Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Big Game" Aaron Murray

You can attempt to blame this game on Mike Bobo if you wish, but here's the cold, hard fact - when we absolutely could not afford a mistake, Aaron Murray fumbled the ball. In junk time, when we needed one yard for a first down, Aaron Murray threw a pick-six. All day long, Aaron Murray threw very bad deep balls. On a first quarter drive, Aaron Murray thew behind Malcolm Mitchell, and then threw high to Tavarres King, and we ended up with a field goal.

I'm not an advocate of sitting Aaron Murray, but I have been cautious about anointing him as an excellent quarterback. He is certainly good...but he has absolutely not proven that he is a go-to guy in Big Games.

Let's be real - Georgia, for all our excitement over the now-over 10-game win streak, has not faced any Big Games since the South Carolina matchup, until today. Sure, you can count the game against Kentucky, when we had to win to take the East - and Murray played poorly that day as well.

We had drops today, Mitchell should have scored a touchdown in the first.

We had bad luck (2-missed blocks in the back and a kid tossing the ball out of the endzone on the same punt return), the fumble, etc.

But, THE player who had to play absolutely lights-out today, absolutely did not.

He improved between his Freshman and Sophomore years, and hopefully will again. Still, the question remains...when it all comes down to the wire in a big game, will we be able to trust Aaron Murray? Will he become a "Big Game" Quarterback? I guess only time will tell. For now, he's a guy who won 10 games in a season, took an East title, and threw his way into the Record Books.

Is that enough?

Go Dawgs.


Andy Coleman said...

With all due respect Dukes, up 10-0 & 10-7, 4 straight possessions where we were stuffed on 1st and 2nd down, only to serve Murray's head on a platter on 3rd and long. After those 4 possessions, the shit hit the fan.

Dawg2FarSouth said...

You can't throw a good deep ball when you can't step up in the pocked because of the oline being so terrible!! Peyton Manning couldn't have won with this OL and the predictible play calling. He absolutely DID NOT overthrow King in the endzone!! That ball was right on the money. When your OL stinks and your receivers have to have it delivered on a silver platter...and even then they drop get bad play from your QB!

sUGArdaddy said...

You'd have a different tune if 12, 26 and 82 catch balls thrown right to them and we're up 21-0. Two would have been for TD's and one where Bennett ran the wrong route would have moved the chains again. Once LSU knew they could pin their ears back it made it hard for a short QB to sling it around on the #1 team in the nation. I guess Tyler Wilson should get some heat for his performance against LSU too. Oh, and the other 11 QBs who have been defeated by the Tigers.

Buzz Dawg said...

Obviously, you can't leave points out there against a team like LSU. That said, Dukes is right on the money. Murray's play, all year, has been inconsistent and erratic. People keep saying he's the best QB in the SEC. I'm not even sure he's the best QB on the team. We need to do 3 things. Resolve the RB situation (Crowell is not fit to wear the UGA uniform), open up the QB competition, and hire a special teams coach.

Mr. Sanchez said...

Mitchell got hit in the hands. King got hit in the hands. Both hands. They may not have been perfect throws, but when the ball hits the receiver in both hands, he needs to make that catch. Blaming Murray is a cop out. Who puts Murray in the position with playcalls? Who teaches Murray what to do, when to do it? You can bust the kid all you'd like, but the responsibility to get him ready and get him in a position to make plays, is his coach.

jtpruett said...

What I'm wondering is why we don't use Boo Malcom at RB more? He's showing us that he's a tough between the tackles runner, which we need in our offense. I'm impressed with him. Much better than running Carlton Thomas or Harton up the middle, don't you think?

Dr_Jones said...

Blaming Murray is ridiculous in my opinion. Both the throws to King and Mitchell should have been caught. If Murray had overthrown Mitchell when he was wide open, everyone would have been howling. Mitchell simply took his eyes off the ball. For the rest of the game, Bobo was putting Murray in obvious passing situations where LSU was able to all out blitz (not a recipe for success). Murray never should have had to run as far as he did in an attempt to convert the 3rd and 9 on which he fumbled. He wouldn't have had to extend so far if Bobo could have conjured up 5 yards on the previous 2 plays.

Dukes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Dukes said...

Sometimes I wonder whether people read this blog before babbling a comment.

I did not BLAME Aaron Murray for our loss. I said the kid didn't play a great game, and that he has yet to do so in a "Big Game" situation. This is fact.

Yes, Mitchell dropped a sure score. Throw could have been better, but that's splitting hairs. It hit him right in the hands. Oh, by the way...I MENTIONED THAT IN THE BLOG.

King dropped a pass...Throw coulda been better, but it still should have been caught.

Whose fault was the pick-six?

Whose fault was the deep-corner interception?

Whose fault was the fumble?

Murray was 16/40. Let's add those three drops to the tally...that would put him at 19/40. Is that big-game success? I don't think so.

Also, to do you know Bennett ran the wrong route? The ball hit him in the back...are you sure that was on Bennett? Do you live in that huddle and know the call? I don't.

As for the "who calls the plays" and "who gets Murray ready" crap, why don't you really examine those questions? If Murray was bad all season, if our offense did nothing, then YES, by all means, I'd say blame the coach. But, when it comes down to it, in Big Games, when we need our QB to come through, he doesn't.

That's not on the coach. It's on the kid. Like I said, he's gotten better...but he ain't great just yet. He'll have his chance next year to prove that he can get it done...there won't be any of that "weak schedule" talk with Alabama and Missouri joining the fray. He'll have plenty of weapons and at least two good runningbacks, possibly four.

Or, maybe he'll lose the starting job...only time will tell.

Tree said...

Man you may have played college football but you have no clue what your talking about on QB play. First the route pick was thrown was a go route and not a corner route, King was forced outside and was too close to the sidelines to give the outside shoulder throw a cahnce. King has got to push inside and give his QB a chance and room to throw. Second where Murray had great success was the double move. It was not used again after the first two drives. Why were the Dawgs not in the gun more in the second half? Short and quick were working well early. We were not going to run the ball straight at em. We came out in two TE and 2 WR look and spread em out. Never saw that again after the 1st quarter.

Bobo went away from what was working and then never came back to it. You can't blame Bobo for Murrays fumble but you can blame him for 3rd and 10 he was in. If its 3 and 6 he gets the 1st down and slides. Murray was trying to make play and he fumbled.

And the last INT. Who gives a crap. Gave was already over. That was just a stat padding situation and really irrelevant.

Bobo called a beautiful and I thought the best quarter of football hes called in his career at UGA. But why go away from what is working. It's like a pitcher going away from the fastball when no one can catch up to it. Makes no sense.

Ben Dukes said...

Tree -

Forgive me for the egregious error on the route by King. That fact notwithstanding, Murray has had a good bit of trouble hitting his receivers well on the deep ball. That one in particular looked far more like the "Kellen Moore Special." You know, put it in the air for an hour, and let your guy outrun the defense. Problem - you ain't often gonna just outrun LSU's defense.

As for Bobo going away from what was working - I'm sure that was his plan all along. Just move up and down the field in the first quarter, then completely change things just for the Hell of it. Probably had nothing to do with any changes by John Chavis.

One line in what you wrote sticks out, though..."Murray was just trying to make a play, and he fumbled."

Kinda like he was trying to make a play against South Carolina, and he fumbled.

Kinda like he was trying to make a play against UF in OT in '10, and he threw a pick.

The kid doesn't lack heart, and I'm not against him. You guys are acting like I'm out to roast Aaron Murray. I just ask this -

Show me the evidence that he's a "Big Game Quarterback" at this point in time.