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It’S Past Time For Aaron Murray To Settle Himself Down


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Way past time, Bill...

It’s past time for Aaron Murray to settle himself down

10:01 pm September 2, 2012, by Bill King

A few more thoughts and observations following Georgia’s home opener …

While he granted that Aaron Murray plays with “a lot of emotion” and “probably was really pumped up,” Mark Richt was about as pointed in his criticism of his veteran quarterback’s efforts early in the game as you’ll ever hear from Georgia’s head coach.

Speaking of Murray overthrowing wide-open receivers headed toward the end zone, Richt said: “Murray, he’s a veteran, and we get a wide open post for a touchdown, we’ve got to hit it. The guy’s wide open and you’ve got protection, it’s your job to put the ball on the money.”

Yes, Murray is still having to deal with an offensive line he can’t completely trust and young backs who sometimes whiff on blocks (with Murray getting sacked three times by the Bulls), but that’s pretty much been the case his entire career at UGA. And he looked much better in the second half, but in his third year he shouldn’t still be getting off to these rocky starts because he’s too pumped up.

At this point, the biggest obstacle to No. 11 living up to his full potential is Aaron Murray himself. …

While, as we discussed Saturday, Georgia’s defensive front definitely underperformed against Buffalo in a generally uneven outing by the Bulldogs, I was very encouraged by how the wide receivers looked. True, Buffalo wasn’t the toughest team to get open on, but Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Michael Bennett and Chris Conley all looked really good. Particularly impressive was the way Wooten extended himself to make the catch on that long touchdown pass. He also threw a nice pass that should have been a touchdown, only to be droppd by Keith Marshall. And King still managed six catches for 117 yards despite Murray playing keep-away with the ball on several would-be long completions in the first half. Conley also made a nice, reaching catch on one play and, of course, blocked a punt on special teams. All in all, Malcolm Mitchell was missed less on offense than on defense. …

Should Todd Gurley’s breakout performance earn him the starting nod against Mizzou? That’s a tough one. While his running and returning were brilliant, he looked like a typical true freshman in pass protection, as did fellow frosh Marshall, missing some blocks entirely. Much more effective in that regard were the veterans, Ken Malcome and Richard Samuel. If Malcome’s hand injury prevents him from maintaining his position on the depth chart this coming week, you’ve got to wonder if Samuel might not get the starter’s call while Gurley and Marshall still get their share of the carries. …

Back to the offensive line, which had a middling day against Buffalo, necessitating the tight ends spend most of the day staying in to block: Here’s hoping that John Theus is able to wrap up that injured ankle and tough it out, like Richt suggested, because even hobbled he’s probably still Georgia’s best bet at right tackle. …

Damian Swann mostly called for fair catches receiving punts, but he did have one really nice return. While Mitchell is likely to re-enter that conversation once he’s off the crutches, I think Swann shows potential as a returner. …

Last year, Georgia didn’t let a fullback carry the ball until the Georgia Tech game. Former walk-on Merritt Hall not only got the starting nod in Saturday’s game, but he got to run the ball, too, and picked up a first down. Well done! …

It was great to see Olympics gold medal winner Allison Schmitt on the field helping finish off the Game Ball Relay, along with Vince Dooley, Chance Veazey and Charley Trippi. I’m sure some sort of on-field recognition is planned later this season for UGA’s Olympians, and I’m looking forward to getting on my feet and yelling once again for Schmitt and her fellow U.S. team members. …

Also from the pregame, I liked the Redcoats’ new way of running onto the field like the football team does, and I’m glad they tweaked the previously problematic Georgia-Bulldogs cheer (mainly by not having the band play between the cheers by the two sides of the stadium). But the initial effort to have the crowd sing “Hail to Georgia” was pretty much a flop. Most folks don’t have a clue what the lyrics are, and while they were helpfully provided on the video screen, the crowd seemed unsure when in the song they were supposed to start singing. That one might need some tweaking as well. …

Lastly, the folks in Section 104 missed Malinda Erwin, who couldn’t make it to Saturday’s game because she’s still recovering from surgery. We look forward to you rejoining us for Florida Atlantic, Malinda!

Feel free to chime in if you spotted anything else in Saturday’s game that you want to discuss.

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I can handle him air mailing a couple in the first game. My biggest worry with him coming into the season was how he was going to do with his mechanics when he got rushed. From that point it's a night and day difference in how he controlled himself, set his feet, and delivered a perfectly throw ball. I'll take the overthrows vs. the bad turnovers.

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I can handle him air mailing a couple in the first game. My biggest worry with him coming into the season was how he was going to do with his mechanics when he got rushed. From that point it's a night and day difference in how he controlled himself, set his feet, and delivered a perfectly throw ball. I'll take the overthrows vs. the bad turnovers.

Granted it is the first game, but the only time and SEC QB should miss a wide open receiver on a throw like that should be freshman year. CMR called it right when he called him out about being a veteran QB who should hit those passes imo.

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I like that Aaron is a demonstrative player, but I don't like that it consistently effects how accurate he is throwing the football.

Even more than the defense, I was underwhelmed by Aaron's performance. To be sure, I'm a casual observer with almost no actual football experience so I'm one of those guys that generally misses when Aaron makes a good play that doesn't look good. But all of you also know that I am one of his most avid fans. I defend him a lot. He's handled himself very well in tough circumstances and has been tough as nails for us these past few years.

But after all the preseason chatter about improved accuracy and goals for this and that, I was expecting north of 75% completion percentage in this game, against an over-matched opponent, not repeated overthrows on well protected passes to open receivers. I'm not ready to write him off by any stretch of the imagination, but I do expect him to complete at least 65% of his passes this season, and the majority of those deep throws. He works tirelessly and gets great coaching from Bobo and CMR, so we really need him to show out on Saturdays, especially in primetime like Saturday night will be.

If the Dawgs are going to play in the SECCG again we need him to play better going forward than what we saw Saturday. Hit guys in stride. Make the easy throw. Hit the check-down receiver. Eat it and take a sack or better yet, throw it into the stands if necessary. It was only 1 game and nobody played brilliantly, so I'll continue to hope that he becomes the player we all think he can be. Our dreams of Miami depend on it.

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I can handle him air mailing a couple in the first game. My biggest worry with him coming into the season was how he was going to do with his mechanics when he got rushed. From that point it's a night and day difference in how he controlled himself, set his feet, and delivered a perfectly throw ball. I'll take the overthrows vs. the bad turnovers.

Great post. I didn't go back and watch the game again so I didn't catch that his mechanics were much more consistent. That's honestly wonderful to hear. He has the physical tools and intangibles to be great. He can lead us to new heights offensively and hopefully as a team. We just need him to do it week after week. I hope he shows out big time Saturday night with everyone watching.

Edited by Reeves
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Ehh... he had some poor overthrows that he should have hit, no doubt... but I'm with ransack on this one. I'll take overthrows over bad turnovers. I can easily deal with an incompletion over some of the boneheaded stuff he's been known to do from time to time. His inconsistency with some of the fundamentals in pressure cooker situations is what has caused him to make some pretty untimely mistakes.

And I'll wait until we get further into the season before I start ragging on him about his play. Not gonna bust out the boo birds after week one on a guy who has been one of the most productive QBs this school has ever seen.

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Ehh... he had some poor overthrows that he should have hit, no doubt... but I'm with ransack on this one. I'll take overthrows over bad turnovers. I can easily deal with an incompletion over some of the boneheaded stuff he's been known to do from time to time. His inconsistency with some of the fundamentals in pressure cooker situations is what has caused him to make some pretty untimely mistakes.

And I'll wait until we get further into the season before I start ragging on him about his play. Not gonna bust out the boo birds after week one on a guy who has been one of the most productive QBs this school has ever seen.

Haha I wouldn't bust out the boo birds yet either. It's a bit early. However, if we are down 3 or 7 with 4 sec left in the game in he sails one over a receiver who has their man beat by 15 yards it ain't gonna be pretty lol

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Haha I wouldn't bust out the boo birds yet either. It's a bit early. However, if we are down 3 or 7 with 4 sec left in the game in he sails one over a receiver who has their man beat by 15 yards it ain't gonna be pretty lol

Hopefully he'll be on it that day... lol

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Granted it is the first game, but the only time and SEC QB should miss a wide open receiver on a throw like that should be freshman year. CMR called it right when he called him out about being a veteran QB who should hit those passes imo.

It's the first game and there's not a player on that field that didn't go back without something that they needed to work on. If the only complaint about our QB after game one agianst Buffalo is that he didn't connect on a couple of deep throws that are generally 50/50 propositions anyway.... I can live with that for game 1. Come SEC play and he's still doing it then I'll have a problem.

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In his defense, we didn't know what to expect from Lou Tepper's defense and we didn't run many different plays (Gentry said about 10-12 throughout the whole game). I expect more of a mid-range, quick passing game to be incorporated, as well as some screens to Gurley and Marshall - either of those guys can be very dangerous in the open field for different reasons.

If his mechanics really are improved, and I have no reason to believe they aren't considering ransack's observations as well as that from Bobo and AM himself, then the completion percentage will take care of itself.

Is it Saturday yet?

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