ATHENS, Ga. - Aaron Murray led Georgia to five touchdowns and a field goal in his six possessions last Saturday during the 59-0 trouncing of Coastal Carolina, but will playing time diminish for the preseason All-SEC quarterback?
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt was asked Tuesday if backup Hutson Mason would get more opportunities, and he didn't shoot down the idea. Mason completed 6 of 9 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Chanticleers in his first action of the season.
"Right this second I wouldn't want to make a comment on that," Richt said. "We haven't really gone any further with that discussion -- not to say we won't before the week is over, and I'm talking about [offensive coordinator] Mike Bobo and myself.
"Hutson is practicing well and is playing well and he really runs our system well, and he's earned playing time in my mind. How will we manage that? I'm not ready to make any promises I can't keep."
Mason, a 6-foot-3, 196-pound sophomore from Marietta, played in four games last season, completing 9 of 17 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.
"We were in a quarterbacks meeting a couple of weeks ago, and we had to go around the table and say something positive about the person sitting next to you," Murray said. "I had to talk about Hutson, and I said, 'If anything happened to me or I went down, Hutson could step in for me, and there would be no drop-off at all.'
"His progress has been unbelievable."
Bobo said Tuesday night that he was going to use Mason regardless of the score last week but added that he has not discussed playing time with Mason for Saturday.
Hot seat chilled
Saturday's game against Ole Miss has been dubbed the "Hot Seat Bowl," but Richt obviously is not a fan of that label.
"You think they could have thought of something better than that," he said. "I think a couple of kindergarteners could have figured out that one."
Several newspapers in Mississippi, along with The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, have contained advertisements this week demanding a change at Ole Miss. Rebels coach Houston Nutt has lost nine of his last 10 league games, including last Saturday's 30-7 setback at Vanderbilt.
"I don't think anybody enjoys watching another guy go through something like that," Richt said. "We all know that we're pretty darn good coaches, and there are 12 of us in the SEC, and that somebody is going to have a good year and somebody is going to have a bad year."
Brown still hobbled
Marlon Brown, the junior receiver from Memphis, had two catches in each of the first two games but sat out last Saturday with an ankle injury and likely will miss the Ole Miss game as well.
"It's lingering more than we would hope," Richt said. "Early on, he just tried to strap it up and go, and it just progressively got worse to the point where he couldn't function well. Now we're trying to get him pain-free and then give him another whirl."
Brown has 17 catches for 182 yards in his career.
Odds and ends
Georgia has won seven consecutive meetings against Ole Miss and leads the series 30-12-1. ... Senior safety Jakar Hamilton, who started the first five games last year but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in August, has left the team for personal reasons. ... Richt said freshman center David Andrews performed better than freshman guard Hunter Long and freshman tackle Watts Dantzler last week but that none of them did poorly. ... Junior tight end Orson Charles on being denied the chance to play outside linebacker in the fourth quarter: "It's like [Brandon] Boykin playing on offense. I feel like I'm a good enough athlete to play on both sides of the ball. I may not have Boykin's speed, but I can do it." ... Richt said senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson missed last week's game with a back injury, but Tyson said Tuesday night that he was not hurt.