UPDATED: MVP Aaron Murray leads Georgia to 45-31 win over Nebraska in Capital One Bowl

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aaron Murray would not say whether he had played his last game as a Georgia Bulldog – Alec Ogletree did, by the way – but whatever he decides he knows he’ll go into his next season off a win for a change.

Murray, a junior who is contemplating early entry into the NFL set a Georgia bowl record with five touchdown passes and threw for 427 yards overall to earn Capital One Bowl MVP honors and lead the No. 7 Bulldogs to a 45-31 come-from-behind victory over Nebraska Tuesday at Citrus Bowl Stadium. Murray was at the offensive controls as Georgia lost its previous two bowl games.

“It was an awesome game and I’m definitely very excited to get a win,” said Murray, who also set Georgia’s single-season passing record with 3,544 yards. “I don’t know what it feels like to go into an offseason with a win, so that in itself feels great. But it was great to get a win for these seniors and great to get 12 wins. As for the future, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m just enjoying the moment right now.”

Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said he’ll sit down with Murray to talk about his future on Monday. Meanwhile, Murray said he’d return home to Tampa to discuss his options with his parents. The underclassman deadline to declare for the draft is Jan. 15.

Ogletree, a junior linebacker who led the Bulldogs with 13 tackles on Tuesday, said after the game he is definitely going to make the jump to the pros. He and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, also a junior, both project as first-rounders. Jones did not announce a decision on Tuesday, however.

The 2012 Bulldogs (12-2) become just the third team in UGA history to win 12 games in one season. They the 1980 national champions (12-0) and the 2002 SEC champions (13-1). Georgia has won 22 games over the last two seasons.

“Well, it’s more fun to win than to lose,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’d lost the last two (bowl games) and we were getting kind of tired of that. We’ve worked so hard to get better from that 6-7 year (in 2010). We didn’t win the SEC Championship but we certainly performed a lot better . . . and we wanted to win this bowl to prove – maybe to ourselves – that we were one of the best teams in the country. So I’m just thankful for the victory.”

It didn’t come easy. The Bulldogs, who had jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead on an early safety and touchdown, found themselves trailing 31-23 late in the third quarter. But Georgia’s defense limited Nebraska (10-4) to only one second-half score and Murray rallied the Bulldog’ offense.

Murray led them on a 79-yard scoring drive to tie the game. After three straight Todd Gurley runs – the freshman paced the Bulldogs’ with 125 yards rushing and a touchdown — Murray hit Tavarres King on an 11-yard completion for a third-down conversion. Georgia was 12-of-17 on third down for the game.

On the next play, Murray connected with a diving Chris Conley on a 49-yard touchdown pass to bring the Bulldogs within two with 7:26 to go in the third quarter. Georgia elected to go for the two-point conversion and Murray made good on it with laser pass to Rhett McGowan over the middle that tied the game at 31-all.

The game-winning play came with Murray scrambling toward the right sideline early in the fourth quarter. He directed a tightly-covered Keith Marshall to change his route and head toward the end zone down the sideline. He hit Marshall with a nifty back-shoulder throw that resulted in a 24-yard touchdown and a 38-31 Georgia lead with 14:52 to play.

The outcome still hung in the balance, however. Georgia’s defense stopped the Cornhuskers near midfield and forced them to punt. Taking over at their own 15, the Bulldogs faced third-and-12 from their own 13 when Nebraska sent a full-house blitz. But Georgia had a perfect call played – a tunnel screen to Conley, and Murray had the presence to withstand the pressure, avoid a deflection, and hit Conley in stride as he streaked across the middle of the field. Conley ramled 87 yards untouched a touchdown and a two-score lead.

“That was a designed play,” said Conley, who finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on two catches. “Coach Bobo did a great job on the play-calling, recognizing the house blitz. Murray made that check at the line, made a great throw and all I had to do was catch and run.”

Murray wasn’t sharp early. He threw interceptions on two of Georgia’s first three possessions, including one that Nebraska linebacker Will Compton returned 24 yards for a touchdown. But he was extremely sharp when it mattered, completing 7-of-8 passes for two touchdowns as the Bulldogs’ turned a tie into a 14-point lead.

“It definitely was a tough start with a couple of picks early,” Murray said. “But they were early on and we knew there was a full game ahead of us and we were still in the game. It was great after that second pick to come out and have a nice (75-yard) touchdown to Tavarres.”

Murray’s 427 yards on 18-of-33 passing tied his career record as a Bulldog. The yards, the five touchdowns and the 87-yarder were all Georgia bowl records. He also set the school record for TDs in a season (36) and total offense (3,548 yards) and added to his record for career TD passes (now 95). He narrowly missed a sixth touchdown strike, which King couldn’t haul in in the end zone in the game’s final minutes.

Murray closes out his junior season with 3,893 yards on 249-of-388 passing and 36 TDs with 10 interceptions. After the game, Georgia fans chanted “one more year” to Murray as he accepted his MVP trophy in an on-field ceremony shortly after the game.

Murray wouldn’t say but did let it slip that he is “gonna miss the best fans in the country.”

Whether that’s now or a year from now will be determined later.

304 comments Add your comment

2013

January 1st, 2013
4:55 pm

Hutson Mason…Hutson Mason…Hutson Mason

SEC Historian

January 1st, 2013
4:56 pm

Glory Glory to Ole Georgia!

GB's Hamburgers

January 1st, 2013
4:58 pm

It’s a win but it was another schizophrenic effort. Murray is player of the game and yet most of his throws are not on target. His recievers seem to continually bail him out. The defense? If we have elite athletes then we have bad coaching. It’s about 1300 yards rushing given in in the last 4 games. But hey, I’m use to this.

Jon Koncak

January 1st, 2013
4:58 pm

Good thing for the Dawgs they didn’t have to play Michigan or Wisconsin.

Dave

January 1st, 2013
4:58 pm

I was really worried until late in the 4th. We still need to work on our run D, but our offense can still make up for a lot. It’s also clear that Gurley is twice the running back that Marshall is. Marshall is faster, but he gets brought down too easily. Murray rebounded from a rough start and passed for 427 yards. Great end to the year and I’m already dreading Saturdays without college football.

LDawg

January 1st, 2013
4:58 pm

UGA UGA UGA!!!!

Wow!

January 1st, 2013
4:59 pm

Cake and Ice Cream for the Dawgs and all their disciples!!

LDawg

January 1st, 2013
4:59 pm

Y’all be quiet – we won and covered the betting!!! That is all that matters!!!

HABDAWG

January 1st, 2013
5:00 pm

GB's Hamburgers

January 1st, 2013
5:01 pm

LDawg has it right. We won and covered, so it’s all good.

Observer

January 1st, 2013
5:01 pm

It took UGA 3 full quarters to figure out that all they had to do was throw deep balls. A nice win, but let’s not forget Wisconsin hung 70 points on them. I was not impressed, especially with this supposedly NFL-caliber defense.

HABDAWG

January 1st, 2013
5:01 pm

Ooooops!!!! I mean 9th…….

Wow the fkdup fans can rejoice

January 1st, 2013
5:02 pm

Enter your comments here

Columbia SC Dawg

January 1st, 2013
5:02 pm

@ Konkcak … your chickens barely won dude.

2013

January 1st, 2013
5:03 pm

betting my left nut that murray returns for his sr yr. UGA and Hutson Mason aren’t that lucky

Dave

January 1st, 2013
5:03 pm

Hutson Mason will have to wait his turn. He is OK, but he can’t carry Aaron Murray’s jockstrap. I would love it if Murray returned for his senior year.

felix the cat

January 1st, 2013
5:03 pm

Dawgs win in big fashion and the haters still come out. Happy New Year and Go Falcons!

Soft coach, soft schedule

January 1st, 2013
5:04 pm

Was that Tony Romo in #11 jersey?

ugafan39

January 1st, 2013
5:05 pm

Defense as usual lacked the ability to stop the run, luckily we forced some turnovers . Offense looked sparatic for most of the day, but considering our top 3 recievers were out it was a good performance. Now lets see who signs in feb and who decides to stick around for another year.. Go Dawgs !!

Observer

January 1st, 2013
5:05 pm

“Murray is player of the game and yet most of his throws are not on target. His recievers seem to continually bail him out.”

GB hit the nail on the head. AM threw pretty good deep balls, but if you take those away the rest of his performance was mediocre at best. I personally think he should head to the NFL. He’s surprisingly tough for his size and has gotten lit up enough times thanks to poor OL play. Don’t risk a serious injury next year.

Sailor dawg

January 1st, 2013
5:05 pm

Good win dawgs. With the talent we have on the team and most importantly the high school talent in this state it’s no reason we not a top 5 team and challenging for a NC year after year. No team in the SEC should have a better recruiting pipeline then us. Richt gotta step it up and keep them boys highly motivated.

bc_cadet

January 1st, 2013
5:05 pm

Hey Jon Koncak, The Big 10 is week! UGA played horrible and still handled the corn-heads. Wisconsin is unranked in the Rose Bowl???? funny and sad

Spoiler Alert

January 1st, 2013
5:06 pm

Does anyone know why Marshall was in there more than Gurley at the beginning of the game?

Wow the fkdup fans can rejoice

January 1st, 2013
5:07 pm

Wow, Wow, Bow Wow, Bend Over Love It Now!

HABDAWG

January 1st, 2013
5:07 pm

We won’t have to worry about this defence anymore because most of them will be gone. I wish them all the best but also look forward to next year because we can not be any worse on D than we were this year. As a matter of fact I do not see how we can help but get better because i believe that our D underachieved all year long. Our offense on the other hand should be a huge strength.

Can’t wait 2013 dawgs will roll………

2013

January 1st, 2013
5:08 pm

dave, you’re ignorant. you wouldn’t know a qb even if he was dating your daughter.

Woof!!!

January 1st, 2013
5:08 pm

I truly believe the Dawgs are on the verge of kicking down the door of a National Championship.

Nail down 5 more key recruits and we are on our way:

Montravius Adams
Laremy Tunsil
Alvin Kamara
Toby Johnson
Ruben Foster

The Other Lake Dog

January 1st, 2013
5:08 pm

Can’t believe the Murray haters. He’s far better than Stafford was in his time at Georgia. Even better than David Greene.

One Nut Willy

January 1st, 2013
5:08 pm

I bet my left nut once. Didn’t turn out like I thought it would.

Alphare

January 1st, 2013
5:09 pm

Wisconsin logged 70+ on Nebraska, while UGA did 45.

Interesting.

LEEM

January 1st, 2013
5:09 pm

you are an idiot 2013

Ole Dawg

January 1st, 2013
5:09 pm

Never understand why some people can’t enjoy the win without ….saying how terrible we played…This was a very good Neb…team…they won 10 games…Georgia outplayed them…we won…and I thought look good doing so….Our three leading pass catchers didn’t play…that means our back up guys are good and ready to carry the nation on to next year….I think we all would like to see a little less yards given up….but man we won…did what we had to….ENJOY IT!!

Bobby Bowden

January 1st, 2013
5:09 pm

@Soft coach, soft schedule Not he played yesterday in El Pisso.

Texas Dawg

January 1st, 2013
5:10 pm

Glad we won!

Please someone explain to me with so many (PRO) players on our defense how we can look so so bad on Defence!

I just don’t get it???

LEEM

January 1st, 2013
5:10 pm

agree lake dog

John Dewberry's DUI

January 1st, 2013
5:11 pm

@Jon Koncak Michigay didn’t look so hot today either

Shane

January 1st, 2013
5:12 pm

Saying Wisconsin put 70 on them is a ridiculous comment. Example UGA-FLA …..USC-FLA….every game is different. Good game Dawgs. I do agree ,I don’t think Murray can help his NfL stock by staying.

Spoiler Alert

January 1st, 2013
5:12 pm

@The Other Lake Dog–It really is sad how stupid our fanbase is sometimes. I’ve heard countless fans of other programs say “Man…if we only had Aaron Murray” and yet we have clowns using phrases like “proven” and “winner” when describing the backup.

I hope Hutson Mason makes us all forget about AM, but I’m smart enough to know that is highly unlikely. Folks, DJ Shockley was the number 2 overall QB. Be careful what you wish for…

GTDog

January 1st, 2013
5:13 pm

Uh Mr, Koncak,,,,you DO realize that Nebraska beat both Wisonsin and Michigan this year don’t you?

2013

January 1st, 2013
5:14 pm

LeeM,

stop! stop! stop, yelling at me! you a jerk!

Jon Koncak

January 1st, 2013
5:15 pm

Just remember, Spurrier is your daddy.

LEEM

January 1st, 2013
5:17 pm

didn’t realize I was yelling moron

goFalcons

January 1st, 2013
5:17 pm

The Defense looked great in the 2nd half.

BobDog

January 1st, 2013
5:18 pm

Nice recovery by Murray and the Dogs. I decided to quit worrying about losing so many players from our defense next year because this group underperformed this year anyway. When they couldn’t tackle Alabama’s running backs, I gave credit to the running backs. But, then, when they couldn’t tackle Nebraska’s running backs today, I got concerned.

We’ll have lots of youth on defense next year, but lots of talent. And we should have the best offensive line we have had in quite a while.

GT Fan

January 1st, 2013
5:18 pm

Congrats on win!! I’ll always pull for Dogs except the last weekend in November!

Spoiler Alert

January 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

@Joh Koncak How many SEC Championships has USCJr ever won?

Hint: you can multiple the number you guess (any number) by the correct answer and still be right…

td

January 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

After the catch from Marshall today. Bobo might want to think of how to design some more plays for him as a receiver.

2013

January 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

there’s a lot you haven’t realized…..

LEEM

January 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

Stanford’s gonna kill Wis

PaulPaul

January 1st, 2013
5:20 pm

Good win. Had to be hard to play this one and not be in the NC game. Hats off to these kids for getting themselves up for this one. Hard to lose all the good receivers we lost and still score all those touchdowns through the air. Conley may be the best of the lot. My next door neighbor coach told me he would be one of our best. If Murray comes back our offense may be the best in the nation next year.
I am going out on a limb but I think the defense will be just as good next season. More overall quickness.