On a day that saw Georgia's defense give up 26 first downs, 443 total yards and 31 points to Nebraska, it was the offensive side of the ball that pushed the Bulldogs to victory. Quarterback Aaron Murray was the hero today as he helped lead his team to a win in the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday, 45-31.
For Murray—and head coach Mark Richt—this was a huge win that put the boys from Athens at the 12-win mark for the season.
Over the course of his three-year career at Georgia, Aaron Murray has seen plenty of success. The quarterback has also come under fire for his continued struggles to get a signature win. In his first season at the helm the Dawgs went 6-7, losing to UCF in their season finale. In year two, Murray and his team lost big games early and then finished the year getting thumped by LSU and dropping a heartbreaker to Michigan State.
Now, in year three, the quarterback from Tampa, Florida, has finally got that bowl win that has been tough to get, and he was the reason his team got over the hump. Murray threw for 427 yards, five touchdowns and was ultimately named the Capital One Bowl MVP.
Congrats!!! Aaron Murray named MVP of Capital One Bowl.— The Dawg Report (@TheDawgReport) January 1, 2013
Murray's performance was more than just about big numbers. On a day where his team's defense was unable to get big stops against Nebraska, he had to shine for the Dawgs to take home the W. He completed long passes. He completed short passes. Murray threw receivers open and found seven different targets, including four different Bulldogs catching touchdown passes.
While the speculation about Murray's NFL future will come fast and furious in the next few days, right now the kid should be on cloud nine. From day one folks have questioned whether or not Murray could win in a big spot. In 2012 he's proven that he most certainly is capable. Hell, if his defense could have gotten a late stop or two against Alabama, the Dawgs would have been in the title game.
This is Aaron Murray's win to enjoy. He stepped up when his team needed it the most and answered the bell. Georgia's got their first bowl win of the Murray era, and it did it on the arm of its junior quarterback.