Student-led Blackout a good way to salute Aaron Murray, seniors

Aaron Murray reaches out to UGA fans. It's time for the fans to show their appreciation. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Aaron Murray reaches out to UGA fans. It's time for the fans to show their appreciation. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo noted this week that all the career retrospective talk as Aaron Murray gets ready to play his last game Between the Hedges in Athens is a bit premature. The season isn’t over yet, and Bobo said he told his record-breaking senior quarterback, “You’re not dead. I’m not hugging you till after this season. We’ve got to beat Kentucky.”

And that’s not always as easy as it might seem on paper. If you’ll recall last year’s game, a sleepwalking Georgia team seemed in danger of dropping one to the Wildcats until Murray basically put the team on his back and carried it to a win with a remarkable passing performance that saw him throw four touchdowns and rack up 427 yards passing in a 29-24 thriller.

That’s just one of the many times Murray has stepped up big for the Dogs. This season’s big wins over Top 10 teams, South Carolina and LSU, both saw Murray leading game-winning drives when they were most needed. And fresh in our minds is the way he led his team in almost pulling off a miracle comeback against Auburn.

Hopefully, the Dogs won’t need any fourth-quarter salvation on the part of Murray this week, but with the team coming off a deflating fluke-play loss to the Tigers and the tendency of Mark Richt teams to come out flat against lesser opponents, it wouldn’t be at all surprising.

Fortunately, Murray’s a gamer, always willing to do whatever’s necessary, even if it’s putting his own body on the (goal) line, as he did last week against the Tigers.

Fans are encouraged to state their own Blackout Saturday night. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Fans are encouraged to state their own Blackout Saturday night. (Brant Sanderlin / AJC)

Now it’s time for the Georgia fans to show up for Murray. The prospect of less than a full house at Sanford Stadium for Senior Night was made even more real by the 7 p.m. kickoff. Thanksgiving break begins at UGA after the end of classes Friday and many students are heading home rather than sticking around for the game and then having to clear out Sunday morning before the dorms close at noon. My daughter told me this week that quite a few students have been trying to unload their Kentucky game tickets.

But that hasn’t stopped other, more die-hard UGA students from championing a special way to salute Murray and the 27 other seniors who’ll be taking to the field at Sanford Stadium for Senior Night recognition at about 6:45 p.m. Saturday. (The Dawg Walk is set for 5:05 p.m.)

Using the Twitter hashtag #BlackoutForAaron, they’re calling for everyone to show up for the game wearing black. Of course, they’d also like for Richt to dress the team in black jerseys for this last home game, an idea Murray himself first floated the week of the Tennessee game when the Vols announced they’d be wearing Smokey Gray uniforms.

Murray noted he’d never gotten to wear the black jersey so far. “It definitely adds a little bit of juice to you,” he said. “You look good, you feel good, you play good.”

And last week Murray again mentioned to Bulldawg Illustrated that he’d be “the happiest man in the world” if the Dogs got to wear black for the game. “I think everyone on the team would love to wear them,” he said. “It’s not just a senior thing. We got new gloves and new cleats last week and that was a huge thing. Everybody loved it. If we got new jerseys, everyone would pretty much go crazy for it.”

Richt was asked about the possibility of black jerseys on Monday night’s “Bulldog Hotline” radio show.

Georgia players have said they'd love a chance to wear the black jerseys. (AJC file)

Georgia players have said they'd love a chance to wear the black jerseys. (AJC file)

“If I had black jerseys to give them, I’d have them wear ’em,” the head coach said. “We just don’t have them. I don’t know if that’s going to break everybody’s heart or not, but we don’t have any black jerseys in stock. If we did, I’d be all for it.”

But the coach added that “if the fans want to honor Aaron Murray’s request and bless him and the seniors, and I’m sure our players would love if the fans did a Blackout. The players don’t necessarily have to wear the black jerseys to get a Blackout, do they?”

Richt said he’d join the fans in doing so. “I’ll wear black,” he said. “I’ll go all Johnny Cash.

When another “Hotline” caller said he’d get on the phone the next morning to Nike and see about getting black jerseys delivered, Rick demurred. “I wish it were that easy,” he said.

Murray, for his part, downplayed the idea of black jerseys this week, saying, “If it happens, I won’t complain about it, but I’m more focused on winning the game right now.”

Still, the fans blacking out Sanford Stadium at night would be a tremendous send-off for Murray and the other seniors. As safety Connor Norman told The Red & Black this week, “Obviously none of that is up to us as players, but it’s cool to see the Georgia fans get behind us and get behind Aaron.”

So that appears to be that. The fans can stage their own Blackout even if the team wears its traditional home red jerseys. Richt seems to have pretty firmly quashed the idea of black jerseys, even though with Murray having first brought it up at the start of October it’s a little difficult to believe Nike couldn’t have come up with said jerseys for one of its most prominent customers.

Plus, of course, it’s worth noting that when Georgia first donned black jerseys for the Auburn game of 2007, the players knew nothing about it in advance.

Maybe that’s why even as we were listening to Richt’s comments Monday night, my son and I both had the same idea dancing around in our heads: Can you think of better way to lift up a beat-up, bummed out team than for them to return to the locker room after warm-ups Saturday to find black jerseys waiting for them?

There’d certainly be no danger of the team coming out flat in that case!

Even if that just winds up being our pipe dream, I hope all the fans show up Saturday night in black.

For Aaron.

Got something you want to discuss concerning the Dawgs? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

126 comments Add your comment

SenoiaDawgs

November 21st, 2013
11:03 am

More of an example of a coaching staff not in tune with the players and heck I am normally one who supports the darn staff.

Bremen Dawg

November 21st, 2013
11:05 am

Yes, Nike could get the black jerseys by Saturday.

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 21st, 2013
11:08 am

I don’t know about a black out for this game…. black dress usually has a funeral like atmosphere.

Newman

November 21st, 2013
11:08 am

You can’t win with gimmicks! BLOCK and TACKLE!

Flo-Ri-Duh

November 21st, 2013
11:09 am

I will pass on the black out this time. Maybe next year.

prpl dawg

November 21st, 2013
11:12 am

If we had more players,especially on D, like Murray we might be unbeaten.Just look at what he has done thisyear. Under the pressure of needingt to score a TD every singtle time to win.Anyone ever notice the hits he has taken? Seen the blood on his hands? HE IS ONE OF THE GREAT DAWGS. WHERE IS HIS DETERMINATION AND LEADERSHIP FOUND ELSEWHERE ON THIS TEAM? There are some, butnot enough.

On the subject of leadership, I do pray that TG is elsewhere next year.

old dog

November 21st, 2013
11:14 am

Bill,
Murray certainly deserves accolades. He has often been blamed for not winning the big ones when in fact the better teams know we are not good up front and they exploit it. He has had sub-par defensive play (even back when he had NFL caliber players on defense) to help him out. Without him, we would have a much worse record. He deserves to be honored. Then, after he leaves, I hope the A.D. will finally “help” CMR to realize that the CTG experiment is a cluster gone bad. If not, the starter (Mason) next year will take the brunt of the blame like Murray did for something that was beyond his control. Besides immediate defensive re-grouping, lets bring in some o-linemen. For Murray to take all the blame these past few years should never happen; lets not put our next QB in that situation.

NoAxeToGrind

November 21st, 2013
11:25 am

No UGA fan should have any complaints about Murray. He is clearly one of the top three QB’s post Tarkenton, whom I have seen play. He has made mistakes and he doesn’t have Stafford’s arm but, if it were not for him, Richt would have a much worse loss/win record the past four years. If Richt and Bobo and Grantham had been as good a coaches has Murray has been a quarterback, a hell of a lot more UGA fans would be a hell of a lot happier. Good luck to Murray….a credit to UGA.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

November 21st, 2013
11:51 am

I love Blackouts!

Pocaroba

November 21st, 2013
11:52 am

Ashamed to admit that I was one who criticized Murray in the past. I was wrong and this young man deserves so much credit for the success we have enjyed during his tenure. I think Richt has the black jerseys. He just doesn’t want to make too much noise about it and wants to surprise the team. That’s how the first blackout went also.

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

November 21st, 2013
11:54 am

BTW, did you notice how your state’s “get mine” mentality just cost you a game. Harvey-Clemens was looking to get on sportscenter and get his with that last pass. He was thinking DADADA…DADADA, as he missed the ball and cost you the game. Of course he’s from Georgia and did you notice his rather classy twitter response afterwards?

Just become a basketball school already and save yourselfs and the SEC further embarrassment.

HEHE, blackout…

Aaron Murray = Timmy Chang

November 21st, 2013
11:56 am

Fake juice for Kentucky, is this how far the program has fallen?

The Tide is Rolling and Nothing can Stop it

November 21st, 2013
11:56 am

At Alabama, our players put the team first. Check out AJ. No where near huge stats. Does he care? Nope, he has 3 rings and is dating miss Alabama.

See how we treat our quarterbacks. We don’t blame him for the defense giving up points.

33 years.

I-DOG

November 21st, 2013
11:57 am

Interesting that four star OL David Sharpe told the AJC that Georgia no longer returns his calls and he believes that the Dawgs don’t have space for him in this signing class.

Sometimes you have to take the recruiting stories with a grain of salt and this might just be a misunderstanding, but given that Georgia did offer him a scholarship and given that he is ranked as the 15th best offensive tackle in the country…this does seem surprising.

It sounds like maybe Georgia would be his leader if they were still showing him the love.

I understand that we don’t over-sign and grayshirt, but this did seem a bit strange to me given that we haven’t had a strong offensive line in several years. Maybe we are happy with Baker and Sims and that Sharpe just waited too long to commit and we ran out of room for him.

Still, it seems like we should have stayed with recruiting him (especially since there are so few targets left in this class) and be honest with him that depending on how long he waits to make a decision we may or may not have room.

You never know what can happen on signing day with losing some of the folks you thought were committed to you and returning his phone calls and staying with him may have been a better strategy here.

Bulldawg35

November 21st, 2013
12:04 pm

Flo-ri-duh…

So you’re not going? Well would of cool to meet up….me and my wife. I’m not like this in person lol!
I’m a better dude in person.

Martin Pyrz

November 21st, 2013
12:04 pm

1. I hope Sanford stadium is filled w/ black clad fans, for Aaron, he’s the epitome of a DGD! he’s definitely my favorite UGA QB! and a note to rolling tide, keep knockin’ players from Georgia, Bama has a roster full of Georgia natives, if they only recruited Alabama players, they would be as good as they are now.

the only thing alabama has is a great college football team, that state doesn’t contribute anything politically or socially in this nation and will probably never will….

UGA alum

November 21st, 2013
12:12 pm

Fans who have any love for Georgia are totally lame to complain about a student-backed blackout. Clemson, South Carolina, Oregon, etc. wear a variety of uniforms. Why not do something to get people excited. The whole idea is to show respect – something all the trolls on this blog have no understanding and WHY DO TROLLS GET TO POST ON THIS BLOG???? I live in South Carolina, and unfortunately have to say that their fans are true fans. I have wished for years that UGA fans would man-up. I think we have some of the worst fans in the country -complain, fair-weather,etc. I am not happy with this year or our coaches, but some of our seniors really, really love this university, Anyone with a ticket to the game who does not show up, should be cursed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Desert Fox

November 21st, 2013
12:14 pm

“Can you think of better way to lift up a beat-up, bummed out team than for them to return to the locker room after warm-ups Saturday to find black jerseys waiting for them?”

I hope you’re right, Bill. However, if CMR stays true to form as he does in coaching this team, I doubt he will seize the opportunity as he and his coaches have failed to do the right thing in game situations so why go out of character now? Yet, I’m hoping he takes the AM cue and did order the black unies. If not, the university is too cheap or CMR disappoints again. Don’t be surprised if GA plays down to KY and its a close game. Those black unies could make a difference in the players attitudes. We all need something to lift our spirits after blowing the AU game.

Ace

November 21st, 2013
12:14 pm

The black uniforms are beautiful. UGA should embrace having alternate uniforms. More opportunities for jersey sales….better exposure. UGA shouldn’t care what an 80 year old thinks…appeal to the 18 year olds that love the different options. It works for Oregon, Baylor..etc. It doesn’t win National Championships, but it does help brand a program.

Aaron Murray = Timmy Chang

November 21st, 2013
12:20 pm

Richt needs to solve the team’s problems before worrying about fashion. Defense is beyond pathetic, special teams outside of FG’s are a joke, undisciplined play, continually having his team unprepared, and conservative playcalling are just a few of the areas he needs to focus on before fashion.

James

November 21st, 2013
12:24 pm

Aaron has heart and guts. Sorry it was wasted at UGA. Wish him all the best.

Pocaroba

November 21st, 2013
12:40 pm

If Alabama doesn’t like the Georgia mentality then send all those Georgia players on your roster over. Wonder how good any Alabama football factory would be without Georgia blood? But that said, any Georgia resident that chooses an out of state school when you were offered in state, is a traitor and you will never be recognized for your football accomplishments when you come ‘home’.

SquirrelDawg

November 21st, 2013
12:44 pm

The only good thing about Alabama is they keep us from being next door to Mississippi

Ace

November 21st, 2013
12:46 pm

UGA blogs make me lose faith in humanity…what is wrong with you people. These are kids that want to honor Seniors with an alternate uniform. Not that big of deal.

1969 Graduate

November 21st, 2013
12:48 pm

I like the black jerseys, and would like to have Georgia play in black jerseys for each year’s final home game regardless of opponent. Red helmets. No Ghetto Nike suits.

Aaron Murray is a DGD. I believe he’s been quite an asset to the Georgia Bulldogs, and for our fine University. He’s carried the team a number of times, and would have a much better record had his coaches provided better plays, a better line, and some semblance of a defense, to say nothing of reliable special teams play. Not winning every game has not been remotely his fault.

No, he’s not perfect, but he’s a very capable quarterback, a very hard worker, and an admirable young man.

It bothers me that anyone (especially coaches) think jerseys made jack difference in how we play, as opposed to the basics of football. More and more, I hear stuff that makes me wonder if any of our coaches (including Mr. Richt) need to stay in Athens.

Sometimes I think we should promote Mike Bobo to head coach, and fire everyone else. I suppose Kirby Smart might leave CNS and Alabama if given a few million reasons to do so, and CMB could just get a raise, and a little help with his sometimes too conservative and predictable play calling.

I wish all our team members, especially the seniors, the very best.

Go, Dawgs!

Dawg Fud

November 21st, 2013
12:52 pm

Gonna miss Murray. Dude has won me over.

After the AUburn game my buddy texted me “how does Murray not just yell in Grantham’s face?”

I wonder the same. Thanks for being a Damn Good Dawg, Aaron.

drbasic1

November 21st, 2013
12:54 pm

@AaronMurray=TammyChang

you sir are a moron. It is not about fashion…black is one of UGA’s colors. don’t be jealous, especially since your mascot is a pesky yellow jacket which is nothing more than an insect which all people detest….conservative playing calling does not get you 40 points a game and averaging nearly 500 yards of offense. Defense is beyond pathetic?….you need to immediately send your resume to Richt..I am sure he will hire you on the spot and YOU can fix the problem, hey bet you can fix Special Teams also…..you need to learn football before you open your ignorant mouth and insert your tiny foot……idiot

Dog4Life

November 21st, 2013
1:17 pm

I do not mind the black jerseys, but I notice Bama never deviates from tradition and their 18 yr old kids do not seem to mind–why is tradition detested so much? If you win football games no one cares about flash–JUST WIN BABY!!!!

Crazy~Catfish

November 21st, 2013
1:23 pm

If there going to do a black out.. i want it done all out.. black helmets, pant’s and tops…. this whole season has been a big black disastrous nightmare, we might as well end it right!!

JB

November 21st, 2013
1:23 pm

Say what you will about Murray, but he loves this University. All the failures under his watch are not all his part, if fact, without him, Richt might be gone.

Lindsey

November 21st, 2013
1:24 pm

Aaron Murray has been one of my favorite Bulldogs to watch, he has the heart of a true champion. I have a funny feeling something special will happen Saturday night. He is a great example of never giving up and I wish he could stay around 4 more years. Thanks to all the seniors for a very exciting season, we heart #11!! GO DAWGS!!

Glenu

November 21st, 2013
1:39 pm

Really? Blackout- I thought we loss the Blackout game.. I prefer “red paints” vs Ga Tech at least those trousers have a winning tradition.

Aaron Murray = Timmy Chang

November 21st, 2013
1:41 pm

@ drbasic1

Did you not watch the Vandy game? Offense went vanilla after the half, lost a huge lead and resulted in a loss to Vandy – let me repeat that VANDY. Defense is giving up over 30 points a game – worst in the history of the program. Still think it isn’t pathetic? Special teams have been a nightmare for several years, and Richt has done nothing year after year. You sir, need to remove your head from the area where you sit down because you are totally clueless.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 21st, 2013
1:49 pm

“If you’ll recall last year’s game, a sleepwalking Georgia team seemed in danger of dropping one to the Wildcats”

Sleeping walking pretty much sums up almost every game under this coaching staff

Bulldawg35

November 21st, 2013
1:57 pm

Flat

I agree…we slept walked thru the first half of the auburn game. Shouldn’t of come down to the that 4th down Hail Mary….the coaching staff should of known they were incapable of covering that play.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

November 21st, 2013
2:03 pm

I guess sleep walking through most your games is what is called

“Cutting Edge Football”

JB

November 21st, 2013
2:10 pm

I think we could beat Tech nekkid.

7576DAWG

November 21st, 2013
2:11 pm

I don’t care if the players every once in awhile wear a different color just to change things, once in a Blue Moon. But, I love being able to turn on my TV , see what the players are wearing not knowing what game is on , and immediately say that’s Georgia. You can’t beat class and wearing Black, Green , Purple , or any other loud colors like Oregon and some other do will not win one game and if the players needs to be motivated then they need to quit Football and just get a degree.

Bulldog Born & Bred

November 21st, 2013
2:35 pm

please everyone don’t pay attention to Tide is rolling don’t even respond to his comments I bet he’s kin to the idiot who poisoned Auburns trees after his team lost

old dog

November 21st, 2013
3:22 pm

As I stated previously, any other QB who played behind our o-line would not have near Murray’s stats or wins. UGA is gonna have to see that we desperately need quality o-linemen and a fresh start top/botton on defense. Murray and the skill players are the only reason we have even won what we have. Better teams knew this, and Murray was hung out to dry by a sub-par line too many times. He never complained. The few mistakes he made, as we all do, often came after being battered by bad protection, etc. If he had played for ‘Bama with their o-line, he would have ten miles passing.

Spider29

November 21st, 2013
3:24 pm

As I read this, my thought was that maybe Coach Richt already has those jerseys secreted away in his office! I am not usually a big fan of all the different uniforms since I really like to see a team in its traditional garb. But I think this may be one of the times when the black jerseys or red britches or some different combo could be a good thing for the team. Whether the Bulldogs wear the traditional red jersey or something special, I am looking forward to the game. Go Dawgs and blow out Kentucky!

Glory Between the Hedges

November 21st, 2013
3:27 pm

Philip, the majority are tech fans posing as bama. With Bill Kings blog you can still put whatever user name you want to sign in with. I had not seen as many bama fans lately until this article showed up about black jerseys. It was tech trolls perfect opportunity to show up as bama fans to try to get under our skin. It really is sad, but It has become the norm on here.

old dawg 62

November 21st, 2013
3:31 pm

hey blackout, I loved my last 2 trips to Tuscaloosa, both UGA wins.

kauai dawg

November 21st, 2013
3:32 pm

They could use the black jerseys for Kentucky and Yech! Tech always wears white. Let seniors go out is style! Go DAWGS!

Malinda

November 21st, 2013
3:32 pm

See y’all in section 104!

Bill King

November 21st, 2013
3:56 pm

See you there, Malinda!

Cuz

November 21st, 2013
4:12 pm

Well I will be wearing black at home. I get off work at 7:00. Just in time for the game.

Thanks for the fun Arron. You are a DGD.

black W/L record over 4 long years

November 21st, 2013
4:12 pm

The seniors deserve loud adulation and applause. Why? well, they are seniors and the majority sadly, are walk on players. THEY WANTED to be Bulldogs.

Sadly, their record has 17 ugly losses so far. That is on average 4 losses per year.

With this w/l record, it could be one of the worst four year run in a very, very long time.

HAD UGA’s D been only average, they would have, could have, should have won at least 6,7 or 8 more games. U of Central Florida, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Colorado, Auburn 2013, Clemson, MIZZO, Vanderbilt, and a handful of other ugly loses, like SECG in 2012.

The Seniors do deserve some applause, as does QB AM. THE UGA D, deserves boos and the majority of the D staff fired.
UGA alumnus, class of 71&73

Bulldawg35

November 21st, 2013
4:12 pm

I-dog

The coaching staff doesn’t care about 5 star OL. We want struggle again next year…..will friend is terrible…we had better o-lines under Neil Calloway!

Paddy.......

November 21st, 2013
4:27 pm

I love the black jersey.