Throughout this entire past week, the questions hovered around Georgia senior QB Aaron Murray and his ability to perform in clutch situations. He finished last season falling about as short as you possibly can in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama. Last week, he fell short in primetime to the Clemson Tigers in last Saturday’s opener.
This week, the task was just as difficult. Murray and his Bulldogs had to face the South Carolina Gamecocks, a team that Murray has never beaten in his storied career in Athens. Impossible, right?
Murray begged to differ on Saturday, and he showed it in a way that validated his preseason SEC First-Team selection at QB by leading the charge in a 41-30 win over South Carolina.
The Georgia senior signal caller redeemed himself on Saturday by going a masterful 17-of-23 for 309 yards, four touchdowns with no interceptions. He was locked in from start to finish, and played with a tenacity at quarterback that showed he wouldn’t be denied this one. People have been craving to see that fire from Murray and, on Saturday, they finally did.
As great as Murray was though, the running game provided him some tremendous help, while also displaying the depth needed at the position needed to contend for an SEC title.
Stud Todd Gurley finished the game with 127 yards on 28 carries with one score. Gurley showed that he’s easily a legitimate Heisman contender as well as the best back in the nation by far, at least in this author’s opinion. Also, running backs Quayvon Hicks, Keith Marshall and Brendan Douglas hit double-digits in rushing yardage.
This was the Bulldogs team that we were looking to see last week in Death Valley, and they may be hitting their stride as we go into Week 3 of the season next week.
On the flip side, South Carolina wasn’t exactly a slouch on the field neither. They were just as impressive in defeat.
QB Connor Shaw showed that he’s also one of the better offensive leading men in the nation as well. Shaw finished the game with 228 yards on 16-of-25 passing with two touchdown strikes. The gritty Gamecocks QB did all he could to keep his team in this game.
The biggest coming out party for South Carolina, however, was by running back Mike Davis. Coming into the season, Davis had big shoes to fill with the departure of Marcus Lattimore, and he showed today that he’s more than capable of pulling that off. Davis went for 149 yards on 16 carries with a TD against that vaunted Georgia defense.
Nonetheless, when it was all said and done, Aaron Murray was able to walk off the field with the monkey lifted off his back and a smile on his face. Now he and his Georgia teammates can continue the charge to that SEC Championship that they narrowly missed out on last season.