What Zach Mettenberger's Dismissal Means to the Georgia Bulldogs

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IApril 18, 2010

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger #5 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
I was just getting ready to write a story about how Georgia's Spring Practice may have created more questions than it answered. And then this story broke. 

All of a sudden the UGA QB battle got a lot thinner, and Aaron Murray better win it in the fall.  The redshirt freshman from Florida was thought to be the leader heading into the Spring.  But the staff in Athens was mostly tight-lipped as to who was leading the battle.

Logan Gray had the most experience of the three, but could not beat out Joe Cox last year in one of the worst years by a quarterback in recent memory. Instead it was Zach Mettenberger who impressed the most in the Spring Game, going 6-for-10 with 150 yards passing.

The redshirt freshman bounced back from a rough beginning to spring practice, during which he was arrested near Valdosta in an alcohol related offense.

Shortly after his arrest, head coach Mark Richt announced that Mettenberger would be suspended for at least the first game of the season. It was thought at that time that Murray would assume the starting position. But after Mettenberger's performance on G-Day, the debate raged on as to who should be under center.

His dismissal clearly opens the door for Murray to become the starter. But based on a statement by Richt, he wants to be more involved in the QB meetings this season, and this is a reason for pause.

Why would the head coach need to step back into the meetings after handing over control to OC Mike Bobo back in 2006? Richt says it is because he misses the coaching aspect with QBs. My gut tells me he's not completely happy about what transpired last year, and feels with another first year starter that some things need to change at the position.

How good the highly-touted Murray is remains to be seen. If he struggles, then UGA may have to lean on Gray, who spent most of last year returning.

But then again, if the Bulldogs run the ball like they did in their final two games of 2009 they may not need a quarterback.

This article is also featured on The ACC & SEC Blog.