Does Georgia have edge on Florida? Yes — Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray can quiet a lot of critics if he leads Georgia past Florida. (AP photo)

Aaron Murray can quiet a lot of critics if he leads Georgia past Florida. (AP photo)

ATHENS – Have you heard? The Georgia quarterback can’t play in big games. He can’t beat great teams. He melts in big moments. He is 0-4 against top 10 teams, 2-8 against ranked teams. He lost to South Carolina. Twice. He’s no David Greene, no D.J. Shockley and he sure ain’t no Buck Belue.

This is how the story about Aaron Murray gets spun. Not that he has thrown 75 touchdown passes in 2½ years, or that he threw for over 400 yards the week after his father had cancer surgery, or that Georgia has won six games this season not in spite of its quarterback but because of him — because the six wins certainly can’t be attributed to special teams or the soft-as-nougat defense (paraphrasing Shawn Williams).

Here is the problem with “the book” on Murray. It’s short-sighted. It’s the cheap-and-easy pop that goes an inch deep instead of Butts-Mehre-wide. The 0-4 and 2-8 records technically are accurate. But that’s a program statement. Since 2008 – two seasons before Murray started a game — Georgia is 1-9 against top 10 teams and 6-14 against top 25s. Does Murray get blamed for that, too, or is that on coach Mark Richt and his staff?

We do this with quarterbacks. They’re the lightning rods. They’re the can’t-win-the-big-game guys until schleps like John Elway or Peyton Manning win Super Bowls, and then we move on to the next guy. We look at a guy like Murray leading four second-half touchdown drives in the loud, zoo-like surroundings at Missouri and think, “OK, that was impressive.” But then Missouri devolves into an 0-4 conference newbie and we think, “OK, that wasn’t a big deal.”

This week it’s Florida. Murray was asked the inevitable question of trying to win the big game. He responded appropriately: “I just ignore it. I’m not playing Florida myself.”

I imagine his psychology degree and post-graduate work has enabled him to remove the emotion from the process in matters like this.

On Florida again: “You can’t go in there stressed. I have to be positive in my thoughts and let her rip. Sometimes, maybe I try to be too perfect or too cautious, thinking about not throwing an interception. My goal this week is to trust my abilities, trust my preparation and just go out there and let it rip.”

Georgia has only one edge over Florida. It’s at quarterback and nowhere else.

Murray is better than Jeff Driskel. He has thrown for more yards (1,914 to 929) and more touchdowns (16 to 8). But Driskel doesn’t play on a team that has underachieved relative to its perceived talent level. He has benefited from the Gators having a great defense. The Gators physically beat two highly ranked teams, LSU and South Carolina, so nobody is questioning their quarterback’s leadership or resolve.

Murray is not the same kid who looked unnerved in Jacksonville two years ago. He was intercepted on the Dogs’ first play, committed two more turnovers in the second quarter that led to Florida touchdowns and threw third interception (fourth turnover) in overtime, enabling the Gators to win 34-31.

“He was just a young quarterback who made some freshman mistakes,” senior Marlon Brown said. “But he’s overcome that.”

Last season’s meeting was better but still not great. He completed only 15 of 39 and had an early interception, but he threw a pair of fourth-down touchdown passes and led the Bulldogs to a 24-20 win.

“People ask do you get a little nervous for Florida? I’m not nervous. Since that first year, once the game gets going I don’t worry about all the extra stuff any more.”

He has evolved as a leader, fortunately in a less combustible way than Shawn Williams (who might’ve been on target when he labeled his team’s defense “soft” but he effectively threw teammates under the bus when he mandated lineup changes).

Murray has taken a more cerebral approach in his leadership than Williams. His graduate work in industrial-organizational psychology led him to study the qualities of NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady. For one project, he surveyed teammates and coaches on where they believed he fell short as a leader. Their feedback: Murray needed to be more vocal. So he has been this season, without cutting off anybody at the knees.

“In some instances I need to be more demanding and vocal,” he said. “I have to make sure guys are accountable.”

He was beat up physically and emotionally recently. Georgia had lost to South Carolina. His house was egged by lunatics. His father underwent surgery. He even got a speeding ticket driving back to Athens from Florida following the bye week.  But he tried to stay upbeat publicly.

“Fake it ’til you make it, I guess,” he said. “Especially as the quarterback, I have to make sure I have a high energy level. Running around, screaming and yelling and having fun, making sure guys see that I’m ready to go.”

It’s opportunity week. Georgia can take control in the SEC East. Murray can put to rest criticism about big-game performances. Quarterbacks are defined by games like this, fair or unfair. Here’s Murray’s chance to rewrite “the book.”




By Jeff Schultz

412 comments Add your comment

Jon

October 23rd, 2012
7:13 pm

Aaron Murray needs an O-line and we need to play better defense. We can make it happen, but we need to to start firing on all cylinders.

why not

October 23rd, 2012
7:26 pm

Why not us, why not now? This team is ready for a break out from those old numbers and take a big step forward. Go Dawgs!

Game Changer

October 23rd, 2012
7:27 pm

Wrong about A Murray =

Stack the box on the UGA offense. Stand tall in the passing lanes just over the offensive tackles outside shoulders, create push up the middle and Aaron Murray is bad, MURRAY IS TO SHORT TO SEE TO BEAT QUALITY TEAMS —

Quit blaming the offensive line when the QB is the problem against quality teams

cracker

October 23rd, 2012
7:33 pm

GO GATORS !!!

Old Dog Class of 80

October 23rd, 2012
7:37 pm

“Does Murray get blamed for that, too, or is that on coach Mark Richt and his staff?”

It is ALL on CMR and his staff. Did he and Bobo teach Murray about ball protection? Did CMR and Bobo take Murray out when he is turning the ball over? Who recruits the o-line whose job it is to provide protection (for a reasonable amount of time). CMR is the one who should have had his house egged, not Murray.

Sammy

October 23rd, 2012
7:42 pm

Richt’s 1-0 vs. Muschamp, Coaching edge: UGA
UF offense ranked 100+ in total yards, 54th in scoring, edge UGA
Special teams: UF no td’s on kick/pubnt return offense, UGA 1, even in field goal %, edge, UGA
Defense: Both rank in top 15 in 2nd half & 4th qrtrt scoring, UF bette rin 1st half scoring wedge UF
Starting Players with future NFL, edge, UGA

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

October 23rd, 2012
7:45 pm

PMS Murray can’t beat the Gators!
Pad My Stats(against crappy teams) Murray has not won a game against a ranked team or as an underdWag in his career but you think he can do it now?

Sammy

October 23rd, 2012
7:47 pm

UGA is playing Nationla Championship caliber ball.

UGA compares to 2010 Natl Champs Auburn in:
1- offense scoring per game
2- offense total yards per game
3- defensive scoring per game
4- 2nd half defensive scoring per game
5- 4th qrtr defensive scoring per game

Offense beats defense, Cam Newton beat Saban

the Ravens don’t win Super Bowls do they?

Sammy

October 23rd, 2012
7:50 pm

Murray completed 15 of 34 in 2011, for 1 td.

UGA won 24-20, don’t even need a A or B game from Murray.

1- Don’t turn ball over (last 5 in this series went to who won to battle)
2- Run the ball well (UGA ran for 185 last year)
3- Stop run of defense (UGA held UF to -19 rushing with same defensive players as this year)

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

October 23rd, 2012
7:51 pm

Sammy is on the Sauce again I see.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

October 23rd, 2012
7:53 pm

GA is playing Nationla Championship caliber ball.???????????

Sammy in the FCS division but not in the BCS.

slydog

October 23rd, 2012
7:54 pm

In most cases, JS would be right. The team with the better quarterback, all things being even, usually wins these kinds of games. But this isn’t exactly Ravens vs Steelers. Why? Georgia’s defense is actually more talented, but they play soft and miss too many tackles. The coaching staff does not possess a “tough man” mentality. The quarterback has not won a meaningful game in 3 years of starting. But Driskel, limits and all, has found a way to win 2 of these by mid-season. So how exactly does Aaron Murray provide an edge? And then Shultzie provides a punchline:

“Murray has taken a more cerebral approach in his leadership than Williams. His graduate work in industrial-organizational psychology led him to study the qualities of NFL quarterbacks like Tom Brady.”

I mean, really? Someone on this team finally stands up like a man and holds his teammates accountable instead of coddling them like the HC, but he is quickly dismissed as having ignorant leadership as opposed to nerdy leadership. Let’s just study how to just throw vertical passes all game and hold the ball for 10 seconds…lmao .BTW, studying Tom Brady is not the same as performing anywhere close, like championship swagger and a killer instinct, which Brady has and Murray does not. This was not meant as a diss to Murray or to Shultzie, but reality is what this team needs right now, not headlines and hyperbole. After all, if JS always dissed them, then he would never get an interview again…lol.

Big Difference

October 23rd, 2012
7:56 pm

is the Gators have the OC from Boise State to run their offense and we have Bobo.

Sammy

October 23rd, 2012
7:58 pm

This team doesn’t need skeptics to them jacked up.

We tried that in 2010 on the blogs and saw the team go 6-7.

Team needs ot believe they can win it all.

And they can.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE.

said Jesus.

The issue is who believes????????

Sammy

October 23rd, 2012
7:59 pm

No one repeats as Natl Champs in the SEC.

And Bama won’t either.

slydog

October 23rd, 2012
8:01 pm

Also, it is the coaching staff’s fault as much as Muray’s, for his under performing in big games. Remember how much more gritty he was as a freshman, improvising on the fly, and making plays? They took that element away from him. A QB has to make his money going through his progressions, but if you pigeon hole them and take away an element of their game that makes them more dangerous, you have diminished the player. IF Cmr and BooBoo studied football, like they claimed two seasons ago, the Drew Brees game film should be the blueprint. Why the hell is Murray studying a 6′5 quarterback with a rocket arm when a better option exists? It’s common sense. Move Murray around the pocket, quck throws, and allow him to improvise if the 40 yard pass on 3rd and 3 is not there. What do you call a nerdy approach to studying and doing the wrong thing? JMO

slydog

October 23rd, 2012
8:03 pm

“Big Difference
October 23rd, 2012
7:56 pm

is the Gators have the OC from Boise State to run their offense and we have Bobo.”

Could not have said it better. And he has his own playbook.

Steve

October 23rd, 2012
8:06 pm

Sammy, I hope you are kidding, or drunk, and that comes from a UGA fan. Your stats mean nothing come 3:30 Saturday.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
8:07 pm

Attention UGA Fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While supplies last

Sammy is selling UGA 2012 National Title T-shirts

They are on sale right now; on the back you get a full list of useless stats

Hurry Up and Get one while they last

All proceeds go to pay for Sammy’s care at Arkham Asylum ;)

clem

October 23rd, 2012
8:10 pm

aaron’s gutsy, but seems like he can’t see receivers very well…is heigth or play calling the issue. i’ll be surprised if ga wins the offensive war.

Simpson

October 23rd, 2012
8:12 pm

AM’s whole career has led up to this. He will get it done.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned by Bill King, Chip Towers & only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

October 23rd, 2012
8:19 pm

Flat…..now that was funny. Sad, Funny and too True. We can all pray for SAMMY to get some help soon.

Monopoly with Luis Suarez

October 23rd, 2012
8:20 pm

As you point out, the problem is the coaching, not the players. At least Richt has refrained from complaining it’s a road game or fretting about the heat and humidity of late October Jacksonville. I guess that’s progress, of a sort.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
8:34 pm

I guess the location in Jax is the problem; though I dont remember Dooley having too much complaints about the game being Jax

Funny I havent heard Saban complain about playing at night game in LSU

Homer Gomer

October 23rd, 2012
8:53 pm

We also have the highly under paid defensive genius doughnut turd grantham on our side! He can turn a 5 star recruit into a 3 star in 1 summer camp!

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 23rd, 2012
8:56 pm

Homer Gomer

October 23rd, 2012
9:01 pm

Fan like Sammy r 1 of the reason we r laughed at. I hope the dawgs win, but Sammy I’ll give u 3 pts for $500

DawgNole

October 23rd, 2012
9:22 pm

J Schultz: “Last season’s meeting was better but still not great. He completed only 15 of 39 and had an early interception, but he threw a pair of fourth-down touchdown passes and led the Bulldogs to a 24-21 win.”
_________________

C’mon, Schultz, it was 24-20 last year–not 24-21. It’s been hard enough to contain their offense the past two-and-a-half decades w/o you padding their numbers.

Devil's Advocate

October 23rd, 2012
9:27 pm

How many times are we going to hear that Murray is why UGA is great and can beat anyone yet never beat anyone of substance?

Pmac

October 23rd, 2012
9:30 pm

Lost to South Carolina twice? Better go back and check that. He’s lost to Carolina 3 years in a row now.

JB at home

October 23rd, 2012
9:40 pm

If Murray comes up big, it will be a surprise, not an expectation…..Just based on history, which is all we have to go on. It what sets lines in Vegas. Murray disappears in big games. Not bashing, just historical fact.

Frm the Blechrs

October 23rd, 2012
9:45 pm

Aaron Murray gives Georgia its only edge on Florida. Man Georgia’s in trouble!!

Vampire Bill

October 23rd, 2012
9:49 pm

Aaron Murray, Fine young man and DGD UGA is lucky to have him. Good luck this Saturday Aaron.

CC

October 23rd, 2012
9:54 pm

GATA Murray!

JB at home

October 23rd, 2012
10:01 pm

Ex Steelers coach Cowher said of Murray…..” no way I would draft him based on not handling pressure. Against inferior talent under no pressure, he can light it up.”

Raoul Silva

October 23rd, 2012
10:11 pm

If I was playing defense against Murray, I wouldn’t be the slightest bit intimidated by him. I know that once I get to him, he’s going to fold up and go down easy with no resistance.

Now I would however be intimidated to play against a guy like Matt Stafford. It could be the height and size that matters here.

Big Crimson 75

October 23rd, 2012
10:11 pm

I happen to like Florida’s QB.
He’s Tebowish.

Hopeless

October 23rd, 2012
10:14 pm

To be successful in the SEC, you need a quarterback who is fully capable of one day taking snaps in the NFL as a starter. These undersized 5′10 185 guys just don’t get it done in this league.

Thomas Brown

October 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

Short, all right. You got that part right.

Short-sided. Again, you may have hit on something even here, too. He wears his glasses to pose for Internet pics with his girlfriend in bed. But, he doesn’t wear the same glasses to be a quarterback ? What’s that all about, anyway ?

Aaron Murray has lost to South Carolina twice ? Huh ? He’s 0-3 vs South Carolina. When did you write this piece ? Before the season started ?

We leave him in to throw 5 TD passes against New Mexico State college. Against the teams who made the top 25, he is 0-10.

_______________________________________________________________
HE HAS ALSO LOST TO 2 TEAMS WHO DID NOT MAKE ANY TOP 25 POLL
_______________________________________________________________

The short of it, with Aaron Murray, is that he hasn’t beat anyone. Yeah, Mark Richt has lost 14 of his last 17 games against teams who made the top 10. And, yeah, Mark Richt has lost 16 of this last 17 games against teams who made the top 25. And, yeah, Mark Richt has lost 10 of his last 10 games against SEC teams who Put-up a winning SEC Record.

___________________________________
Aaron Murray has beat none of any of them.
___________________________________

Yes, Aaron Murray has been a poor leader. And, this season, even more so. He didn’t so much as show up for the South Carolina game. Spurrier yanked his starters at the 10:45 mark in the game. Still, Mark Richt left little Aaron Murray out there, and still it took until the 1:55 mark for him to finally guide us to a meaningless touchdown, losing 35 to nothing.

We # 49 in the nation at making 1st Downs with little Aaron Murray leading our Offense against the # 108 Strength of Schedule all of 2012, including all 12 scheduled games. Our “opponents” all of 2012 are 25-40. That includes Florida. Yes, Florida beat LSU and South Carolina this season by direct comparison to what Aaron Murray has demonstrated his utter lack of leadership as his teammates told him.

We’re # 94 in the nation in penalties per game. They tell him to sprint out to his left and line-up out there, and he doesn’t even know out there, he has to get set before the snap.

He is an abomination. Has he tweeted to Florida yet that he is heading down to the stadium where they play the Gator Bowl every year yet to beat some Florida butts, like he did to Boise State ?

Arrested for speeding coming back from Florida the off-week ? That’s obvious watching the Kentucky game that the entire team took the week off for vacationing in Florida. Nice job Mark Richt.

_________________________________________________
Aaron Murray has 22 wins, David Greene’s Record is 42 wins.
_________________________________________________

There are 5 games remaining before the bowl game this season, 6 if he gets beat to a pulp by Alabama like he did against LSU 10-42 last season. And, they didn’t even have a QB.

To beat David Greene’s Record, he would have to win every game this season remaining and all the games 2013.

2013 he loses 4 games.

2013 we lose the entire defense.

2013 we face LSU.

2013 is going to be Mark Richt’s crowning achievement, not Florida 4 days from now.

Mark Richt has not beat a team who made the top 10 since 2006 when his wife was diagnosed with Cancer. 2006 was 7 seasons’ ago. To the mathematically challenged, this season is OVER.

Tampa Gator

October 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

Sammy……

That TD on a kick came against Buffalo….1-6 in their conference. To say that Georgia has an edge on special teams after what Florida’s special teams did to SC….is just….well….very, very funny. Florida has a punter that averaged over 50 yards a kick vs. SC….with very little return yardage. Florida has a placekicker that might be the best one in the country. He also kicks kickoffs so high and near the goal line….that most teams start inside the 20. Florida’s kick coverage teams allow very little return yardage and are very….very….very….fast….mean….and cause turnovers….ask SC. Georgia has a placekicker that has difficulty making extra points….and a punter that is not near the talent that exists on Florida’s team. And Georgia’s special teams kick coverage teams cannot….I repeat…..cannot….match the speed and toughness of Florida’s cover teams. I don’t think any team in the country can. And Florida has perhaps the best special teams coach in the entire country…..he came from Stanford when they had the best special teams in the country. Same now in Florida. So….when you come on here…..post something that makes sense……like……

1. Georgia has a more experienced QB who understands and executes the passing game better than Driskel up to now.
2. Georgia has two very talented RBs who could break long runs vs. Florida
3. Georgia has more talented WRs.
4. Georgia has one of the best LBs in the country in Jarvis Jones…who stayed out of the Kentucky came so he could be healthy for Florida. He alone will make Georgia’s defense better this weekend.
5. Georgia has a decent safety who is not afraid to step up and say his D is playing too soft….and I doubt they will come out that way this Saturday.

Be real….Sammy…..and stop playing Playstation football to verify your opinions on here.

Jeff Schultz

October 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

DawgNole — Aaaaggh! Sorry for the “padding.” Made that fix.

lol

October 23rd, 2012
10:21 pm

Aaron Murray run like a sissy. He and mark richt should go back to FL.

JRW7

October 23rd, 2012
10:26 pm

Enter your comments here

Tampa Gator

October 23rd, 2012
10:27 pm

DawgNole…..

A Dawg win over the Gators is precious….lately…..not matter if it is by 3 or 4 points…..be thankful for the ones that come your way……..

And imagine…..if NC State played both FSU and Georgia this year.

JRW7

October 23rd, 2012
10:29 pm

AM and the DAWGS have 6 wins over 6 teams that have a combined 12-31 record!

Thomas Brown

October 23rd, 2012
10:30 pm

We’ve played one good game all season long, Vandie. If Aaron Murray is such a great leader for our team as our Starting quarterback, why have we lost 16 of the last 18 games against teams who made the top 25 ? Why is he 22-12 as our Starting Quarterback ? Why is he not in the top 100 for the NFL Draft up-coming ? Why did Mel Kiper quip : If your team is down 4th quarter, game on the line, do you think of Aaron Murray ?

t2go

October 23rd, 2012
10:32 pm

@Game Changer….yawn!

Thomas Brown

October 23rd, 2012
10:34 pm

Special Teams are likely to be the difference in this game, not some hyped-up write-up about little Aaron Murray, who is never going to throw a pass in the NFL.

Our Defense doesn’t compare to Florida either.

___________________________________________________
Jeff Driskel will out-play Aaron Murray on the field head-to-head.
___________________________________________________

The Difference will NOT be at Quarterback. And, it certainly will not be Aaron Murray as the difference.

14 points. One poster put up Florida scores for the enire game 14 points. Take a close look at Todd Grantham’s Defense against teams who made the top 25.

Thomas Brown

October 23rd, 2012
10:36 pm

1-7 team who all but beat us, and little Aaron Murray is SEC Offensive Player of the Week.

It will not be this week. I can assure you of that.

Thomas Brown

October 23rd, 2012
10:38 pm

LINE right now is Florida by 7.

Time for Jeff Schultz to guarantee Aaron Murray will be the difference in the game.