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Hutson Mason, ESPN Analyst, 680 The Fan Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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December 30, 2022 4:18 pm

Hutson Mason, ESPN Analyst, 680 The Fan Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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December 30, 2022 4:18 pm

Former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason joins Zach to preview the upcoming college football playoff, Kirby Smart's impact on the Bulldogs, and talk about the future of the sport.


What makes your skin crawl, no matter how absurd? I want to know.

Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums? I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. You send me your fear.

I'm just so weirded out about the texture and how they can just move around and flop. And then I go to the experts to learn how to overcome them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. Pause or rewind your local sports and news and add shows to your queue to catch up later. There's a lot to listen to.

So get started and download the free Odyssey app today. Now joining us, I think my next guest is just a little bit excited for the ball to kick off tomorrow evening, as you will have his alma mater trying to continue this path on back-to-back national championships. And that is the former quarterback of Georgia. That is a great job, 680, the fan in Hudson Mason. Hudson, how you been? I'm doing good, Zach. I just want to know, so which one are you? Are you the one that beat Tom Brady in the 40 or the one that got the perfect SAT score? Neither. Wonderful.

Neither. Anyway, let me start you off with just your confidence level heading into this game with your Georgia football team that other than that Missouri game this year really has never showed a blemish in the year of 2022. Oh, my confidence is through the roof, man. And I think it should be. I think all Georgia fans should be. You know, a lot of people have talked about those close games that you're referencing, close game against Missouri and even Kent State earlier in the year. But I think what we realized and I've come to realize with this Georgia team is they can flip a switch at any time, anywhere. The best opponents this year, they've played their best games. And so as Stetson Bennett, you look at LSU, they won by 20 points.

Tennessee, they beat handedly. And so, you know, they I know coaches don't want to admit it, but this team at times this year has played down to their competition. But when they played up to their competition, they played as up as anybody in the country. And it's almost nuts to think about it this way because of the defending national champions.

A lot of people had respect for this program. They expected them to be back in the college football playoff, but they were ranked third in the country before the season started. Now they're unquestionably number one in the country to see the sustained success at this elite level with the pressure that is on them.

Week in and week out with all the eyeballs that are tuning in. I'm almost more impressed they got to finish their job with the team this year than than I was with the team last year. Yeah, and I think you can make the case that this might be a better coaching job this year by Kirby Smart than it was last year. Not that, you know, who knows how this team will turn out in terms of talent and draft picks when it's all said and done, but all the first round draft picks, especially on the defensive side of the ball last year.

And then, you know, to lose your defensive coordinator and to lose all those players and first round draft picks and then to have an undefeated season after that back in the playoff and really just rolling. I mean, there was really nobody this year that that even came close to beating Georgia. They only gave up 30 points one time and that was in the SEC championship game.

Nobody has had success scoring points, not even the number one offense in the country at the time when they played Tennessee. So that's what makes this intriguing matchup so fun tomorrow is you got this high powered offense, which I believe is the best quarterback and skill position group that Georgia was faced this year. And going up against a really, really good Georgia defense and, you know, for Kirby Smart, if he's able to get back to back national champions, you know, what that does for his legacy is interesting because he's already, you know, one of the best in Georgia football history. Another one would certainly cement him as the greatest Georgia coach of all time.

But I don't know about you Zach, but if they win back to back, I'm immediately going to be thinking about could they go for a three-peat, which has never been done in college football unless you count the 1936 Minnesota Golden Gophers, which I do not. Is he the best coach in college football, Kirby Smart, in your opinion? I think it's him and Nick Saban, one and two. A lot of people have talked about has he passed Nick Saban.

And, you know, certainly with back to back national championships, I think he is right there a part of and only cements that conversation even more. You know, the thing about Kirby is that he's doing it at a younger age than Nick did it. You know, I believe Nick won his first national title at Alabama when he was 51 and didn't win his second one, I think, or his 51 year one.

Kirby's 47 and he might have two and two. And so you just look at what he's able to take from Nick Saban and Alabama. And a lot of Alabama assistants have not had success. And they've not gone other places and certainly had the success that Kirby Smart has had. So, you know, he stays with Alabama and he stays with Nick Saban and he learns that entire time and he takes everything with him to Georgia and, you know, and he takes over a really good program that Mark Riggs had already in a really healthy position.

But to see the success that Kirby has had, even at a younger age than Nick, if you look at the runway, I mean, he could be doing this for another 15 years if he really wants to. It really is Alabama-like what he's been able to display this year because we talked about heading into this year, look at all the starters they lost on defense, and I know it just isn't as easy as it looks, but this looks pretty damn easy to me with what they're doing this year, Hudson Mesa. Yeah, I think it's to your point, it's like Georgia fans, I hope they don't ever become like Alabama fans where they take winning for granted and they complain about, you know, about missing out on the playoff once every three decades, but, you know, it's like, my gosh, it just seems like Kirby's gotten Georgia to a point where you just almost, their season starts like the first weekend in December.

You know, it's like everything else in the regular season besides that is kind of boring, and then you just look at it every year and you're going, okay, I plan to go to the SEC championship game and then I'm probably planning on spending quite a bit of money to go to a semifinal game if not another national championship, so I hope Georgia fans are ready to swipe the credit card. Hudson Mason here with us. You talked about C.J. Stroud. I've liked C.J. Stroud this year. I've not loved him as much as other people have.

What type of C.J. Stroud do you think we'll see, and now what is the biggest game for Ohio State this year? Yeah, it's a big game for him because, you know, this is a guy who at Michigan, at Ohio State, I mean, he hasn't beat Michigan yet. He's not used to or you're not supposed to lose to Michigan there, and him and Ryan Day really need a signature win for their legacy, but more importantly just for where Ryan Day's at in his tenure at Ohio State.

But for C.J. Stroud, I mean, he's going to be a top ten pick. He's a great quarterback. He's got phenomenal weapons around him. You know, I would be shocked if he doesn't play really well. This will be the best defense that he's played against, there's no doubt, and Jalen Carter might be the number one overall pick. They certainly haven't faced a guy like that this year, but I think the big thing going into this game is just can his offensive line hold up. In the run game, in the pass game, they've been, at times this year, they've looked like they could bully you and they looked like they could be physical, but then you watch them against Northwestern and then you watch them the second half against Michigan, and they just lay down and lay down way too easily. If Michigan, or excuse me, if Ohio State is going to win this, they have got to shock the world and come out and play far more physical than I think a lot of us expect them to. What do you think the approach is going to be for Georgia up against these wide receivers from Ohio State? Because when you watch Ohio State, the first thing that stands out is just the wide receivers that they have, even with Jackson Smith and Jigba not playing. Oh, yeah. I mean, it is deep.

It's loaded. I mean, I thought Tennessee's two receivers were really good. This is like a whole other level of good and deep. You know, I think Kirby Smart is as good in college football as they get when you give them a month off to prepare and come up with a game plan and got an all-star staff and Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann. And so, you know, Kirby does a great job of mixing stuff up, showing different pitchers to the quarterback. And, you know, the good thing about Georgia is they've got obviously good corners, but they've got great pass rushes. They haven't been great at getting to the quarterback and getting the quarterback down in terms of sacks, but they still cause a lot of pressure and a lot of havoc. And sacks aren't the end-all, be-all. There's other ways to affect a quarterback besides just sacking them. So while their sack number is lower than what it's been, they still create a ton of havoc, and it really will come down to how much does that affect C.J. Stroud. Talking to Hudson Mason, if I give you these four quarterbacks and their NFL future, how do you rank them in Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levison, and then Anthony Richardson? Oh, okay. Sorry. I thought you were going to go with the four in the playoff.

Can you give me those four again real quick? So Young, Stroud, Richardson, Anthony Richardson, and then Will Levison. Boy, I would put Stroud and Bryce Young right there at one and two, probably Stroud one, Young two. And, man, those next two guys, Will Levison and Anthony Richardson, are a huge risk to me, especially Anthony Richardson.

I could not believe that he announced that he was going pro after this year. And, you know, the NFL is notorious for drafting a potential overproduction, and I think both of those guys fall into that category, and certainly at times the production for Will Levison has not matched the potential. But you look at him and you go athletic, big arms.

I mean, somebody's going to get enamored with him in terms of a project. But I think there's a really large drop-off from the first two guys I mentioned and the last two. Why do you go Stroud over Young? I think Young is the better quarterback. I know Stroud has more of the ideal size. I've just been more impressed with Young this year with, crazy to say this because he's at Alabama, less talent than what Stroud's had at Ohio State.

Yeah. Look, I think Young's a really good quarterback. I just wonder, and I'm concerned a little bit about his size. It's not so much the height as it is, as so much the, he's just frail. And I just wonder, like, Kyler Murray is small, but he's also really thick. Very thick in his lower half.

And so you stand next to Bryce Young. People are saying he's going to measure in at six foot. He ain't measuring in at six foot. He's going to be 5'11". They don't measure with shoes on or cleats on.

This is barefoot. He's going to come in small. He's going to come in, I bet, a buck-eighty, a buck-eighty-five, maybe a buck-ninety at the most. I mean, can your body last an NFL season over and over and over again when you're that small in stature and you're that frail?

That, to me, is really the only big question. And I just look around the NFL and I see smaller quarterbacks in height, but I don't see as many, like Russell Wilson, again, six foot-ish. But he's also rocked up. He's thick. His body can absorb hits.

I think for me it's more of the size and the lack of girth and muscle and strength than it is anything else. How do you rank these four quarterbacks this weekend, C.J. Stroud, Stetson Bennett, Max Duggan, and then J.J. McCarthy? I would go Stroud 1, Max Duggan 2, Stetson 3, McCarthy 4.

I think you could, you know, if you flip-flopped 2 and 3, I wouldn't have a problem with it either. Max Duggan has had a great year, and most people forget that. He got benched last year at TCU. So Stetson Bennett has had an amazing year as well. If you don't believe in him at this point, then I guess you're just never going to believe him.

Believe in him. Heisman finalists threw four TDs in the first half of the SEC Championship game. And by the way, we all want our quarterbacks to play their best in the biggest moments, and Stetson's been the MVP of the last three postseason games that he's played in. So he's been phenomenal, and I think he's already played himself into a late draft pick.

What does it mean when you kind of look back at his career, when you look at what he's been able to accomplish? Because you're right, even when the guy keeps on shutting people up or trying to shut people up, there's still that narrative about him, oh, he's not that good, oh, he doesn't belong as a Heisman finalist, as some of the things that you heard when the Heisman Trophy was here in New York. This is the greatest college football story, Zach, I've ever witnessed in my life. It's better than Rudy. Like, don't at me about Rudy.

Rudy played one play. Like, Stetson Bennett was a walk-on who his coaches tried to bury time and time again, and they tried to get him to quit. They've admitted it. They tried to replace him last year in the portal with Caleb Williams after the kid won him a national title. I mean, like, no kid has been more disrespected by his own coaches than Stetson Bennett, and he just is so resilient, he keeps coming back, he keeps playing at a high level. There could be a movie about it.

There should be a book about it. It's one of the great sports stories of all time, in my opinion. And I know a lot of guys say, oh, I don't care about the outside noise, and I'm sure he's motivated by it, but when I was talking to him a little bit when he was here in New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, it really seems like he doesn't care what people think about him, which is a good quality to have. The guy has a flip phone. If you have a flip phone, you clearly don't care what people think about you, right? It's actually not a bad idea.

It doesn't mean that he's on Twitter all day, that's for sure. Before we let you run, all right, give me the official prediction. Georgia, Ohio State, how does this play out? What's the score looking like? I got a Georgia blowout, Zach. I got Georgia 37, Ohio State 20. Another blowout in the college football playoffs. Will we at least get Michigan TCU, Hudson Mason, being a decent game? Yeah, I think that will be a little bit more of a closer game. You want a prediction on that one, I'll give you 28-21. You going Michigan, I'm assuming? I'm going Michigan. Then the national championship game, do we get a close national championship game then on January 9th between Georgia and Michigan, or is that going to be another blowout?

I got to give you one right now. Yeah. 10-7, Georgia. 10-7? Wow, at least I got a close game, but then it's like one of the low-scoring boring games that you'll see. It's like a baseball game, it's small ball. Last thing I'll ask you, can you envision Georgia not winning these next two games?

I think it's, yeah. While my confidence is high, man, you just never know what you're going to get. I think this is a tougher matchup for Georgia against Ohio State. They've got a tough draw. I think this game could actually be tougher for them than the national championship game. It's just a matchup, matchup-wise, and a personnel, it's much tougher of a personnel matchup than the other two teams.

So, yeah, I think, look, I'd be shocked if both games are blowouts, but I'm just really worried about Ohio State's physicality. Gotcha. Hudson Mason, appreciate the time. You and your family have a great start to the new year. Thank you.

See you, man. So my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new short 10-minute podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. We unpack where these fears come from. A rat climbed into my toilet.

And learn how to manage them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's the strangest thing you're afraid of? Tails without fur on them, such as rats or opossums. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast Your Weirdest Fears, where we dig into the crazy things you're afraid of. Everything from animal-people hybrids, you know, people who get surgeries to look like an animal, to giant statues. If I ever saw one of those giant statues, I probably would poop my pants.

Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. So my biggest fear is there's going to be sneaks in the toilet. We're all afraid of that one strange thing. I'm Larry Mullins, the host of a new short 10-minute podcast called Your Weirdest Fears. We unpack where these fears come from. A rat climbed into my toilet. And learn how to manage them. Listen and subscribe to Your Weirdest Fears on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-30 18:16:21 / 2022-12-30 18:40:13 / 24

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