Sept. 26, 2012
ATHENS -- For nearly two quarters in Georgia's 48-3 win against Vanderbilt, junior quarterback Aaron Murray was perfect.
Murray connected on his first 12 passes Saturday, a feat that is the third most consecutive completions to start a game in Georgia history. The record is jointly held by Eric Zeier and Quincy Carter, who completed 15 consecutively in 1993 and 1998, respectively. After defeating the Commodores, Murray paid tribute to the five men lining up in front of him.
"The line's doing a great job; it starts with those guys," Murray said. "They're doing a great job of pass protection and run blocking. Also the receivers are just making huge plays after the catch. We're not perfect, we're pretty darn close, but we've just got to keep working and can't be satisfied with where we're at right now."
Even in a performance that Murray deemed close to perfection, he still found room for criticism...as did offensive line coach Will Friend.
Friend asked Murray in the locker room what the "1" on the stat sheet was. The answer: Murray was sacked once. By his own admission, however, Murray said he turned the wrong way. Since the sack was his fault and not the line's, Murray once again bought the lineman ice cream on Sunday night.
Saturday also featured significant contributions from receivers Tavarres King and Marlon Brown, as well as both true freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Murray said that with the Bulldogs' current plethora of offensive options, his job becomes significantly easier.
"It's tough for defenses to really game plan who we're going to," he said. "One week it might be Tavarres, the next week it'll be (Michael) Bennett, Marlon or the running backs or tight ends. Every week there's a new guy stepping up just doing their thing."
The Tampa, Fla., native was also quick to praise the other areas of the team as well, saying that he thought Saturday was the first time the Bulldogs played well on special teams, defense and offense.
The current offense, which is the first in Georgia history to score 40 or more points in four consecutive games, is an enjoyable one to be at the center of according to Murray.
"It's great. It's a lot of fun to be putting points on the board. We want to keep doing it," he said. "We've just got to keep working hard, stay hungry and if we do that we can do it every week I think."
Having broken a tie with Zeier for second on the Bulldogs' all-time passing touchdowns list, Murray is now only three shy of the all-time school record currently held by David Greene. Now in his third year as a starter, Murray attributed his success to finding the consistency that had, occasionally in the past, been missing from his game.
"I think this is the most consistent I've played," Murray said. "My goal is to be consistent, just taking each play individually and not focusing on the whole game. Again, I've got to give a lot of credit to my offensive line and the weapons I have around me are making it a lot easier for me."
Senior receiver King has also noticed an improvement in Murray's consistency, while also being one of the prime beneficiaries of it. King caught one touchdown pass against the Commodores to move his season total to three.
"Every pass I caught today hit me right between the numbers," King said. "It's kind of crazy how great he's played thus far, and it's just a great effort by him."
Despite the success experienced by himself and the Bulldogs so far this season, Murray said there are still a lot of challenges to overcome, beginning with this Saturday's Southeastern Conference Eastern Division clash with Tennessee.
"I feel like we're on the right path. It's only four games. We still have a long season to go," Murray said. "We have a whole SEC stretch ahead of us now. I give a lot of credit to the way we've been practicing. The coaches have been pushing us Monday through Friday to really work hard in practice. When you work hard, put in the extra time, good things will happen."