You guys know I like to post some kind of pithy observation on the blog as I’m leaving a game. Usually that means I’m composing a header and a sentence or two as the game winds to its conclusion.
Yesterday, I went through that exercise four times. I’d put together something in my head and then mentally tear it up as the complexion of the game changed. It was the strangest end to a Georgia game since last year’s Auburn debacle.
I feel bad for Hutson Mason, who deserved a better fate. He finally had a game put on his back and came through, only to see his moment of glory unravel. And then wound up being the guy who put the final nail in the coffin.
Two plays later, Mason took a snap that would ultimately be the final one of his regular-season career. The play call was a run-pass option. Mason read the weak-side linebacker, who bit inside on the run, so Mason did what he has done in that situation many times before: He slung it to the slant route.
“Right before the snap, I was thinking, if Malcolm wins here, this might be a touchdown,” Mason said.
Instead, Georgia Tech defensive back D.J. White beat Mitchell for position, and Mason — who, barring bowl game results, might become Georgia’s most efficient single-season passer in program history — ended with a rare inefficiency, an interception and a 30-24 overtime loss to Georgia Tech.
“I don’t know if the guy made a good play, but I was just trusting that Malcolm was going to be in there. I let it rip, and the guy obviously made a play,” Mason said. “I bet when I go back and watch it that it was probably one of those balls that I could’ve played to live another down.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo might agree. While he didn’t meet with media after the game, he walked out of the press box where he calls plays from the coaches’ box. He caught a glimpse of a television showing the replay of the final play of the game. Bobo froze to watch it transpire again. He then offered an unsatisfied reaction.
“Hand the ball off,” he said, adding some colorful language, suggesting Mason should’ve utilized the play’s run option.
Hell of an epitaph there.