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

Corn Dawg

October 24th, 2012
1:32 pm

Murray?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

empty stats

October 24th, 2012
1:35 pm

UGA has never won the SEC since the late 40s with a predominate passing attack.

Eric Zeire did nothing or UGA in his day. David Green ran a balanced O and his records were for awhile,were for GAMES WON AND TD passes.

Aaron Murray has done nothing YET for UGA. The Florida game MIGHT be his chance for being remembered over the decades. Can he finally step up?

UGA, class of 71&73

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
1:44 pm

Florida will score 20 points, now.

Hmmm.

I thought the 14 points, was wholly preposterous.

I thought the then, 16, was out of whack.

I thought the then, 19 was horrid.

Now, 20.

By the time the game gets here 3 days from now, you might be up to their actual pasting they will put up on our defense which always give up 33 points or more against the good teams. Every game 33 points or more scored by every opponent who made any top 25 poll. Florida makes the top 25 now no matter what. So, therefore, I expect Florida to put up 33 points.

Now, you want to tell me again how many our Offense puts up on that over-rated Florida defense, again ?

33 ?

LSU with Zack M.

October 24th, 2012
1:45 pm

QB Mettenberger T LSU threw his FIRST SEC TD last Saturday.

He is immobile and he is hurting LSU but apparently,he is all that LSU has now.

DO NOT gauge Florida’s D by how they shut down LSU or SC. LSU QB play is substandard. Turnovers inside the SC 20 yd line gave Florida 21 points in a hurry over SC. THEN and only then, could the Gators dictate to SC.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
1:45 pm

Whether we beat FL or not it wont change my mind about the current coaching staff and that is they are only good for 9-10 wins against cupcakes that are either down or FCS level opponents

They cant win big games

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
1:52 pm

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”
________________________________________________________________
Game Changer, that is too obvious. They will not ever give up on their little crutch, that the OL is no good, even if 3 of the 4 seniors last year all 3 are in the NFL.

GTBob

October 24th, 2012
1:53 pm

Ride that fence Bobby!!
Do what you do best, make a vague prediction you can easily worm out of either way the Game goes.

I’m not riding any fence. I think Florida will beat UGA and will cover the spread with ease. My comments were just about Driskel, and Murray and who is the better QB. I think it is much closer than Jeff and the other UGA homers do.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

How do you explain then that Zach Mettenberger drove the ball up and down the field on South Carolina all night long from the opening kick-off until the bell ?

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

I’d take Jeff Driskel every day and twice on Sunday over little dual-threat Aaron Murray.

MT

October 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

Boy, and most of ya’ll suppose to be Georgia fans?
Common On folks, the dawgs need people to support them,not a bunch of naysayers
that’s telling them their going lose.I know Mark Richt needs to fired along with Bobo,but
get behind the players, Richt, Grantham and Bobo won’t play one down Saturday,hopefully
Shawn Williams got the defense fired up enough that they feel they have something to prove
Saturday and won’t sleepwalk thru another game.Man it’s hard to take field and perform well
when everyone in the stands don’t give you a chance.Go Dawgs!

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
2:03 pm

MT

No one gives UGA chance cause of the coaching staff

Not because of the players

I would give us a chance if Dooley was on the sideline and the current coaching staff at home watching the tv

[...] 14. Jeff Schultz: “Georgia has only one edge over Florida. It’s at quarterback and nowhere else.” [...]

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:11 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”
__________________________________
Auburn the year before last year (which is the year before this one) :
____________
Auburn beat :
____________

# 3 Oregon
# 8 LSU
# 10 Alabama
# 12 Arkansas
# 15 Mississippi State
# 22 South Carolina
# 22 South Carolina a 2nd time

______________________________________________________________
Auburn won 7 games that one year alone vs teams who made AP Poll Top 25
______________________________________________________________

Auburn just that one year won 3 games against teams who made Top 10
Auburn just that one year won 7 games against teams who made Top 25

Mark Richt has lost 14 of his last 17 games vs teams who made Top 10
Mark Richt has lost 16 of his last 18 games vs teams who made Top 25

______________________________________________________
And, you run in here to compare Mark Richt 2012 to that ?

Good Lord.

techguy

October 24th, 2012
2:14 pm

Battle for the SEC Least/everyone knows coastal division is toughest in ncaa. Jackets will trim the twigs next month say 27-7. YELLOW FEVER!!

cdog

October 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

AARON MURRAY HASN”T SHOWED UP IN BIG GAMES.HE”S A LOSER.HE”S TOO WEAK AND HE GET”S RATTLE TOO EASY.MURRAY AS USUAL, WILL CHOKE AGAINST THE GATORS.IT”S JUST IN HIM TO LOSE.

Shouldn't have done all that acid in the 70's

October 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

Same ‘o same ‘o quoth the raven.

Shouldn't have done all that acid in the 70's

October 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

P.S. Nevermore!

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

MT,

________________
SHAWN WILLIAMS
________________

You call that firing up the players ?

What Shawn Williams did was to say the COACHES are NOT playing the RIGHT PLAYERS. That is not going to fire anyone up.

Had he said only that the defense is playing soft; even that would be bad enough.

The facts are that we, as fans, are doing NOTHING that the players themselves have been saying for years.

MT

October 24th, 2012
2:27 pm

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

I understand full well about the coaching staff,I too feel a change is needed ASAP,
but i’m not going to concede a defeat,especially to Florida just because the powers that be
won’t grow a pair and pull the plug on Richt.This game can be won, if the defense would just man up
and play up to potential.I’m not worried about Richt saving his job if he wins this one.I’ts eventually going to
catch up with Richt, because his body of work only has to be looked at and it will reveal he not only loses big games, but we get drilled example SC this year,LSU and Boise last year, Alabama 08,Tennesee 07
Florida 08 ,09 West Va Sugar Bowl 06.Richt notwithstanding I still wanna win. The record book is not going to reflect we wanted our team to lose so we could fire our coach and hire another.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

where is

????????????????????????????

BRAINIAC – RICHT FAN FOR LIFE

????????????????????????????

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

MT

I agree; with the players we have we should beat FL by at least 2 TD’s but we have an Energy Vampire coaching staff; thats all Im saying

MT

October 24th, 2012
2:30 pm

Thomas Brown

When you been publicly call out as being soft,you have a decision to make, and according to
what was published about practice the next day, it definetly lite a fire, hopefully it will carry on to Jax.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
2:35 pm

Thomas Brown

Brainiac will be on here full throttle if we happen to win Saturday; and he wont shut up even if we lose to Bama in the SEC Championship game and lose the bowl game again

In his mind Richt will have won the NC even though this FL team in my opinion is smoke and mirrors playing way above their potential due to a “Motivational Coaching staff and a coaching staff that knows how and when to make adjustments”

MT

October 24th, 2012
2:35 pm

techguy

62-39-5 trim on that also 10 of the last eleven

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:41 pm

MT, I am all with you on beating Florida.

Where we disagree is how we get there.

I think you think we get there by telling Aaron Murray he is the better QB in the game, and our special teams players, they are better and our defensive they are, and maybe we are even supposed to say our coaches are more proven.

I think we tell our coaches and players, they are playing horrible all year except Vandie and that it is totally unacceptable and, I think we tell them to GATA.

Apparently, you think we should not be telling them, that which their own teammates are telling them ? I don’t think he should take it the press. I think he should have demanded a players-only meeting. That’s how that is handled. Eventually, we find out about that stuff and what was said by like a spokesman, filtered.

Problem is, this is where we are MT.

You telling us to shut-up. I ain’t about to do so. I disagree on the method. I think as fans, we should be doing what we are doing.

Mark Richt should have done what we are doing.

He isn’t.

So, Shawn Williams took it upon himself. I think he did it in the wrong fashion. I do not disagree with his statements to the press. And, I feel I have as much right to say my opinion as you do to tell me – nay tell all the rest of us – to shut up.

RDUDawg

October 24th, 2012
2:45 pm

Did UGA have advantage over SC at QB in that game? Any neutral fan would state otherwise as Shaw was efficient and used his legs to convert 3rd downs and move the chains. Murray was jumpy, inaccurate, and outmatched…like he is in all big games when the opposing D-line is big and physical. If Murray is our only advantage over the Gators this weekend we’re going to get crushed in front of a national audience again. Stats are for geeks…wins are what defines an elite QB. Give me Greene over Murray any day.

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

October 24th, 2012
2:49 pm

PMS(pad my stats against crappy teams) MURRAY has TALENT like Lindsey Lohan.

RDUDawg

October 24th, 2012
2:51 pm

It’s not like Murray is lighting it up in our losses to ranked opponents. He’s the one getting balls batted, intercepted, and fumbled which kills or prevents any momentum from materializing for the DAWGS. Any NFL team that drafts Murray for anything other than a clipboard holder is desparate and dumb. Too small, one-dimentional (passing motion), and shaky in key moments.

Great high school QB.
Good college QB (don’t forget he’s benefitted from 2 of the EASIEST schedules in UGA history the past 2 years)
Not a prospect at all for the NFL.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:51 pm

MT,

The problem I have with that, is that EVERYTIME we have an uproar about our program, Mark Richt calls a press conference and says the opposite.

Every single solitary time.

He controls this fanbase. He tells us what we want to hear. I quit listening at the Sugar Bowl at the Georgia Dome.

He is a liar.

He will tell you whatever you want to hear.

Fired up the players to be called-out by name that they SUCK and these other guys should be playing instead ?

Coaching staff making $ 10 million dollars, and this pip-squeak 21 year-old making -0- is telling them that they don’t know what they’re doing – like the fan Mark Richt cursed at from Macon that he knows what the hell he is doing ?

That they are playing all the wrong players.

Oh, come-on MT. Tell me you don’t really believe that the practice is fired-up with a bunch of sulking over-paid coaches taking tomorrow night off anyway to go watch their 5-year old practice Pee-Wee football ?

Tell you are STILL believing all this propaganda ?

Do you really want me to sit here typing 55 wpm and type everything every lie he has told us for 12 years ?

Don’t get me started.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
2:53 pm

Frankly I dont blame Murray

i blame a poor coaching staff that has consistantly underutilized the talent they had for years

I mean Murray could easily be used as a duel threat QB and he is pretty good rolling out of the pocket

He is just as mobile if not more than Conner Shaw is but we dont have the better sense to use that unlike Spurrier

instead our coaches refuse to utilize any advantage and stick with the same predictability that causes them to get embarrassed on the national stage

Take Stafford for example; he rarely threw a 300 yd game but he does that every game in the NFL

Rodster

October 24th, 2012
2:55 pm

I’m not so confident about that. Murray is pretty good, but I wonder about the rest of the offense particularly the O-Line. Last year was about as bad a Florida team as you’re going to see and it still took two heroic 4th down TD throws to win the game. Our running game is better this year, but only about as good as the O-line can block which against Kentucky’s young defense wasn’t very good. I don’t know if the O-Line is just not very good, badly coached, other teams have figured out how to defend us or maybe all of the above. I hope I’m wrong. But I think Florida by three TDs.

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

October 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

FLAT…Stafford might do it in the NFL but Stafford SUCKS……What he has been good in 16 games in 4 years? or is the Out of the hospital bed for 16 games in 4 years?

Rodney Hampton

October 24th, 2012
2:56 pm

A particularly obsessed commentor loves every other team in the SEC, their players, their coaches and absolutely hates the UGA program. He needs psychological help. Seriously. Call a hotline … now. Don’t wait. Get help before it’s too late.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
2:57 pm

RDUDawg,

You left-out 1 item. Aaaron Murray was a great high school dual-threat qb who said that he was the baddest player on the field in high school. Then, he got hurt. Then, he came here and sat from December 2008 until September 2010. Then, we saw that if he had high school speed, the injury sapped it from him. He is really slow. And, he quit growing, on top of that.

What the NFL wants to do with Aaron Murray, his agent will tell him NOT TO DO.

Go to the NFL combines and get the damn measurables.

I say he is 4.81 in the 40-yard dash.

I say he is 5′ 10″

We’ve been fed a load of hogwash about Aaron Murray.

Rodney Hampton

October 24th, 2012
3:00 pm

1-800-DONT-JUMP

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

October 24th, 2012
3:01 pm

I got it….I got it……UGa is the JERSEY SHORE CAST of the SEC………

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
3:05 pm

Matthew Stafford NFL

843 completions 1400 passes same as here .60 percent completions

43 interceptions same as here

76 sacks same as here

11 fumbles same as here

20-34 Detroit since he got there, worse than he did here which was not much

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

Put in time out

dude he plays for Detroit; he had the second most yds in the NFL as a QB in Detroit

Joe Montanna on his best yr isnt winning in Detroit

As a matter of fact taking a job in that dump city is a losing proposition

St Simons

October 24th, 2012
3:11 pm

dude, i hope this is a comedy article, or snark or something.

this is the worst qb in UGA history, chokes every time.
yes, including ray goof & joe cox.

48-6 – six because we can’t kick an extra point
this ain’t even major college football. I’m done. UGA ‘89

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
3:18 pm

Don’t give me that about Detroit. I said he wouldn’t do anything in the NFL. He hasn’t. He didn’t do anything here except interceptions, fumbles and sacks – same as little Aaron Murray, who also will do nothing in the NFL. I said the same about Reggie Bush that he would never be a running back in the NFL; that too is true with his 500 yards a year rushing in 16-game seasons. We don’t teach quarterbacks here anything. Nothing.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
3:18 pm

St. Simons

Richt has been choking long before Murray got here

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
3:24 pm

Thomas Brown

Thats my point we dont teach anything to any player on the team

Case in point

Last yrs offensive line was the biggest in college and the NFL yet they got schooled every week just like this years offensive line

Look at how many tipped passes Murray has thrown mostly because our OL evidently is being taught to push the defender straight up instead of pancaking them

I could go on about our overpaid DC who like Martinez is teach pillow fight tackling

I could go on about how our poor downfield blocking goes on week after week by our recievers

All Im saying is Tom Brady under this sorry coaching staff would look like every QB we have had under Richt

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

October 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

FLAT……Stafford did that LAST year after the LOCKOUT when it took D’s time to catch-up. This year why can’t he do it again? IMO the D’s came out of camp ready and KNEW Stafford’s game plan and it ain’t working again.

Stafford career stats……getting worse..How many games can he play in a season?

TEAM GP CMP ATT CMP% YDS AVG TD LNG INT FUM QBR RAT
2009 DET 10 201 377 53.3 2,267 6.01 13 75 20 4 30.0 61.0
2010 DET 3 57 96 59.4 535 5.57 6 36 1 1 58.3 91.3
2011 DET 16 421 663 63.5 5,038 7.60 41 73 16 3 65.5 97.2
2012 DET 6 164 264 62.1 1,754 6.64 5 57 6 0 55.2 78.4

MATT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY……LMMFAO.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
3:37 pm

Yeah, but little Aaron Murray ain’t helping it none I-95.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

October 24th, 2012
3:39 pm

Murray is a super star when playing the Little Sisters of the Poor…not so much vs better football teams. It’s documented just as 1980.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
3:40 pm

Matthew Stafford was the 3rd-best quarterback on our roster here, according to Mark Richt who told us all that Joe Tereshinski III was our Quarterback and Joe Cox was back-up and Matthew Stafford is 3rd-string. That’s what Mark Richt said.

The Gators

October 24th, 2012
3:40 pm

Um, um. We really like to eat dog meat.
Tasty.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

Again

Its Detroit what QB has ever done anything in the Dump city of Detroit

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2012
3:43 pm

I rooted for little Aaron Murray in 2010.

2010
2011
2012

That was three (3) seasons’ ago now. I’m over it now.

Flat Tire On I-95 in Jacksonville

October 24th, 2012
3:46 pm

Thomas Brown

Herschel Walker isnt helping a team coached by Energy Vampires either

Like I said

Richt wasnt doing anything different before Murray and he isnt doing anything different after Murray

He will always back door his way into the SEC championship and he will lose 2+ ball games every year no matter if Murray is the QB or Tom Brady; Payton Manning’ Joe Montanna; Phil Simms; Terry Bradshaw etc

The outcome will be the same