This could be called the "Pin Stripe Bowl" because both team's starting quarterbacks could have very easily ended up in prison pin stripes if not for second chances. Let's hope they make the most of what they have been give.
After Georgia battles North Texas early on Saturday, Bulldogs coach Mark Richt might just try to rush to a television set to catch that night’s Auburn/LSU contest. Not only will the showdown from Baton Rouge involved two teams on UGA’s schedule, but it will also feature two quarterbacks who started their careers in Athens.
LSU second-year starter Zach Mettenberger is flying high under the tutelage of new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. He was dismissed from Richt’s team following a spring break arrest in 2010. His mother remains an employee of the UGA athletic department.
At Auburn, juco transfer Nick Marshall is steadily growing into the dual-threat quarterback Gus Malzahn’s up-tempo offense needs. Marshall was signed to play cornerback at Georgia — due to depth at the QB position — but he was dismissed from the squad for a violation of team rules in 2011.
“It will be very interesting to watch (the Auburn/LSU game) because I know both of those guys, of course, and we’re going to end up playing both of those teams as well. I like both of them very much. I want the very best for them and I’m glad they both landed in a good spot and are having an opportunity to have good careers. So I’m happy for them and it will be interesting to watch…
I believe in stories of redemption and guys turning it around. I wished they’d have turned it around at Georgia, but sometimes if happens at another school and that’s fine with me. I realize those kind of comeback stories happen and I’m real happy for these guys. I want all the guys that we sign to realize their dreams.”
According to Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when Richt’s ability to recruit top talent to Georgia was brought up, the coach downplayed it by saying: “We just try to evaluate the best we can and recruit them and see if they want to come to Georgia.”
The reality of the matter is that Richt once signed three guys — Marshall, Mettenberger and UGA quarterback Aaron Murray — who are all starting signal-callers in the SEC this year.
That’s almost as impressive as Richt’s continued ability to come across the guy you’d most want your own son to play under.