National media loves this Dawg — why don’t all UGA fans?

Sporting News ranks Aaron Murray one of the top 25 college players in the country. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Sporting News ranks Aaron Murray one of the top 25 college players in the country. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Matt Hayes of the Sporting News released his annual post-spring ranking of the top 25 players in college football, and two Georgia Bulldogs made the list, which was topped by Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley.

The first Dawg making the top 25 won’t surprise anyone: Jarvis Jones, who picked up an award as the nation’s top linebacker at the G-Day game, was ranked No. 5 on the list. The breakdown: “Disruptive edge rusher, sure tackler, defensive leader. The perfect combination.” And Hayes quotes an NFL scout as saying Jones is “the prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker. A top five [overall] guy.”

The other UGA player on the list? Aaron Murray, who some UGA fans don’t even think is the best quarterback on the team!

Hayes’ breakdown on Murray: “A fiery, tough competitor with good NFL measurables who has improved every season. Can he lead the Dawgs to a big season?” And an NFL scout says: “He still makes too many poor decisions, and his accuracy is a big question. But you love his moxie and intangibles.”

Hayes and the scout pretty well sum up the upside and downside of Murray, who was the subject of a heated fan Junkyard Mail discussion over the weekend that spilled over onto local sports talk radio in Atlanta Tuesday.

Why the disconnect between the way national sports media see Murray and the grumbling he inspires among some Georgia fans?

Part of it, I think, is the natural tendency of fans to complain about starting quarterbacks (ditto offensive coordinators/playcallers). I remember fans griping about Matt Stafford’s decision-making. And as rock-solid and successful as David Greene was, there was a minor QB controversy for a while early in his tenure, sparked by supporters of D.J Shockley, who thought he ought to get more playing time or be the starter. Remember?

I believe my friend Steve put his finger on it Tuesday when he said he thought the way No. 11 ended the season — with an error-filled implosion in the Dawgs’ bowl game against Michigan State — left a lingering dissatisfaction among fans. The what-have-you-done-for-me-lately syndrome.

But, as Steve said, Murray is still the best quarterback Mark Richt has. And, as Sporting News sees it, one of the best in the nation.

Like I said in Saturday’s Blawg, I think Murray has a lot of areas in which he needs to improve. But I don’t have any doubt he’s Richt’s best choice to lead the Bulldogs right now.

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

461 comments Add your comment

Joe

April 26th, 2012
10:20 am

Another Murray masterpiece: South Carolina 45 UGA 42…….or it could breakdown like this….

UGA 42 South Carolina 17 (this is the number of points the Defense gave up)

UGA 42 South Carolina 24 (This is Defense and special teams points given up)

South Carolina 45 UGA 42 (This is defense, Special teams, AND what our QB gave up)

Oh you Aaron Murray……my God….and he is only a Sophomore!

DawginLex

April 26th, 2012
10:35 am

Joe

True and we have all pointed it out numerous times and discussed it numerous times

Do you have a point?

Joe

April 26th, 2012
10:43 am

Dawginlex……do you?? idiot

SSIgator

April 26th, 2012
10:56 am

Joe -

DawginLex will only use the “change the complexion of the game” excuse when he thinks it up. Since you brought it up, it doesn’t count now. Try again later.

Joshua

April 26th, 2012
11:00 am

The problem with all the Murray criticizers is that they have no clue of what is really going on. What I hear scouts and experts saying about Murray’s poor decisions, are that he is trying to do too much. He is trying to make a big play when he shouldn’t. Those mistakes are correctable and tend to be fixed with maturity. They say his accuracy issues stem from poor mechanics when he is moving. Basically he gets happy feet when he is in the pocket, so he doesn’t plant and make a good throw. That is something that he has been working on, and less pressure will help. Murray isn’t perfect, but the things he does wrong are correctable. What the scouts, experts, and coaches see is that he has all the tools, some may need a little refining, but they will take him to the next level.

Fans knock Murray, because all they see is the wins and losses. They see ints, fumbles, and knocked down passes. All this they lay on the feet of Murray. They don’t pay attention to what is really going on. Mostly because, they can’t tell you what anyone is suppose to be doing, they just see the end result. A lot of people point out the fumble against South Carolina. Most people who have ever been in that situation will tell you it is hard to hold on to the football when you get hit on your blindside and thrown around like a rag doll. Fans will blame Murray for fumbling, but they hardly ever blame the tackle for missing the block or Crowell for missing the read and the block. Most fans don’t notice that our running backs stunk at blocking. After Samuel got hurt, the running backs in the backfield during pass plays that required a read for the block was either a fullback, Carlton Thomas, or at times Brandon Harton. Which was real sad because most linemen see Thomas and Harton as a speed bump, not something that will stop them. I have even heard Bobo and Richt say that Crowell and Malcome are just starting to show interest in pass blocking this spring. People don’t see that an interception or two and several incomplete passes ( and one touchdown) was because receivers ran wrong routes. If it is a timing play the quarterback throws to a spot and the receiver is suppose to be there. If they are not, then usually the other team catches the ball. Add to this there were three of four interceptions that hit receivers in the hands or chest that bounced off to a defender. There are also those plays where defenders made good plays and you just have to tip your cap to them Really if you look at the whole scheme Murray only has a small hand full of interceptions that were because of his bad decisions or bad throws.

When scouts and experts look at Murray and his tape they are going to look at all of this. They are going to see the missed blocks, wrong routes, bad decisions, bad throws, and what ever else. You can’t fault a quarterback for an interception that hits a receiver in the numbers, or an interception that a corner breaks coverage and jumps a route. With this you can’t fault a receiver for missing a pass thrown behind him or ten feet over his head, or one for not catching a ball thrown in double or triple coverage.

The thing is that Murray is a good quarterback. Fans can go to espn and look at stats, but they don’t tell the whole story. In baseball you always hear people say when a player gets his first hit on a swinging bunt, that in the scorebook it will look like a line drive. This is because in the book it says single and has no details. Like in football an interception on a bad throw and one that hits the receiver in the chest is written int with no details. At some point and time fans need to realize they don’t know half of what they are talking about and let the coaches make decisions. Until Mark Richt proves he is not they quarterback expert that he is credited to be, we should probably just his judgement. I’ve heard people question his coaching and decisions as a head coach, but rarely to never on his decisions on quarterback. the best thing fans can do is quit complaining and start cheering for their team. It is a lot easier for a team to play with the people in the stands believe in them.

DawginLex

April 26th, 2012
11:38 am

Joe

My point is we have discussed it a thousand times

You need to realize that SSi is only here to annoy us and bash UGA at all costs

His blog handle stands for Social Security Income Gator

He is 78 years old. Flagler College Class of 1956

Became a Gator Fan in 1996.

Thinks college football started that year

Joe

April 26th, 2012
12:05 pm

Thanks DawginLex…..I do get your point but its just frustrating that article after article come out laying them blame everywhere else except at Murrays feet.
As for the Gatorfan you mentioned- 1996? I was thinking Florida fans beleived that football started in 1991……before then, UF was the ONLY SEC team that never won the conference…..

DIT

April 26th, 2012
12:21 pm

If I were y’all I would just ignore SSI gator from here on out. Living in Tampa I have several educated Gator friends. I have brought them on this blog before to read some of the juvenile posts he puts:
1) They can’t understand WHY a gator would be on a UGA blog because there are just as many gator blogs available.
2) They say he’s a total embarrassment and would bet he never stepped foot in a UF classroom. Probably not even a Valencia Commumity College classroom.
Anyway, it’s mutually agreed that this ssi gator is a Tool! Straight out of Gator Alumns mouths.

ARdawg

April 26th, 2012
12:31 pm

Alta,

I know :) all in good fun. The redshirting issue however, isn’t really an issue in most cases.

Joshua
Nice post but you really could have summed in with this. “Many of Murray’s mistakes are a direct reflection of other deficiencies in the offense”

We could hope as a Sophomore he could have carried more of the deficiencies but, he couldn’t. Why he couldn’t is up for debate. That doesn’t mean that this year, his third that he is much more seasoned, ready and willing to do so. Murray has all the goods to achieve greatness. He’s a good kid, talented and more of a leader now than ever. He’ll also have an offense with many more weapons than last year and a Defense that will keep them in the game. He likely won’t be required to shoulder more load but, he will have more ability to do if required. IMHO

Econo-Dawg

April 26th, 2012
12:42 pm

Aaron Murray didn’t go 0-5 against ranked teams, UGA did. Football is a team sport you morons! I love how every Jim Bob Schmo (who probably never went to UGA) thinks he knows more than Richt and Bobo about QBs. Aaron Murray is a great kid, great leader and a great QB. Give him better protection and a running game and we should be top 5 next year.

enorth

April 26th, 2012
12:46 pm

We already tried that in 2010. We gave Murray 2 backs who got over 5 yards a pop, AJ Green, Orson Charles, Kris Durham, and the most experienced offensive line in the NCAA.

Murray went 6 wins, and 7 losses that year.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
12:47 pm

http://leatherhelmetblog.com/2012-articles/april/uga-misspells-new-weight-room-motto.html

Yea the University of Georgia EDUCATES athletes. AHHAHAHA
Can the MUTTs SPELL?
Dog not Dawg or dWag.
Hell they have a 3 Column Arch as the school symbol.

Benji

April 26th, 2012
1:03 pm

I love Arron Murray. He has the chance to be the best qb at UGA ever.

SSIgator

April 26th, 2012
1:09 pm

DIT -

I am here because I live in this state (at least the last time I checked SSI was still part of GA) and because the AJC is the largest state circulated newspaper covering not only SEC football, but also other sports and news as well. Bill King writes an opinion piece that is open for comments and as best as I can tell you do not need to be a UGA fan to post a comment. If you want to read a “UGA Fans Only” blog site, go visit Chump Towers. As for where I went to school, you know not of which you speak. Any other questions?

And you are here because . . .

DawginLex

April 26th, 2012
1:23 pm

SSI’s panties are all in a bunch

U’ mad nancy?

RE: Sign outside weight room

Sign company did not proofread before installing.

Tech grad owns sign company.

DawginLex

April 26th, 2012
1:25 pm

SSI

Social Security Income Gator

Flagler College

Class of 1956

78 years old

Thinks college football started in 1996 when he became a Gator For Life.

OC_Dawg

April 26th, 2012
2:05 pm

He also lost us the USCe game.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
2:27 pm

DiLEX…….If a Tech Grad owned the sign company he would have spelled it in Greek or Latin. LOL

AltamahaDawg

April 26th, 2012
2:37 pm

Joshua, you covered this in the broader scope, not sure you listed this particular one as well.

I would bet $20 that on the Monday after the bowl game, when the receiving core was watching film, Coach Ball posed the question while cueing up that Int.play

“now fellas……..what do you do in THIS case? Please tell Mr. King”. The chorus of responce was………..”sit and show the numbers, coach”.

“Right. Do you juke and jive spin move up the field waving like a homecoming queen in the parade?”

” Do you give the LB a little pat on his butt as you step out of his way and shout “Heads Up” so the ball doesn’t sting when it hits him in the chest?”

“No Coach”

How many times in here have you heard that play called Murray’s bonehead Int, when in fact he made the play on his part?

AltamahaDawg

April 26th, 2012
2:45 pm

Why? Why Chip Tower’s blog? Why is that a UGA fan only room? I thought that was wide open for all, including gator fans. You know, assuming the minimal low standard of acting like a grow man.
I am almost certain there are non-Uga fans posting at this very moment

Has there been some recent change, that you specifically are aware of?

AltamahaDawg

April 26th, 2012
2:50 pm

BTW, this is the internet. Not a circulated newspaper. The Orlando or Gainsville sites are the same “clic” away. That has nothing to do with being in a Bulldog blog by your own choice..

AltamahaDawg

April 26th, 2012
3:04 pm

Joshua, how bad to you think Coach Ball called out King in the film room on that Int, the Monday after the Bowl game?

“I haven’t seen a guy intentionally move out of the way so a ball would hit somebody in the gut like that since the Longest Yard. Sit and show the numbers, boy!”

LakeDawg

April 26th, 2012
3:10 pm

I’m glad we have Murray. He gives the Dawgs a chance to beat anybody. There is nothing wrong with Murray that a true running game wouldn’t cure. I’ve seen nothing from Mason that would lead me to believe that he is a better choice than Murray. I don’t know anything about Lemay as I haven’t seen him play.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
3:18 pm

lakeDawg……..everybody in the SEC is glad you have 35:55minute Murray and BoZo running the UGa Offense.

AltamahaDawg

April 26th, 2012
3:58 pm

Then it’s all settled.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
4:13 pm

Alta…..yes it is and NOTHING we say will change it. The ONLY way it changes is if Murray gets hurt.

Boulder Molder

April 26th, 2012
4:19 pm

Lex and Alti, sthu!

WarHorseDog

April 26th, 2012
4:28 pm

Mason outplayed Murray this Spring, 2x more td’s, completewd 20% more passes than Murray over 3 Spring scrimmages. Lemay outplayed all QB’s on G-Day, 7 for 10, 154 yards, late td. Murray went 39% on G-Day, 1 td.

WarHorseDog

April 26th, 2012
4:43 pm

Rushing game got 15% better, vs. ranked teams in 2011. But Murray got 2x worse in td’s against ranked teams. So, it seems the better the rushing game, the worse Murray gets in interceptions.

Neutral

April 26th, 2012
4:46 pm

WarHorseDog
Decisions are based on every minute of Spring practice……not one or two scrimmages.
How do you have a clue as to how Murray and Mason compared during the 99% of the time when fans were not at practices?

Neutral

April 26th, 2012
4:49 pm

Simple answer, OL was worse as were the receivers from the previous year. Even a simpleton would understand those facts……and the running game was not really better and the backs were poorer blockers.

Neutral

April 26th, 2012
4:50 pm

Great post Joshua @11am

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
5:02 pm

Neutral….BUT……….BUT…………..BUT………….UGa and Richt had GREAT RECRUITING CLASSES all those years.

MY Dawg

April 26th, 2012
5:08 pm

It’s pretty simple actually. There are few qb’s that experience success early on in their career. The great ones stay in a system for more than 2 or 3 seasons. Look at David Green, Kellen Moore, Andrew Luck, and the list goes on. As soon as A.M. learns how to throw the ball away, get down instead of trying to get one extra yard. etc…, he will take his game to the next level. Look at R.T. at Michigan State. Was anyone paying attention to him on the side line? The cameras panned to him during the game telling his receivers how and what to do to beat the Ga defense. That’s the difference in year 3 and year 5 of a qb’s career. I am very surprised that no one brought that up after the game, or since. All I have left is Go Dawgs!

Desert Dawg

April 26th, 2012
5:15 pm

What I don’t understand is why Richt who gives most kids a second chance, kicked Mettenburger off of the team. This will come back to bite UGA in the ass when LSU beats them again in the SEC Championship game.

SSIgator

April 26th, 2012
5:22 pm

Boulder Molder -

If you are going to post here you have to realize that AltamahaDawg and DawginLex are founding members (among others) of this Kool-Aid Club for UGA. They even think that because I am not a UGA fan that I should not be allowed to post or even read the AJC aticles about UGA. Rather fuzzy logic since I do live in the State of GA, but I digress. This is their little playground and you better not say anything contrary to their beliefs or worse yet, Mark “I can win games – just not big games” Richt or else they will place a pox upon you for your evil thoughts. The more Kool-Aid that flows the better they like it so post at your own risk. You have been so notified.

Also, DawginLex, if you are going to keep repeating the same post in the same article, at least limit it to one post duplication per page. That way your lack of original thought will noy be so obvious.

DogWalker

April 26th, 2012
5:23 pm

Every sack, AND interception is on Aaron Murray, Murray COULD have chosen to throw the ball away EVERY TIME but did not. All 34 sacks and 14 interceptions, all 48 horrible season shifting plays fall on one man’s shoulders: Aaron Murray, the QB, the leader of the team.

Obviously, sacks are not the o-line’s fault, as Cox only gave up 12 sacks vs. 34 for Murray, and Stafford averaged 13 sacks a season at UGA. Murray gets sacked 2-3x more that any other UGA QB, that’s 100% on Aaron Murray.

The 14 interceptions in 2011, 100% on Aaron Murray, Murray COULD have thrown those balls away. When SEC QB’s guys like AJ are only putting up 6 interceptions per year, against tougher teams, why is Murray throwing 2-2.5x more interceptions than McCarron and Tyler Wilson?

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
5:33 pm

My Dawg…………….KELLEN MORE? You lost ALL creditably.

Moore holds the all-time record for wins by a starting quarterback in NCAA Division I FBS, finishing his career with a 50–3 record. He also finished fourth in voting for the 2010 Heisman Trophy.

When did MOORE go 16-11?

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
5:34 pm

MOORE didn’t LOSE 2 of those games the Field Goal kicker DID with Missed Kicks. One of those Missed Kicks cost the a shot at the BCS MNC game.

DogWalker

April 26th, 2012
5:42 pm

Those of you saying the rushing game was bad last year, guess why? No talent? No. Problem was Murray’s run audibles didn’t work, and Murray could hit enough deep passes t keep 8 out of the box, so teams cheated inside to plug the rushing holes.

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
6:01 pm

DogWalker don’t say that………Stafford called audibles that worked when he KNEW BoZo was an IDIOT. Are you SAYING 35:55minute Murray can’t READ defenses?

LakeDawg

April 26th, 2012
6:22 pm

Still@theKool-aidBAR

I’ve been critical of CMR and Bobo enough times to have my allegiance to UGA questioned. However, there is a BIG difference between you and me. I base my comments on observations and knowledge, while you just seem to revel in negativity. I question CMR, but love Murray. If CMR and Bobo ever truly commit to a physical running game (not likely) you will see Murray shine. If they don’t, then Mason won’t fare any better and probably not as well (too slow, weak arm).

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
7:13 pm

BILL are you going to do a LIVE BLOG for the Draft?

MitchDawg

April 26th, 2012
7:35 pm

Can we get a QB that can call run audibles, and hit the long balls? Is that asking too much?

Sharkman

April 26th, 2012
7:49 pm

Ugh…because he has never beat a better team Bill, and he gets frazzled like a little girl under pressure.

HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS in 2012!

Just call me BOSS Techie!!!

April 26th, 2012
7:59 pm

I liked the comment earlier today about the TEAM getting credit for wins and losses….not Murray. Thanks for the great and correct observation!!!

Just call me BOSS Techie!!!

April 26th, 2012
8:03 pm

Kool-aid,
I agree for a change…..Moore is a great QB!!!

Still@theKool-aidBAR

April 26th, 2012
9:19 pm

2 BAMA playes selected in the top 10.
one USCe player in the top 10 and 1 Miss St player in the top 12

WHERE are the dWaga?

Mobile Dawg

April 26th, 2012
9:20 pm

SSIgator, you’re welcome here as are others, now how bout making an intelligent post vs your nonhumourous villianous posts about UGA. If you want to come on this site and talk football, regardless of the team you support, then do it. You make yourself look childish by your immature, critical, self appointed humourist comments. Now do us all a favor and go play in the street.

Your response to DIT after he called you out was lame Sport.

Brainiac

April 26th, 2012
9:21 pm

@ SSIgator:(5:22pm post)

Flunked spelling didn’t you???