September 29, 2013

Victory sweet for Murray

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For all the criticism Aaron Murray heard the first three years of his career for coming up short against top-10 ranked team, he's only hearing crickets after Saturday's 44-41 win over sixth-ranked LSU.

The victory over the Tigers marked the first time in school history that the Bulldogs have posted two wins over top-10 teams in the same season at Sanford Stadium, a victory that extended Georgia's home-winning streak to 15, the best current streak in the SEC.

He did it in grand fashion.

With Georgia trailing by 41-37 with 4:14 to play, Murray calmly led the Bulldogs on a six-play, 75-yard drive, culminating with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley with just 1:47 remaining on the clock.

"Murray was cool, man. He told us to just focus. He brought us through," Scott-Wesley said. "We made some plays for him, the line blocked well. We have some great guys on this offense."

If Georgia (3-1, 2-0) continues to enjoy success in 2013, no doubt Bulldog fans will remember the drive for some time to come.

Not once did Murray have to convert a third down as he completed three straight passes to help move the football to the LSU 43 until J.J. Green broke off an 18-yard run to the 25 setting up his game-winning touchdown throw.

"It was the prefect coverage for that play," said Murray,who completed 20-of-34 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns while accounting for another on a 1-yard run. "It was Cover-2. Two years ago we hit Marlon Brown against Vanderbilt for two long plays, and this was on the same one."

Scott-Wesley, who was a good 15-yards from the nearest defender, said it was also the same play the Bulldogs used to burn South Carolina for his 85-yard score three weeks ago.

"It was basically the same play concept, against the same coverage," Scott-Wesley said. "I was wide open again and Murray made the throw."

Head coach Mark Richt was obviously impressed, but never thought Georgia's past failures against top-10 teams were Murray's burden to bear alone.

"Aaron certainly deserves a lot of credit, he's a very good player and a great kid. I'm certain he came back to he could play in games like this and hopefully win," Richt said. "He certainly played great in the South Carolina game, and played great in the Clemson game, we just didn't win it. He played beautiful, he played clutch. We all know the quarterback has to play well to win games like this, and Aaron played very well. I'm not trying to demean anything because it was a gutsy performance, but it's team game so I'll keep my comment to that."

Barring something unforeseen, Murray will etch his name into the SEC's all-time record book next Saturday at Tennessee.

Murray needs just needs 100 more yards to surpass former Bulldog David Greene to become the school and SEC all-time leading passer.

His 11,659 yards also ranked as the second-most total yards in conference history.

For the year, Murray has completed 79-of-116 passes for 1,338 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions in his four games played.

But it was his final drive against the Tigers that had everybody - including his teammates - talking.

"I think it speaks volumes," said wide receiver Chris Conley, who led all Bulldogs receivers with five catches for 112 yards. "It shows that he can play in tough situations, that he can make all the throws and he's a true leader. He told everybody, hey, we need to score and he led us down there to do it."

Tight end Arthur Lynch said he's just enjoying the ride.

"He continues to re-write the record book, his legacy," Lynch said. "If we keep winning it's going to shine the light even better on him as a player."

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