clear
Friday May 22nd, 2015 3:10PM

Another cruel blow: Murray lost to ACL tear

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
ATHENS -- Coach Mark Richt says the play that ended quarterback Aaron Murray's season wasn't the senior's final snap when he was flung to the ground by Kentucky defensive end Za'Darius Smith.

Richt said Sunday Murray heard a pop in his left knee when he made a cut on his 28-yard run on Georgia's earlier possession in the second quarter on Saturday night. Murray was limping at the end of that series, which ended with his touchdown pass to tight end Arthur Lynch. But he remained in the game for one more possession.

Georgia said that tests Saturday night and another exam Sunday confirmed Murray tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee and will have season-ending surgery this week. Hutson Mason will make his first career start when Georgia plays at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

"He felt something pop whenever it happened on the run," Richt said. "He didn't know for sure what it was. We've had other guys feel or hear something pop and then they're fine. He was feeling good enough to put him back in there."

Richt said it was a non-contact injury.

"He cut back across the grain," Richt said. "He could have just run straight out of bounds. He decided to make a right-hand turn. When he was changing direction, that's when it happened."

Murray remained on the field to complete the touchdown drive, but appeared upset as he walked to the sideline.

Murray had to convince Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo he could remain in the game following the touchdown pass to Lynch, Murray's fourth TD pass of the 59-17 win over Kentucky.

"We were going to get him out," Richt said. "You could tell something was going on. He just refused. I think he kind of knew. He knew something happened but didn't know what."

Richt said he approached Murray on the sideline to tell him he was being pulled from the game. "I said `You're out, dude,'" Richt said. "He said `No, no way.' I said `You better talk to (Bobo) and convince him you're all right.'"

Murray pedaled on an exercise bike behind the bench and then ran on the sideline to convince Bobo he could stay in the game.

Murray played only one more series. He left the game after he was hit by Smith on his only interception with 2:17 remaining in the half.

Richt said there was no further damage to Murray's knee by playing the additional series.

Murray couldn't put weight on his left leg and was supported by trainers as he was taken to the locker room. It proved to be the end of his college career on the night seniors were honored during Georgia's final home game of the season.

"There was something wrong and he knew it and couldn't hide it anymore," Richt said. "He was trying to hide it, I think. But he knew it happened earlier on."

Despite Georgia's big win, Richt called Murray's injury "just sickening" after the game and said he "really had a hard time enjoying the rest of the game."

On Sunday, Richt said he felt "a little better" after trading texts with Murray. Richt said Murray quickly moved past his initial disappointment.

"He's not going to mope around and cry," Richt said, adding Murray already is preparing for his rehabilitation. "He's already kind of getting geared up for that challenge," Richt said.

Murray started all 52 games of his four years and became the Southeastern Conference's career leader in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions and total offense. The senior is the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in four seasons.

Murray completed 18 of 23 passes for 183 yards with four touchdowns against Kentucky.

Murray thanked Georgia fans for their concern and support in a message on his Twitter account Sunday.

"Thank you for all the prayers over the past few hours. Gonna come back stronger than ever! Dawg for life. Truly love you all (hash)GoDawgs," Murray said.

In another tweet, Murray said, "Truly am blessed to have been your QB for 4 years!"

Georgia director of sports medicine Ron Courson said a full recovery is expected for Murray, who bypassed early entry in the NFL draft to return for his senior year.

Richt said he was confident Murray will be selected in the next NFL draft because there is such a long record of successful recoveries from ACL injuries.

It has been a disappointing season for Murray's Bulldogs (7-4, 5-3 SEC), who have lost several top players to season-ending knee injuries, including running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. Running back Todd Gurley also missed three games and receiver Michael Bennett missed two with injuries.
© 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
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
VIDEO: Gainesville baseball rides chemistry, momentum into championship series
For years, the Gainesville baseball team gazed at the outfield wall at Ivey-Watson Field -- adorned with seven state championship banners -- and wondered when the next might come.
5:01PM ( 1 hour from now )
Buford-Whitewater: Who has the experience in epic AAAA title showdown?
If experience is king in the playoffs, then is perhaps Buford, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA and considered by many to be the class of the entire state -- and ranked in the top 10 nationally -- the underdog in Saturday’s championship series against Whitewater?
1:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
No. 6 Nighthawks no-hit by Foley, drop opening round NCAA Championship contest
University of Indianapolis junior ace Morgan Foley etched her name in the NCAA Championship record book, joining a select few in throwing a no-hitter in the NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
By UNG Athletic Communications
10:41AM ( 4 hours ago )
Briscoe to substitute for Hinchcliffe in Indianapolis 500
Ryan Briscoe didn’t think twice about accepting the short-notice request from Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Sam Schmidt to drive in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
By IndyCar Media
10:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
NASCAR Notebook: Hamlin hopes to sweep Charlotte
Denny Hamlin had one million reasons to smile Saturday.
By NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 7 hours ago )