Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stakes even higher for this "Mett vs Murray" battle

If you've been living under a rock I bet by now you can still hear the echoing theme for this week's game: Zach Mettenberger is returning to play against the team that kicked him off in 2010. It brings to our ears and eyes all sorts of subplots as well: his mom is still under gainful employment in Coach Richt's office; he has all sorts of old friends still playing for Georgia; he's a local boy from Watkinsville done good, then bad, then good again.

But the most interesting on and off the field happens to be that he renews his individual rivalry with Aaron Murray. Signed together to compete for playing time once Matt Stafford left early Joe Cox finished matriculating, they competed against one another on campus through workouts, practices, scrimmages and GDay games for over a year while redshirting.
Back in the day...
Looking back, it’s entirely possible Mettenberger may not have stayed at UGA anyway if Murray had been the guy, or vice versa.
“I doubt both of us would have stayed,” Murray said. “I’m sure one of us probably would have left. You could be talking to him right now and I’m at LSU or another school.”
With the situation as it is, Mettenberger’s return to Athens has increased the hype for an already massive game set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
But for Mettenberger, there is the obvious attention accompanying that, even with Richt saying he gave Tammy the week off to avoid an “awkward” atmosphere at work.
“It is just another game,” Mettenberger told reporters in Baton Rouge. “It is unfair, the situation that my teammates and family are being put in and all of the crazy questions that people have to answer. I should be the one that has to answer the questions. I don’t want any outside media or spotlight on myself or my relationship with Georgia to take away from this game and the experience for all the other guys.”
The extra buildup could mean pressure when Mettenberger returns home, but Lynch is expecting the best from a close quarterbacking friend.
Well, he expects that from two friends, really.
“If I know Zach, he loves big games. He loves to play under pressure,” Lynch said. “That’s just kind of how he is, whether it was anything, pick-up basketball, video games. He just likes competition and likes to be a part of it and likes to play in big games -- as does Aaron. I think you’ll see the best of both worlds for those two guys on Saturday.
“I don’t think either are going to hold anything back.”
So not too much has changed other than the colors on one's uniform. And the fact that the winner gains ground on making an appearance in Atlanta later this season. While the loser has a tougher road ahead.