In preparation for Saturday’s season-opener between Georgia and Clemson, Saturday Down South is taking a look at the key matchups that may decide the showdown between the Bulldogs and Tigers.

Hutson Mason vs. Cole Stoudt

Mason is making just his fourth career start, whereas Stoudt is making his first career start.  Both guys have seen game experience as backups to record-setting quarterbacks.

Mason, a fifth-year senior, sat behind Aaron Murray and Stoudt behind Tajh Boyd.  Both guys are experienced and are knowledgeable in their respective offensive systems.  Both guys throw the ball with pinpoint accuracy and make good decisions under center.

This will be the most even matchup of the game.

Mason has a high IQ, and will not do anything to make the Bulldogs beat themselves.  In four scrimmages, he didn’t throw any interceptions.  Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will use the run to set up the pass, and Georgia’s depth at running back has to be a comforting feeling for Mason.  The ‘Dawgs have weapons at the skill positions all around Mason, and he actually has a quicker release than Murray.  He doesn’t have the arm strength that Murray has, but gets the ball out of his hands in less time.  The biggest question will be whether or not the Georgia offensive line can protect him.

Stoudt is essentially a mirror image of Mason.  He can beat you with his legs, in addition to his arm.  He has a tall frame, standing at 6-foot-5.  Stoudt is incredibly accurate, both on the deep ball and intermediate passes.  If defenses play a zone, he’ll pick them apart.  Because this is his final year of eligibility after sitting behind Boyd, Stoudt’s a gamer and will compete for 60 minutes.

The quarterback play should be very strong Saturday evening in Athens.  Look for these guys to put their teams in position to win the game.  Who will make the first mistake?