Fan talk: G-Day surprises and the Aaron Murray ‘conspiracy’ theories

Ricky Lowe runs for a surprise touchdown during the G-Day game. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Ricky Lowe runs for a surprise touchdown during the G-Day game. (Johnny Crawford / AJC)

Let’s jump right into a sampling of recent Junkyard Mail …

Ken Crow writes: Bill, I really enjoy the Blawg and your down-the-middle approach to fandom. You’re not afraid to criticize when you think it’s warranted, but you remain supportive of Coach Richt and the program and don’t continually harp on the negatives. I also appreciate your obvious love for the school and your hometown of Athens. I really wanted to get to the Classic City for G-Day this year but wasn’t able to because of some family stuff. I enjoyed your report from the game and was encouraged by what you said about the quarterbacks, running backs and defense. So who surprised you most at G-Day?

Thanks, Ken. While I thought Jay Rome’s long touchdown catch-run was the highlight of the day, it wasn’t particularly surprising, as I’d expected him to do well. And I was pleasantly surprised by the play of the starting offensive line. But I think the biggest surprise for me probably was the play of linebacker Ramik Wilson, who led the Red team defense with seven tackles (two for loss) and an interception that he returned 19 yards. And, of course, there was the play where Reuben Faloughi knocked the ball away from Black QB Parker Welch and unheralded senior defensive lineman Ricky Lowe grabbed the ball in midair and ran it back 62 yards for a touchdown, probably the highlight of his playing career at UGA. Those are the moments that make G-Day games fun.

Ed from Avondale Estates writes: So I’ve heard [Isaiah] Crowell has grown up and looks great, [Keith] Marshall is the real deal and Boo Malcome had a great spring. I’ve even gotten the position-of-the-day updates on Richard Samuel. Why no [Todd] Gurley updates? I have high hopes for that kid and he’s gotten no spring press. What’s the word?

The word is he’s still in high school. Gurley was not one of the UGA signees who enrolled early this year. But the coaches are very high on his potential and while he’ll start out preseason camp in August behind all the other tailbacks, I have a feeling his talent will show pretty quickly. Perhaps even enough for him to avoid taking a redshirt season in a crowded tailback corps.

Richard Hong writes: I wish someone would write an article that would explain why the QB position is not a wide open competition to see who should be the starter for this year. Sorry, but my untrained eyes just don’t see why people think [Aaron] Murray is such a good QB. He throws a lot of interceptions, makes a lot of bad decisions, can’t get out of the pocket when he needs to, fumbles when he does run and CANNOT throw the ball on the run. So please, would someone tell me what I’m not seeing?

On a similar note, Michael Jones writes: I like Aaron Murray but I am concerned with his accuracy and his trend of turning the ball over in big games that absolutely kill the Dawgs. Have you heard of outside the box training for Murray to get him to be more accurate and protecting the football? He got us to the SEC Championship game, I just want to see him make the next step.

There's a reason national sports media are high on Aaron Murray. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

There's a reason national sports media are high on Aaron Murray. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

I know there’s a segment of Bulldogs fandom that’s very down on Murray and convinced that Mark Richt and Mike Bobo are blindly letting him hold on to the starting quarterback’s job despite the obvious talents of backups Hutson Mason and Christian LeMay. Some folks even believe there’s some sort of “conspiracy” to keep Murray in a job he doesn’t deserve. I suppose some fans are remembering how Jim Donnan fell in love with Quincy Carter and ran off all his other quarterbacks. But this situation is nothing like that one. There’s a reason Murray made some All-SEC teams and is routinely cited by national sports media as one of the best QBs in the conference. He was the SEC’s No. 2 passer, throwing for 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns a season ago. He ranked second in passing yards per game, second in total offense and fourth in passing efficiency. Of the returning quarterbacks in FBS football, only Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley threw for more touchdowns (37) in 2011 than Murray. Yes, Murray threw too many interceptions last season and had a couple of very costly fumbles. Richt himself has noted Murray needs to do a better job of taking care of the football. But as I wrote when we discussed Murray in January, the argument can be made that his tendency to fumble or throw a pick 6 at the worst possible time might be at least in part attributable to the sketchy protection he was getting from Georgia’s erratic offensive line and, in the last couple of games, the lack of a consistent running attack. This year he’ll again open the season behind a questionable OL, but he should have a much more potent, consistent group of running backs, which Bobo has said he thinks will make Murray a better quarterback. And sheer experience should help Murray make better on-field decisions and improve his ball security. He’s a good on-field leader and showed in last year’s Florida game that he can make big-time throws in tough situations, especially those two fourth-down touchdowns. I know, the knock on him is that he’s yet to beat a really good team. And I’ll agree that Mason and LeMay both show a lot of potential. But, frankly, from what I’ve seen so far, neither one is ready yet to supplant Murray.

Devon Wade writes: Bill, I am a former Tucker Tiger and if you know anything about Ga. high school football you will know that Tucker High School has been a UGA pipeline for several years now. It is most definitely Dawg Country. However, when I graduated high school I landed at a small liberal arts college right outside of Columbia, Mo. (right in the middle of Tiger Country). My roommate during my entire time in college is a die-hard Mizzou fan, and of course I am a Dawg through and through. We have always joked around about whose team would win if the two ever faced. Well lo and behold the semester AFTER we graduate they become division rivals and I know he has been salivating with the recent suspensions of key players going into that game in Columbia (which I will be at with him). I am still confident that between now and then CMR can get some players to fill in the holes in the secondary and I think our front seven can get enough pressure to make [Mizzou quarterback James] Franklin more uncomfortable than he has ever been. I believe our defense is still more talented than theirs even without several starters. Should I have reason to still be confident that we can pick up the W in Columbia minus key players? Appreciate your consideration. Big fan of the Blawg.

Thanks. I tend to agree with you, Devon. While Georgia won’t enter the game against Missouri at full-strength, I think the Dogs’ defensive front seven will be formidable. And from what I saw last year of Mizzou’s defense, I don’t believe it’s yet SEC-ready.

Richard Judy writes: Enjoyed your comment about my hero, Fred Birchmore. I am a ’73 UGA grad, and just after graduating I hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine back to Georgia. Fred and [son] Danny read an article I wrote in the old AJC Sunday Magazine and asked me to counsel them on their upcoming Georgia to Maine AT thru-hike. I was invited into the Birchmore home and quickly discovered what special people these were. Fred and Danny needed no advice from me, but they made me feel like a real friend. A few years back, when my daughter was a J-school student at UGA, she contacted Fred about doing a story for the old UGAzine publication. He treated her like royalty and said very kind things to her about her old man. Fred was a class act, the kind of man who deserved a century of high-quality living.

Thanks, Richard. You’re right that the Birchmores are a very special family and Athens and UGA are both much better off for them having been there.

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

739 comments Add your comment

Thomas Brown

April 24th, 2012
8:17 am


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Old Dawg April 24th, 2012 6:46 am

165 who ALL, everyone, SAY THE EXACT SAME POINTS AS I, precisely to the tee.

And, my vote for the worst Anti-Dawg Fan GT Bob who thinks we come in here to discuss Georgia tek without 1 word from him EVER that Georgia tek is on NCAA PROBATION back-to-back repeat Offenders in FOOTBALL, his only topic.


April 24th, 2012
8:36 am

Is there an Aaron Murray conspiracy?

1- Murray has never been benched, even in games where he has committed 3-4 turnovers
2- Murray has never won a game against a 9 win team or better, yet continues to start against those type of teams (winless in 9 games)
3- Murray committed 4 catastrophic turnovers (instant scores) in 2011, and was never benched
4- Murray went 0-6 against winning teams in 2010 and was never benched
5- Murray has lost every Spring in the 3 Spring scrimmages to other UGA Qb’s, yet continues to start
6- Murray is winless against South Carolina, yet continues to start against South Carolina
7- Murray has had 2 terrible games against Florida, but continues to start against Florida
8- Murray’s accuracy & pass effic went down, interceptions up in 2011, but he continues to start
9- 2 Elite 11 QB’s have transferred because they didn’t feel like they got a fair shot (Mettenberger. Gray) to compete

Coincidences or Conspiracy?

Thomas Brown

April 24th, 2012
8:45 am

Why isn’t any other QB given any snaps at all during this entire two-year DOWN time in our program ?

Hutson Mason 9 of 12 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown in annual G-Day spring game 2012, and Aaron Murray ? 7 of 17. One 75 % and frankly, as Zach Mettenberger had also done compared to Aaron Murray, only 39 % completions by Aaron Murray – and wasn’t Christian LeMay just awesome, I ask you ?

But despite the impressive statistics, it still seems more likely that Hutson Mason will spend the 2012 season on the bench and Christian LeMay may get into the Buffalo Bills’ game with about a minute left 80 to nothing, so Aaron Murray can be called HEISMAN TROPHY quarterback. And, that’s the only reason. There is NO WAY that Aaron Murray has proved beyond any shadow of the doubt that he and only he should play against Buffalo Bills, a 3-9 Mid-American Conference team. If anything Mark Richt SHOULD HAVE STATED that based upon the off-field issues once again of our Starting QB with his photos he posed for in Key West this time, after our off-week last year FSU photos, his Tweets pre-game to Boise State who he hardly kicked any fannies of, and all his 3 scrimmages this year 2012, proving once again that he has NOT learned anything from QB Guru Mike Bobo, who had a great senior season himself for UGA in 1997 as our QB about pass completions, we are opening up Fall Practice to determine who should be coming in in the 2nd quarter to spell Aaron Murray and get ready to lead this football team to a win in The SEC Opener no one else on the team seems to give a damn about beating. That’s what Mark Richt should have said. Here is what he did say, instead (which I credit to Game Changer April 24th, 2012 8:10 am a few minutes ago) :


“We haven’t really changed our thoughts on what we would like to do with Hutson this season. We definitely would like to be able to redshirt him if at all possible. We’ve been telling him all along you’ve got to prepare for the season … because we just don’t know what the offseason brings, we don’t know what’ll happen early in the season as far as with Aaron Murray. Football is a violent game. It’s a very physical game, so he needs to stay on the ready.”

It doesn’t matter what Hutson Mason or Christian LeMay does, just as it doesn’t matter what Aaron Murray does. Aaron Murray will once again have 469 passing plays in this



April 24th, 2012
8:49 am

Somebody please lift this bus off of me!!!


April 24th, 2012
8:50 am

Georgia Tech has the nation’s highest average SAT score for football players, and also the highest average high school GPA.

UGA, on the other hand, had one of the very lowest SAT averages, as well as a very low GPA average. As a result, three-fourths of UGA players are “special admits,” when means that they can not meet the minimum educational and intelligence requirements for admission to UGA, even as low as that is.

Yes, it would be great if Tech was more competitive with UGA, but Tech fans are proud of our heritage of having intelligent, responsible athletes who go on to rewarding careers and contribute to society.

Contrast this with the very unintelligent dummies that UGA recruits. The 50 arrests over the last four years is proof enough, not to mention winning the Fulmer Cup. Most of these goons are tossed out after their eligibility is over, and many end up on welfare.

UGA is clearly just a football f-a-c-t-o-r-y dedicated to winning at all costs, and most UGA fans are okay with this, with no concern about the embarrassment this brings to the State of Georgia.

Mark Richt is the architect of this situation. As long as he is paid a huge salary, he will continue to recruit the illiterate brain-dead t-h-u-g-s who he thinks will win. Unfortunately for UGA fans, he’s not remotely in the same league with the top coaches in the SEC.

So the bottom line is that Georgia Tech – win or lose – does so with honor and integrity, while the lowlife punks, woman beaters, drug users, and drunks in Athens continue to embarrass us all.


April 24th, 2012
9:11 am

I’m trying to understand your pain man. You obviously love UGA in your own way, and you seem to have a lot of passion about Dawg-ball. You are correct about alot of the things you say but you have to realize your words are cutting against the grain. You say you love UGA, then you tear-down this same group of young men who give their blood and sweat and tears for us…You have to tone it down enough for these young guys to not feel like they are wasting their time. Find a medium that respects their opinions but still expresses yours. Listen, try not to take this wrong, but you seem like the guy with problems who right before he kills himself and his family, he tells them he loves them. Please understand your words are like pebbles in a pond. Everyone is affected…


April 24th, 2012
9:13 am

@Thomas Brown = Grover Dog

“What do I think”…..I think it is time for your meds!!!! You are either manic or schizo (possibly both). It is critical that you are adherent with your drug regimen. Thanks Mr Anti Dawg

Thomas Brown

April 24th, 2012
9:17 am

“…You obviously love UGA in your own way, and you seem to have a lot of passion about Dawg-ball. You are correct about alot of the things you say … You say you love UGA, then you tear-down this same group of young men who give their blood and sweat and tears for us…You have to tone it down enough for these young guys to not feel like they are wasting their time. Find a medium that respects their opinions but still expresses yours… Please understand your words are like pebbles in a pond. Everyone is affected…”
I have not said ONE-word that you haven’t said, not one.


April 24th, 2012
9:18 am


You are sooooooo correct. Last night Thomas Brown was voted the #1 anti-UGa blogger on this site. I sincerely believe he is truly “anti” UGa and wants everyone to believe he is a concerned fan…NOT!!!! He is clearly trying to tear down the Dawgs.


April 24th, 2012
9:19 am

I’ve never said, “pebble in a pond”!!!!!!

Thomas Brown

April 24th, 2012
9:21 am

I am not coddling this group of losers. I am not satisfied, especially with this ENTIRE 2012 to-date. A season in which we play 1 game against any team who made any top 25. A season which I want 13-1. We aren’t playing football, have no focus, play Favorites, and have 24 Attrition for 2012 for this gimme schedule of home games I waste my hard-earned monies on to have Them Represent my alma mater in this fashion. You get any of that ?

Thomas Brown

April 24th, 2012
9:23 am

NEUTRAL ??????????

Which it is ? kingdaddy is soooooo-correct you state or, : “You obviously love UGA in your own way, and you seem to have a lot of passion about Dawg-ball. You are correct about alot of the things you say” ?


April 24th, 2012
9:47 am

Aaron Murray plays great. If you have doubts, Go watch his highlight videos, Grab his 2 best games and judge him only by what you see on those 2 games and tell me he’s not the best QB in the nation:
Louisiana Laffayette in 2010, New Mexico St, 2011


April 24th, 2012
9:50 am


Please listen to Kingdaddy at 9:11. He is spot on with every word he said.


evil empire

April 24th, 2012
9:50 am

hey thomas brown…don’t let these blind homers (ugatrolls) beat you down….you are dawg to the bone…like tom cruise’s character in “a few good men”, they too can’t handle the truth…and thanks to all my supporters yesterday…i do it all for you guys!


April 24th, 2012
9:51 am

Why me lord??? Brainiac, you asked me what two games…S.C. and Mich. ST. I think B.S. and LSU were better conditioned and just outlasted us.( and better coached…) I think our conditioning will be better this year, but I’m being an optimist. A slow start this year will spell disaster fo this program. Eventually, the schedule will become tougher and CMR has to improve his coaching to make us conpetitive with Coach Saban and Coach Miles. If you think CMR can out-coach them right now, then that’s your opinion. My opinion is that they along with Spurrier, have a better game-plan than Ga. I hate Coach Spurrier. I lived in his hometown, and most people from Johnson City Tenn. hate him with a passion. What I’m saying is its not just our players that lose the big games, because we win and lose as a team, but Special teams coaches, CMB and especially CMR should bare a load of the blame. Too many people put way too much blame on Murry, geeze people, he touches the ball 80 something times a game. How many linemen, tightends, W/Rs and RBs missed their blocking assignments on those sacks and fumbles and hurried passes and ints??? I love my team, I want them back to prominence. I want the Georgia Bulldogs to be relevant again. To do this we have to win some big games. Nothing else will do…

coaches, CMB and especially CMR are also responsible. People put too much of the blam on Arron Murray


April 24th, 2012
9:53 am

As always you take things out of context……please read ALL of Kindaddy’s post, not just the parts you like to hear!!!


April 24th, 2012
9:56 am

Greene got his 5 td game against LSU in 2004.
Dj got his 5 td game against Ga Tech in 2008
Cox got his 5 td game against Arkansas in 09
Murray got his 5 td game against New Mexico State in 2011


April 24th, 2012
9:56 am

Right on Kingdaddy…..go Dawgs!!!


April 24th, 2012
9:58 am

I think ALL 5 TDs against New Mexico State were in the 1st half so what’s your point?!?!


April 24th, 2012
10:03 am

When you listen and take evil emps advice, you lose any credibilty you had or will ever have. He is the devil sitting on one of your shoulders trying to tip you to the dark side. Do what you know is right for Ga. e.e is the biggest troll on the blog. He’s only here for anarchy of the blog. He adds nothing. His passion is against your school, and he is just trying to use you and encourage you to hate the Dawgs…

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
10:09 am

good morning kingdaddy…

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
10:11 am

e.e is the biggest troll on the blog.

i don’t know what to say…thanks!

Dogs > Missouri

April 24th, 2012
10:17 am

The dogs will beat missouri like a rented mule—mark it down. This game will not be close.


April 24th, 2012
10:20 am

Anytime evil. I’ve been friends with the devil before. It’s like walking the razors edge. Very tricky…

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
10:21 am

Dogs > Missouri … bet you said the same thing about boise…


April 24th, 2012
10:26 am

The thing about the devil is he tells the truth…but just the half that suits his purpose. You have a lot of similarities with him. This is not a compliment…


April 24th, 2012
10:31 am

10:21— Wrong again!!! They were better conditioned, coached up and defeated UGA fairly and completly. I never said any different, why would I? I don’t have to lie like you to make my point…


April 24th, 2012
10:33 am

My bad evil, thought you were addressing me…


April 24th, 2012
10:33 am

I really like “Dawg Alum’s” post at 9:45 last night……and I think EE will like it too, or is it ee (lower case for stupid)!!!


April 24th, 2012
10:47 am

Ooooops, I meant 8:45 and 9:02. Really great posts and say a lot about Murray, Bobo and ee!!! I love the way the unfaithful pin everything on Murray and Bobo. Dawg Alum slammed the critics who are obsessed with NEGATIVITY and who forget we are a TEAM!!! Murray did not lose games by himself nor did he win 10 games by himself.

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
10:54 am

yall do realize that if only homers were allowed to post, this blog would only be on it’s second page, not 13th…only so many ways you can say “go dawgs”…honestly, there are as many people living in georgia who are not from here as there is people born and raised here…and those people haven’t seen uga do squat in years, yet the homers talk them up like they were bud wilkinson’s oklahoma squads from the 50’s (wikipedia for those who don’t understand the analogy)…alot of those outsiders moved here from other SEC states and could care less about georgia and choose the ajc blogs as their outlet to rip the delusional uga fanbase…it ain’t against the law…


April 24th, 2012
11:06 am

Not against the law and they should be used to it by now. Nobody in that Atlanta area should be a stranger to having outsiders telling everybody else how wrong everything is, and how great it was where they came from.

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
11:09 am

outsiders made atlanta the city it is…yall just be quiet and follow orders…


April 24th, 2012
11:33 am

evil empire -

Word must be getting out about the direct Kool-Aid pipeline from Dalton to Athens. This morning KFT is already up .50. Wall Street likes the concept.


April 24th, 2012
11:36 am

look around you bro, check out the home page for ajc/sports. There’s all kinds of articles avalible to post on, yet you choose The Bulldog Blog. When is the last time you posted anything positive about the Dawgs? That’s not why you’re here is it? I enjoy most all of the posters including you. Nothing wrong with debate, I would encourage it, it’s healthy for growth. Wheather I agree or not is insignificant. I guess my point is other out-of-towners offer positives with the negatives. They have relevance because of their constructive critisim. I enjoy most of your post because sometimes you’re funny and insightful, but you aren’t relevant to a bulldog blog because you only offer negative, which is less than zero…

Bama=home of the T-bag special

April 24th, 2012
11:54 am

So many trolls with so much time on their hands…well I guess they don’t have anything to discuss about their teams……well that is certainly true of the Bug fans.


April 24th, 2012
11:56 am

Going into next season A.Murray gives UGA the best chance to win, so baring injury he will be the starting QB and I will redshirt or play his backups as I see fit. If you don’t like that get used to some disappoint in your life, or find another team to follow.


April 24th, 2012
12:01 pm

I only lost one post this morning but it was a real doosey. I think my pad loses them and I offer my apollogies for thinking it may have been you in the earlier pages of this article. Thankyou for your patience. I do have one question for you that I really would like to know.—Do you follow All of these post from beginning to end??? Sometimes I wonder if we have any supervision. I’m not a big fan of censorship, but sometimes we really do cross the line of journalistic good taste. Hope you adress this for me, thanks for what you bring to the blog…

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
12:20 pm

spoken like a true democrat…always looking to ban the opposition…nice kiss-up at the end…

evil empire

April 24th, 2012
12:21 pm

here’s three in a row, just for you kingdaddy…

Elvis Crunchberry

April 24th, 2012
12:22 pm

I love me some dawgs! They are great!

Mark Park

April 24th, 2012
12:22 pm

Go Dawgs!!! We are the greatest!!!


April 24th, 2012
12:23 pm

Matt Barkley, 39 td’s, 7 interceptions, 3500 yards, 69% completions.
Aaron Murray, 35 td’s, 14 interceptions, 3100 yards, 59&% completions

Murray tosses too many int’s, isn’t accurate, and his decision making in big games is poor (0-9 vs. ranked teams with a lot of turnovers in those games).


April 24th, 2012
12:24 pm

I think the real CMR doesn’t read these blogs or respond to them. As a christian, he knows the only perfect person to ever walk this earth was nailed to a cross. Coach Richt is a humble man, but most of all, he is a man. Put yourself in his shoes for one day and read these blogs. He doesn’t want to let the real Doggies down. I will respect and pray for this man and I will also offer my opinion which is next to worthless to him, but I am one of the people pulling for his team to win. I do believe he cares what we think…

Sidney Pickle

April 24th, 2012
12:26 pm

Go Dawgs! Hope we beat Buffalo!

Tony Bologna

April 24th, 2012
12:27 pm

No way LSU, Bama, or Arkansas combined can beat us at Sanford. We are that good! Go Dawgs!

clock stopper

April 24th, 2012
12:30 pm

Murray would start over Staffod today…Go Dawgs!

tide roll

April 24th, 2012
12:31 pm

According to Richt, your offensive line will start Andrews at Center, and Houston at Right Tackle! On to the BCS National Championship game! Bama better hope they don’t get us in the SEC championship game..Richt should be forced to line up in a single back set and run behind Andrews and Dallas Lee. Right up the gut. After the fool is released from Athens General, you’ll see a concerted effort by he, Booboo, and Chewtobacco Friend to gain commitments from Shamire Devine, Delano Crooks, Devonte Seymour, together with a full blown effort to turn Joshua Outlaw and Max Garcia from Florida. Until that happens look for more of the same. Private schoolers bulked up by Joe T! Does this reek of McGarity, Joe T. Booboo, and UGA or what!.Hell, Ray Goof was better. Do not, I repeat, do not, EVER put a former UGA player ( this includes tennis), in a decision making position. That mistake, combined with the UGA fan base, guarantees another 31 years of futility, minimum.Why do y’all even bother?


April 24th, 2012
12:32 pm

See, I told you that you were a funny guy. Are you feeling guilty or something? I never mentioned your name, did I? I was talking about me. Why do you think everything is about you? LOL…You did cross over the line of good taste when you called me a demon-crat. I asked you not to make stuff up…