clear
Wednesday May 6th, 2015 6:46PM

Murray keeps No. 6 Georgia's offense moving

By The Associated Press
ATHENS -- There was a sense of confident calm around Georgia's offense on Tuesday even as the Bulldogs prepared for the possibility of being without star running back Todd Gurley at Tennessee on Saturday.

Quarterback Aaron Murray is the main reason the offense hasn't missed a beat.

Murray kept the offense moving after the No. 6 Bulldogs lost top receiver Malcolm Mitchell for the season in their opening game. He then threw four touchdown passes to lead Georgia to a 44-41 win over LSU last week after Gurley left with a sprained left ankle in the first half.

Georgia (3-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) has averaged 41.2 points per game against a tough early schedule that included three top 10 teams. The highlight was last week's win over then-No. 6 LSU. Murray threw a go-ahead, 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining.

"I thought Aaron played good during the game," coach Mark Richt said Tuesday. "When the game was over I thought he had played good. Then I watched the film and I thought he played great."

Richt said Murray "was on top of everything - all the checks, all the protections."

Murray, who ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, should pass former Georgia star David Greene SEC record of 11,528 yards passing this week. Murray is only yards away from matching Greene's total from 2001-04.

Murray is also on the verge of breaking Florida standout Danny Wuerffel's SEC mark of 114 career touchdown passes. Murray has 106 TD passes.

"It's crazy to think about," Murray said. "I've never been a guy who's worried about stats. It's all about winning, winning, winning, but it's definitely an honor to be alongside some of those guys like Greene and Wuerffel, guys who did some unbelievable things."

Murray's senior leadership has been especially important after Mitchell was lost with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Clemson. Now Gurley's status is in doubt for the game at Tennessee.

Gurley ranks third in the SEC with his average of 112.5 yards rushing. Murray said losing Gurley would hurt but added Georgia will be ready to move on with Keith Marshall and freshmen J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas at tailback.

"It's the next guy up," Murray said. "We do a great job every week of getting everyone prepared because you never know the situation, you never know who is going to go down and we're very confident in everyone on offense at every position."

No position inspires more confidence than Murray at quarterback.

"I think he has stepped up his game, even more so than in the past," said tight end Arthur Lynch. "It's not just about who we've played but about his decision making, his ability to make the big play when we need it most, and third down throws that are pretty vital.

"I think that's all something that comes with maturity and hard work and preparation, and those are three things that have always been in his corner."

Tennessee coach Butch Jones said Murray has a future in the NFL.

Murray "is as good as any quarterback in the country," Jones said. "He is a Sunday quarterback. He can make all the throws.

"The great quarterbacks have the ability to defeat tight coverage and throw it in there. Murray can defeat tight coverage. That's what makes him a special player. He's poised and he's in control."

Murray threw a combined eight TD passes with one interception in wins over top 10 teams South Carolina and LSU. He threw for 323 yards with one interception and ran for a touchdown in Georgia's 38-35 loss to Clemson.

Lynch, who pointed out Murray also has started in back-to-back wins over Florida, said Murray's old label as a quarterback who couldn't win the big game "is out the window."

Gurley did not practice on Tuesday and may be held out again on Wednesday.

"When we say day to day, that's the best way to describe it because we just don't know how fast it will heal or how fast the swelling will go down," Richt said. "He was supposed to be on crutches, but I looked out the window and watched him walking with his crutches over his shoulder, so I don't know if that's a telltale sign, but hopefully it won't be too long."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 1 year ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 1 year ago )
College Sports
RailRaiders snap G-Braves win streak
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, on the strength of a four-run bottom of the fourth inning, beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-3 Wednesday afternoon in the second of a three-game series at PNC Field.
By AccessWDUN staff
3:54PM ( 2 hours ago )
Girls soccer: Lady War Eagles make history, storm into first ever quarterfinals
Mark Dunn keeps watching his retirement drift further and further away. And the Chestatee girls soccer coach is just fine with that...
2:07PM ( 4 hours ago )
Girls soccer: Lady Wolves roll into 3rd round; St. Pius up next (VIDEO)
Buford girls soccer coach Crystal Fowler wanted to see some variety from her offense Tuesday in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs...
12:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
Baseball: Area teams head to 2nd round with momentum
Area teams caught some big breaks, others made their own, and one, Jackson County, made history in the first round of the state baseball playoffs...
12:31PM ( 6 hours ago )
David McCoy sweeps Late Models at Toccoa Raceway
David McCoy doubled up on Saturday night, as he made two trips to victory lane at Toccoa Speedway in Toccoa, Ga. for winning both the Limited Late Model and FASTRAK Pro Late Model features.
12:00PM ( 6 hours ago )