Georgia’s Biggest Offensive Concern is not the Vacant Coordinator Position


Don’t get me wrong.  The O.C. hire matters, and as candidates continue to emerge and rumors continue to swirl we’ll weigh in.

But Georgia’s biggest concern heading into the offseason is quarterback position.

Hutson Mason was great this year.  You can sit there and tell me otherwise all day long, but I won’t listen.

In his lone season as the starter he finished 10th nationally in passer rating (second in the SEC) and eighth in completion percentage (first in the SEC, school record).  For a quarterback who was primarily called upon to hand the football off to Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, those figures are pretty damn good.  Along the way he tossed 21 touchdowns and threw only four interceptions.  Only one quarterback in the country threw more touchdown passes than Mason while also throwing fewer than five interceptions and that quarterback won the Heisman Trophy.

If individual statistics don’t press your buttons, then team statistics should.  Georgia set a school record for points scored despite missing out on an extra game via a conference championship.  The Bulldogs finished the season eighth in the nation in points per game at 41.3, a figure that ranks sixth among major conference schools and first (by nearly 4.5 points) in the SEC.

Hutson Mason was good.  You can’t convince me otherwise—not even with bogus anecdotal evidence.

Mason was good and he was kind of expected to be.  As a true freshman his first ever pass was a touchdown. He completed more than 60 percent of his passes in both his sophomore and redshirt junior seasons.  Prior to starting the final two games of 2013 and all of 2014, Mason had completed 51 of 82 passes (62.2 percent) for 705 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

There’s not another Hutson Mason waiting in the wings.  For some fans, that sounds like great news.  They ignore things like statistical performance, leadership and offensive results and focus narrow-mindedly on what they want: Brice Ramsey and his seemingly limitless potential.

My beef with Ramsey is this: He’s erratic.

Before we dive into what I mean by that, I will grant that he is young and inexperienced.  But it should also be be noted that every quarterback on the planet who has not started a collegiate game is inexperienced.  The numbers quoted above for Mason’s first 82 attempts came when he was inexperienced.  Further, Ramsey has been on campus for two full calendar years.  He’s not that young anymore.

At times, Ramsey has looked phenomenal.  His arm strength, which is (for better or worse) always on display, pops.  He hit on all five pass attempts against Kentucky while racking up 80 yards and a score.  He was never better than that performance.

  • In his collegiate debut against Troy, Ramsey threw for 66 yards and a touchdown but completed just 50 percent of his passes.
  • Against Vanderbilt he hit two of four passes for 31 yards and no touchdowns.
  • He completed his lone pass attempt against Missouri for 13 yards.
  • He hit two-thirds of his 12 attempts against Charleston Southern but he threw an interception.
  • Against Louisville, he hit on just four of nine attempts, racked up only 51 yards and tossed a pick.

Ramsey has a big arm.  A huge arm even.  But he hasn’t—over the course of two years in Athens—learned how to use it.

For all his unteachable, cannon-like ways, inaccuracy and poor decision making has haunted him.  Despite having the strongest arm the Bulldogs have seen since Matthew Stafford and a tendency to take more shots downfield than Mason, Ramsey averaged just 8.5 yards per attempt this season.  Throw out the perfect performance against Kentucky and that average falls to 7.4.

We don’t know what Ramsey might become.  From a natural gifts standpoint he could contend for a Heisman Trophy.  But that seems more like fantasy than reality at this juncture.

Ramsey didn’t throw the football often in high school at Camden County.  Despite being the best passer in the state (in theory), he wasn’t an All-State selection (just honorable mention).  As a senior he threw for just 1,396 yards.  As a comparison, Mason threw for over 4,500 yards as a high school senior and redshirt freshman Jacob Park threw for 3,665.  Again, this doesn’t mean that Mason and Park were better high school players and better collegiate prospects than Ramsey; it just means they threw the ball a hell of a lot more.

But combine Ramsey’s limited experience as a pro-style, passing quarterback in high school with inconsistent showings at the tail-end of his second year in Athens, and it’s possible Ramsey isn’t a Heisman winner or even an All-SEC performer or even a starter for a Top 10 program.

That’s not what fans want to hear right now and it’s not what I want to believe, but for the first time since Aaron Murray took over as a redshirt freshman in 2010, I have doubts about who will step up under center.

I haven’t addressed Faton Bauta and Park at length, because I trust the coaching staff (including departed Bobo).  If Ramsey was getting playing time this year over those two fellows, it’s because he was the best option behind Ramsey.  Obviously, that could change as well.  But at this point, I don’t know what to expect.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

To see highlights of the greatest quarterbacks in Georgia history, download The UGA Vault.

About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on January 6, 2015, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, SEC, The UGA Vault. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Park intrigues me the most. I don’t look at him not playing this year as any indication of Bobo’s faith in Ramsey over Park. He was/is a true freshman and needed to take that year and learn the play book just like Murray did and just like Ramsey did (plus you get the year separation between Park and Ramsey). If it is a true open competition(and with a new OC I would expect it to be just like it was when Pruitt came in this year on the other side) I believe that Park and NOT Ramsey will be the starter next year. From all reports Park has more of a well rounded game. He has an above average arm (but not as good as Ramsey but better than Mason). He is more mobile than Ramsey (but not as good as Bauta ). He may not be the best at any one thing, but from all reports he is the best OVERALL package-total sum of the parts.

  2. Of course anything’s possible, but do you think you might be giving too much weight to an extremely small sample size? I mean, Todd Gurley should probably come back to play QB, because he completed 100% of his passes for an average of 50 yds/pass, and a ridiculous 520 passer rating.

    Ramsey’s experience is a concern, but your fear is rooted in the unknown. Even if Ramsey had looked nothing short of phenomenal, his performances during limited playing time would not be any more cause for optimism than they are for pessimism or concern now.

    He has all the physical tools, and he did enough to be the clear-cut #2 QB. Beyond that, nobody can ever know what will happen, or how he or any of the other QB’s will perform, and, respectfully, analyzing what amounts to about 62 minutes of PT over the course of a year won’t get you any closer to a solid conclusion on the matter. 🙂

  3. Ramsey is Jeff Driskel v 2.0 and we will figure it out after the UT game. The only thing that will keep him near a starting spot is a healthy Nick C and reliable run game.

  4. Not impressed at anytime this year with Ramsey.

  5. Your concern is also mine. I haven’t seen enough really good passing and decision making to make me confident in the QB spot going into next year. BUT, I am very confident that our running game is going to be so strong that the play action should be great even with an average QB. Ramsey or Parks might suddenly blossom when they have the reigns from the get-go. We also have a number of really good receivers coming in to make their job easier.
    My greatest concern is that all of the internal controversy is going to lead to “hot seat” rumors that could hurt us in recruiting.

    If or when we make a good OC/OL coach hire, all the controversy will subside an things will look great.

  6. Mason was really good. I wish we had another guy just like him waiting in the wings. It’s always good to have a quarterback who not only can’t throw the football down field with any sort of consistency, but also can’t run at all. Not to mention the fact that he made great plays in close games when the pressure was on (USC intentional grounding, Tech interception to end the game, 2 int’s vs Tenn). Forget about Ramsey and Parker why don’t we just cut one leg and both hands off of a clinical schizofrenic, throw him back in the pocket, and tell him the other teams are all aliens trying to steal his brain? I think I know of a 5 star prospect posted up at the nervous hospital with Carl Childers. I’ll make some calls and get back to you.

    If it weren’t for having probably the most talented backfield that college football has seen in a decade or so plus a solid offensive line, Georgia would have been terrible this season. If you don’t believe me note that Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb both averaged 7 yards per carry this season, while Mason averaged 7 yards PER PASS ATTEMPT!!!!!!! IS THAT A JOKE???

    Rant over, if you think he’s good that is your right. You normally write great stuff so I won’t hold it against you. Fun fact, apparently my retweets of your articles led to my buddy and former radio co-host Eric Bowman signing you on at Bleacher Report (at least that’s what he told me). So you’re welcome (>>>>>>>>> Ramsey

  7. # 88 Passing Offense # 58 making 3rd Down Conversions, personally lost South Carolina, Nebraska, Florida, and Georgie tek – none of the 4 of whom are nearly as talented around Hutson Mason as he, and 3 of the 4 are unranked teams he lost to. Deer in the headlights. Refused to throw the ball downfield, despite Mike Bobo and Mark Richt both after every game telling him he must. On the plus side, he did not get sacked because the offensive line in front of him and his RB were and are great, and he did not throw turn the ball over, except when it cost us games against weak teams. He rushed the ball very poorly. His legacy is that he was the 4th best qb on the roster, but was shown favoritism in being the starter, just as Joe Cox and just as Joe Tereshinski III were by the same duo. One cannot call the QB great when he (1) cannot run and (2) cannot throw the ball or refuses to, downfield. A great QB would get a Combine invitation – instead, he is headed to a desk job. He will not even get an invitation to try-out for an NFL team. None of the lesser leagues will give him a look-see, either. Great ? But, do not let the straight facts, get in your way of your biased viewpoint which you hold to, no one else of which concurs with you on this.

    As for the QB position 2015, we could not possibly be in better hands. We will convert 3rd Downs with any of the 3. We will not be # 88 in Passing Offense 2015, and we will not lose to 4 far less-talented teams as we did with Hutson Mason – all 4 of which were directly his losses as Starter.

    Schottenheimer would have played both Jacob Park and Brice Ramsey and will now this season despite neither given proper preparation, or even instruction on feet work; and he will either move Faton Bauta to 1 of the many other positions he could play, or he will play him in games as well to prepare him.

    Hutson Mason was the weak link 2014 season. It was so bad that Mark Richt could not contain himself in public about his short-comings after every game. I presume that is what you are directing yourself to, those comments by Mark Richt when you say you do not care what anyone else has to say on the subject.

    Great ?

    Not hardly.

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