If anyone out there thinks that Aaron Murray is not an elite SEC QB, then you shouldn’t take them seriously. Aaron Murray has done more in two years at Georgia with less talent than his predecessor, Matthew Stafford. Murray is on pace to absolutely shatter every single UGA record. David Greene is the career leader at UGA for passing yards, and also holds the all-time SEC passing yardage record, with 11,528 yards. Murray, halfway through his career, already has 6,198. So if he is able to avoid injury, there is a very good chance that Aaron Murray will leave the University of Georgia as both UGA and the SEC’s all-time passing leader.
(On a side note, if this takes place, think about it for just a second. The top two passing yardage leaders in SEC history will come from the school where Herschel Walker and Vince Dooley once roamed. A true sign of Armageddon!)
If there is one distinction that Aaron Murray wishes he didn’t have, it would be his alarmingly high number of turnovers in the 2011 season. In 2010, Murray was praised for protecting the football. Yet a year later Murray, has supplanted Stephen Garcia with the dubious honor for having the most INTs in the SEC and has put out Cox like numbers in this area. And that doesn’t include his fumbles. I am not sure how many fumbles Aaron has had this season, but I can think of 3 or 4 very costly ones in the South Carolina, LSU and Michigan State losses.
Some attribute this to a lack of ability. Some attribute it to a lack of coaching. Some attribute this to a lack of being able to win a big game against a big opponent. I attribute it to something else.
I touched on this after the Mississippi State game, but it still holds true. Aaron Murray has been the victim of a bad offensive line and inconsistent running game, and that is why his turnovers have increased so drastically from 2010 to 2011.
I couldn’t find individual numbers for just Murray, but since Murray has taken a majority of snaps, let’s assume this is for mostly him. UGA has given up 32 sacks this season-11th in the SEC and only ahead of Kentucky. 32 is a lot of sacks. Consider for a moment, that from 2007-2009, UGA gave up a total of 42 sacks in those three years combined.
Do you really want me to hash out the inconsistent running game? I think we all know about that without re-hashing it all again.
For those naysayers who think that Murray should still improve, that a bad pass protection and an inconsistent running game should be no excuse; for the naysayers who say that this is his 3rd year in the system and he should be showing more progress; for the naysayers that believe Richt and Bobo aren’t doing a good job coaching their QB; for all the naysayers who think that because of his mistakes, Murray can never win the big one, then I have something for you.
In 2003, David Green was coming off an SEC Championship season, and his 45th year in the program. David Greene is one of the best QBs in not only the history of the SEC, but of the NCAA. He may not have been the most talented, but he was the quintessential “field general.”
Georgia had a pretty good season in 2003, my freshman year, and team went to the SEC Championship game for a 2nd consecutive year. But individually, Greene had a fairly mediocre season. Why? Well, there were a lot of players that had to be replaced on the offensive line and the running game was inconsistent, at best. You think it was bad in 2011? In 2003, UGA had Michael Cooper, Tyson Browning and Tony Milton. Kregg Lumpkin came on towards the end of the season, but for the most part, the UGA offense revolved around Greene.
In 2003, UGA gave up a staggering 47 sacks and only had 3.4 yards per carry.
See the charts below for more details (WordPress doesn’t do charts so well…sorry for the tight reading. An easier to read PDF is here: Greene-Murray Chart):
||Yards Per Attempt
||INT per Attempt
||TD % Difference from Previous Year
||INT % Increase from Previous Year
||UGA Sacks Given Up
So ask yourself: did David Greene just all of a sudden decide he was going to be mediocre for a season, or did it have anything to do with bad pass protection and bad running game? Did Richt and Bobo decide to stop coaching him up for this one season?
I am not trying to say Aaron Murray is as good as or better than David Greene. Clearly Greene had all the intangibles to make him an all-timer. In fact, I am putting Greene up on a pedestal even more. If DAVID GREENE, one of the best QBs in NCAA history, a QB that is revered and renowned for his good decision making, can have a season where he turns the ball over more than usual because of the pressure, why is it unreasonable to think the same thing of Murray?
No excuses being made here, folks. But when you are sitting around talking football with your friends and the smart ass in the group is complaining about Aaron Murray, you have something to share.