or wearing a brace. Mitchell, who is probably UGA’s most explosive receiver, isn’t expected back for the South Carolina game, but might be ready to play against Tennessee on Sept. 27. Scott-Wesley, who had 16 catches for 311 yards with two touchdowns last season, might be ready to return from a high ankle sprain in time to play the Gamecocks.
One is better than none, of course, but that’s still a little disappointing, even if you’re somebody like me that thought it was going to be a slow return for the two.
That begs the question of whether the injuries to them are a controlling factor in the way Bobo is directing the offense, or if there’s something bigger going on.
A healthy Todd Gurley and a talented trio of running backs behind him showed Saturday against Clemson that pounding the ball with a potent ground game could give the Bulldogs’ a different identity on offense this season.
“We’ll see,” center David Andrews said. “I like it and I think the running backs like it. We’ve got enough of them where we can do it and keep them fresh.”
… Georgia still scored 45 against Clemson with quarterback Mason going 18 of 26 for 131 yards.
Mason didn’t need to put up big numbers through the air this time with the way the running backs were going and the room the offensive line provided.
That last sentence is the key. Mason threw for a lot more yardage in his earlier starts, but passing yards weren’t needed to put down the Tigers. So I don’t know that Saturday night signals a big philosophical change in Georgia’s offense as much as it shows Bobo’s maturity in fashioning a successful game plan against a specific opponent. Let’s wait and see what he has up his sleeve for South Carolina.