There will be an odd feeling surrounding the Georgia Bulldogs as they take the field against Georgia Tech this Saturday in Bobby Dodd Stadium. For the first time in 53 games, Georgia will play a game with a quarterback other than Aaron Murray at the helm.
With the SEC's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns undergoing surgery on his ACL, the Hutson Mason era is set to begin.
And what a game for it to begin with.
These two Georgia rivals will take the field with identical 7-4 records. While neither team features in their conference championship picture, they will be looking to increase their bowl stock. On top of that, there is always a little extra juice in a game when state bragging rights are on the line.
Georgia likes to win with the pass, Georgia Tech likes to win with the run. All of this sets up for what should be an entertaining game.
When: Saturday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
TV Coverage: ABC
Spread: Georgia -3 according to VegasInsider.com
All injury info via USA Today.
Top Storylines: Can Georgia stop the Yellow Jackets from running?
Part of the reason why the loss of Murray is so damaging to Georgia is because the defense isn't very good. The Bulldogs are 78th in the nation in points allowed. They have done a decent job against running backs, though, allowing just 3.63 yards per rush.
Against Georgia Tech, being strong against the run is key.
At 316.1 yards per game, the Yellow Jackets are the nation's fifth most prodigious rushing team. Running out of the option, the Yellow Jackets somehow have 12 players on the roster who have rushed for over 100 yards on the season.
Four players, including quarterback Vad Lee, have rushed for at least 426 yards.
The Bulldogs will know the rush is coming. The only question is, can they stop it?
Prediction: Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 27
It is difficult to project how Georgia will look without Murray under center, but Mason has looked good in his limited playing time. I expect him to start carving out a legacy of his own by guiding his team to a close win.