The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 28, 2013

Reunion time for LSU, Georgia QBs

ATHENS, Ga. — Not so long ago they were raw freshmen, both wearing red and black, battling each other for the same prize.

Starting quarterback of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Of course, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger wound up taking different paths.

Murray guided Georgia back to national prominence and became the most prolific passer in school history. Mettenberger ran into legal troubles, left Athens in disgrace, and wound up as the starter for Southeastern Conference rival LSU.

On Saturday, these former teammates will go against each other for the first time when No. 9 Georgia (2-1, 1-0 SEC) hosts the No. 6 Tigers (4-0, 1-0) in a crucial SEC contest.

“It’s going to be weird to see him on the other sideline wearing an LSU uniform,” Murray said.

The game is especially significant for Mettenberger, considering he grew up not far from Athens dreaming of playing for the Bulldogs, only to get kicked off the team after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery for an incident at a bar.

His mother, Tammy, still works in football operations at Georgia.

“He’s going to be crazy hyped for this game,” Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “He’s going to come in with a mission.”

Actually, Mettenberger can’t wait for it to be over. He’s worried about what his mom his going through, though Georgia coach Mark Richt made things easier by giving her the week off.

“There’s just so much put into this game that has nothing with the game,” Mettenberger said.

Murray remembers battling with Mettenberger when both were contending for the starting job during spring practice in 2010.

“There were fireworks every day at practice,” Murray said. “He’d go out and make a throw, I’d go out and make a throw. It was back and forth, back and forth. It really pushed both of us to become better quarterbacks.”

No matter what, one of them was probably destined to play elsewhere.

“You could be talking to him right now,” Murray told a group of Georgia reporters this week. “I doubt both of us would’ve stayed.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Mercury not thinking streak

    Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury are closing in on one of the greatest records in WNBA history, the Los Angeles Sparks’ 18-game winning streak. To equal that mark, the Mercury need to win two more games, starting with defending ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014