Georgia will be breaking in a new starting quarterback Saturday, and that new quarterback will have to worry about Georgia Tech senior defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said during his news conference this week that Attaochu is "as good as anybody we've played at that edge rush position."
Attaochu (6-foot-3, 242 pounds), who already has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, is tied for sixth in the ACC with eight sacks. Last season, as an outside linebacker, he was third in the league with 10 sacks. He has 27 sacks in his career, third-most among active players. Attaochu has three sacks against Georgia in his career, one in each of the past three seasons.
Attaochu has six sacks in the past four games and finally seems comfortable as a 4-3 end after three seasons as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He almost certainly will move back to outside linebacker at the next level, and he would fit best in a 3-4 scheme.
For the first time since the final game of the 2009 season, Georgia will have a starting quarterback other than Aaron Murray, who suffered a severe knee injury last weekend and will miss the rest of the season. The new guy is junior Hutson Mason (6-3, 202), who has thrown for 349 yards, two TDs and an interception in mop-up duty this season.,/p>
Georgia has allowed just 13 sacks this season, but line play has been inconsistent, and Murray's mobility has helped him avoid sacks. Tackles Kenarious Gates and John Theus need to make sure Attaochu doesn't get a lot of up-close-and-personal meetings with Mason.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.