Georgia vs. South Carolina: Aaron Murray Is Far from an Elite QB

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 06:  Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs is sacked by Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia walked into Williams-Bryce Stadium expecting to earn a big win in the SEC East, and break a two-game win streak that South Carolina had over the Bulldogs. 

Aaron Murray—Georgia’s junior quarterback—was expected to be a Heisman candidate this season. Tonight he guided the No. 5 Bulldogs to a 35-7 drubbing at the hands of the No. 6 Gamecocks. Murray proved he is far from an elite quarterback in this game. 

There were a number of chances for Murray to take over the game, but he could never capitalize on big opportunities. 

The South Carolina defense made child’s play of Aaron Murray’s attempt to fall into relevance and the space of a Georgia legend. 

Murray is now a junior for the Bulldogs, and throughout his career he has been labeled the savior of the program’s offense and the quarterback that would push the Bulldogs into the championship conversation. 

So far, all that has worked—with the exception of Murray winning a whole bunch of ballgames.

Don’t misunderstand, Murray is a good quarterback, but he is not among the national elite where fingers seemed to be pointing. Expectations have been especially high with Murray since the day he took over the starting position. 

Murray has started for the Bulldogs since 2010. Looking back at his past wins and losses, there is a consistent pattern when the big games come up on the schedule. 

Some of Murray’s biggest losses have come against Florida. Both games Murray has played against the Gators he has thrown picks and has completed less than 50 percent of his passes. 

In one game against LSU in 2011, Murray only completed 40 percent of his throws and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Against South Carolina on Saturday, Murray finished 11-of-31 with 109 yards passing and one interception.Murray was far from elite when his offense needed him to be. 

It wasn’t all pressure that kept Murray from making big throws. On a number of occasions Murray just missed the mark.

If Aaron Murray wants to be elite he still can be, but it will take Georgia winning out and then hosting another season. There has to be a point where Murray relaxes in the big game, and settles into his role as a leader for the Georgia offense. 

Murray had completed 70 percent or more of his passes in four games so far this season heading into Saturday’s loss. Now, all is lost for Murray and any hardware. 

At this point, Murray has played himself out of any elite quarterback discussions.