Much Ado About Nothing

The big complaint from folks on Aaron Murray is that he is unable to win the “big one”, often times choking in under the brightests of bright spotlights. 

Certainly, you can’t argue with the statistics.  As starting QB, Murray is 2-7 against ranked teams.  In many of those performances,  he has had costly turnovers that have been a backbreaker.

What I think gets lost in the “Aaron Murray can’t win a big game” is that he is one person.  In 2010 specifically, the team period wasn’t very good.

You can blame the defense as much as anyone that Georgia lost the 2010 Arkansas game.  Murray played lights out and with a lot of guts and heart against Auburn in 2010 and Georgia still lost (and it wasn’t anything Aaron Murray did or didn’t do). 

As much talk about Georgia’s easy schedule in 2012, the 2011 was pretty hard.  Sure the Dawgs lost 4 games, but 4 of those games were against teams in the top 15 and we started the season against two very good teams.   It is easy to point the blame to Murray for the South Carolina loss, as he did have a fumble that was recovered for a TD and a pick 6.  But he wasn’t playing special teams that allowed a fake punt by a defensive linemen to be converted to a TD.  And while he did have mistakes against Michigan State, he wasn’t playing defense when they allowed Michigan State to score a TD with under 2 minutes left, nor did he attempt to kick field goals in overtime. 

Also, last year the Tennessee game was a big game for Georgia.  While Tennessee wasn’t all that good, it was on the road at night on national TV.   He didn’t do anything spectacular that game (no TD, no INT) and hit 60% of his passes.  The Florida game last year was also another “big game” and Murray wasn’t particularly sharp but the Dawgs still won.  In fact, you could argue that every game was a big game after starting 0-2 and eventually making it to the SEC Champtionship game. 

I think the quarterback, like the head coach, gets too much praise in victory and too much blame in defeat.  That is way it goes, and I get that.

But Georgia fans, let’s stop the complaining about Murray and his lack of “big” wins.  Can we just admit to ourselves that we have a very good quarterback and enjoy it, rahter than constantly complaining about it?


25 Responses to “Much Ado About Nothing”

  1. 1 Tuxedodawg August 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Haters gunna hate, Corbindawg. The SEC championship game should have been a showcase game for him. You can only throw the ball into the chest of the receivers and them not catch it so many times.

  2. 2 Ubiquitous GA Alum August 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

    In those 9 games against ranked teams, Murrary was sacked 34 times. In the other 18, he was sacked only 22 times.

    Hard to win getting sacked 3.7 / game.

  3. 4 Walsh August 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Corbin, 2-7 record? Where did you get that, from the Seth Emerson article? Might want to check those Seth Emerson Murray friendly stats.

    Murray’s record as a leader at UGA is actually 0-9 vs. teams that finished top 25, not 2-7.

    Murray has led the team to 4 wins against 7 or 8 win teams.

    Murray has led the team to 12 wins against 6 wins or less teams.

    There’s only one way for Murray to stop the chatter, and that’s lead the team to a win against a team that finishes top 25.

    Murray has accomplished NOTHING as a TEAM LEADER OF NOTE. NO SIGNIFICANT WINS OVER teams that finished top 25 in TWO SEASON. He’s had 9 TRIES. NO WINS. NONE.

  4. 5 Walsh August 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Maybe he was sacked more because the defenses in the 4 games were better than the unranked teams Murray went against in the 10 wins.

  5. 6 Steve August 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I look at Murray’s record based on strength of schedule.

    a) Easy teams
    Against losing teams, 11-1

    b) Above average teams
    Against teams with winning records, 4-10

    c) Great teams
    Against teams that finish top 25, 0-9.

  6. 7 RS August 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Murray led wins break down by quality of opponent:

    Level 3 wins (teams with losing records)-
    Murray’s record is 12-1

    Level 2 wins (teams with winning records)-
    Murray’s record is 4-10

    Level 1 wins (teams that finish top 25 in AP Poll)-
    Murray’s record is 0-9.

  7. 8 RS August 20, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Murray’s sacks break down by level of opponents, not offensive line play.

    Poise issue perhaps?

  8. 9 RS August 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    The problem with Seth Emerson’s myth that Murray’s losses can be blamed on the offnsive line, is 5 of them got drafted by the NFL, even though UGA gave up an SEC worst 33 sacks, the NFL draft scouts blamed Murray and drafted 3 members of his o-line and 2 te’s, 5 out of 7 of Murray’s blockers got drafted by the NFL, there’s now way on earth you can even think about blaming the NFL quality o-line, the NFL Scouts/experts didn’t why should you or Seth Emerson?

  9. 10 Will August 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Seth Emerson failed to note, that if you want to reduce Murray’s sacks, just schedule teams with 6 or less wins. It’s more about that, than the
    “giving Murray more time”. Murray excels only against teams with 6 or less wins, his record against 7 & 8 win teams is below average (40% win %), his record against 9-13 win teams is unimaginebly poor (0% win %). Could it be Murray just tends to choke in big games? Until now, Murray has never brought his ‘A’ game against a top 20 team, 0-9.

    The Auburn game proved to be nothing but an Outlier, just like Garcia’s game against Alabama.

  10. 11 Ubiquitous GA Alum August 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Sacks Allowed: UGA Rank

    2007 – 12th (14 total)
    2008 – 23rd (16)
    2009 – 7th (12)
    2010 – 66th (25)
    2011 – 97th (33)

    So using the logic that all these are Murray’s fault, Joe Cox was a better QB than Aaron Murrary … who knew

    • 12 Corbindawg August 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      And that OL in 2007 was full of freshmen. Sturdivant was a starting LT as a true freshmen. i have run those numbers before.

  11. 13 fishook dawg August 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I guess Murray never held the ball too long in order to cause a single sack. I for one hope this is Murray’s last year.

  12. 15 Greg August 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Yeah, our schedule was “pretty hard” in 2011…when you factor in the 4 teams that beat us. Isn’t that the point of the discussion about Murray? Personally, I’m writing him off as anything more than a very average QB at UGA if we lose at Mizzou.

  13. 16 Bud August 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Murray’s sacks are odd, considering Bobo ran the same scheme with Stafford & Cox, and Stafford & Cox only got sacked 12-15x a year.

    Why did the sacks baloon to 25-33 under Murray? Bobo is still running the same blocking scheme.

    Answer? Murray has a false view of his abilities and his opponents and views himself as a “playmaker” when he’s not, his only shot is to view himself as a “game manager”, and to respect his opponents more by assuming they can sack him.

  14. 17 Bud August 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Mr. Emerson FALSELY asummes Murray’s trouble would improve if Murray had a better run game.

    Not so.

    If you look at the numbers, let’s say against ranked teams, as Emerson calls these the “big game”, rushing game improved, but Murray’s interceptions doubled.

    So, that theory was blown to bits.

  15. 18 EH August 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Did Seth Emerson mention Murray was named as the second most over-rated played in all of college football for 2012 by ESPN? Wow, how coud the ‘unbiased journalist’ miss that?

  16. 19 Bennie August 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    a) 5 of Murray’s 8 interceptions (60% of his int’s) were inside his own 40 yardline.
    b) td to interception ratio:
    ranked teams 5-3
    unranked 19-5
    winning teams 8-6
    losing teams 13-2
    wins 13-1
    losses 11-7

    In 2011:
    a) Murray threw a pick 6 interception in 3 out of 4 losses.
    b) 8 of his 14 interceptions (57% of his int’s) were inside his own 40 yardline.
    c) td to interception ratio:
    ranked teams 9-6
    unranked: 26-8
    winning teams 21-11
    losing teams 11-3
    wins 26-8
    losses 9-6

    Is Seth right–does murray play great in most big games?

  17. 20 Snake Plisskin August 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I’m just plain lazy, so can someone pull the rushing stats for the games that Murray lost by his poor play…thanks for the breakdown in the sacks, now if some could please do the breakdown for rushing attempts (2nd half stats would be nice), yards gained, avg, etc…

  18. 21 Dawg19 August 21, 2012 at 12:47 am

    So, hypothetically, if you face a team that’s ranked 19th in the last game of the season, beat that team, and then that team is subsequently voted out of the final Top 25 poll, that victory does not count as a win versus “Top25” teams.

    Wow…that’s brilliant.

    If a team was in the Top 25 when you beat them, then that counts as a victory over a Top 25 team…period. Just because a team doesn’t work it’s way back into the Top 25 doesn’t mean they suddenly suck.

    Plus…Murray is a junior. What the hell did some of you people want from a freshman and a sophomore?!? SEC championships?!? That rarely happens.

    Some of you come off like a 40-year-old woman who has never been married and is bitching that she “just can’t seem to find the right one”, when in reality, she has always had unrealistic expectations.

    We are damned lucky to have Murray…

  19. 22 CarolinaChris August 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Corbin’s right, Aaron Murray is a great QB, I hope Coach Richt continues to start Murray at QB for 2 more years.

  20. 23 Snake Plisskin August 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Had some time to find the page…2 td’s against 4 ranked teams…take a look at the running game against the 4 ranked teams…

    5 rushing td’s the last 8 games…3 of those were against New Mex St.

    10 rushing td’s in the first 6 games…4 of those came against Costal Carolina

    Do the math…dang Murray, he must have been taking too long to hand off the ball, or maybe he was tackling them in the backfield…Murray’s a bum… you detractors have convinced me…bring on Mason, or LeMay, or anybody

    Pretty informative site…take some time and review the data

  21. 24 WATTS August 21, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    The rush game went from 11th vs. ranked teams in 2010
    to 6th vs. ranked teams in 2011.

    Yet Murray’s interceptions went from 1 per game in 2010, to 1.5 per game in 2011.

    The better the rush game gets, the more interceptions Murray throws

    Aaron Murray threwe 50% more interceptions in 2011 than 2010 although the run game improived by 25% in rush yards vs. ranked teams.

    So much for blaming the rush game.

    Another theory knocked out.

  22. 25 WATTS August 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Aaron Murray’s record vs. teams that finished in the top 25 was the same, regardless of whether he had the most experienced offensive line in football, like in 2010, or the largest offensive line in college or pros like 2011. Murray went 0-5 in 2010, and 0-4 in 2011 against teams that finished top 25.

    the size or experience of the oline had no bearing on Murray’s wins.

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