Georgia Football: Why Aaron Murray Is Bulldogs' MVP for 2013

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor INovember 17, 2013

ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 9: Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs takes to the field before the game against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Sanford Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

It’s has not been a great season for the Georgia Bulldogs. In fact, the Auburn game was a summary of how the season has gone for them in terms of coming up just short because of youth on defense and injuries.

However, there has been one player that has stood out from the rest of the Bulldogs this year, and it’s the guy that will be known as the most prolific passer in SEC history.

Aaron Murray won’t have the chance to play in the SEC title game for the third consecutive season, but his play on the field this year makes him the team’s Most Valuable Player.

Todd Gurley would be another candidate for MVP, but he missed nearly four games due to an ankle injury. Murray has played big for the Bulldogs all year long, despite the Bulldogs having a 6-4 record.

Before the season began, one of the biggest questions concerning Murray was if he could finally win big games. Murray answered those questions at the start of the year when he was able to lead the Bulldogs to wins against South Carolina and LSU, both teams that were ranked in the Top 10 at the time.

Nov 16, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) throws the ball to running back Todd Gurley (3) during the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium.  The Tigers won 43-38.  Mandatory Credit: John Reed-U
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

But he did not just lead the Bulldogs to wins, he performed exceptionally well in those two games. In the South Carolina game, he completed 73 percent of his passes, threw for 309 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. In the LSU game, Murray completed 59 percent of his passes, tallied 298 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Murray also had a strong performance against Florida, throwing for 258 yards and one touchdown. But the final drive was key as he led the Bulldogs to an eight-minute drive which included a big seven-yard completion to Rhett McGowan on third down to ice the game for the Bulldogs.

But if there are two games that prove how valuable Murray is, it would have to be a game where he won and a game where he came up short.

In the win against Tennessee, Murray only threw for 196 yards. But he threw three touchdown passes including the game-tying score with five seconds left in the fourth quarter. That was also the game where Murray became the SEC’s all-time leader in passing yards.

In the loss against Auburn, Murray threw for 415 yards and two touchdown passes. After a slow start to the game, Murray was able to lead the Bulldogs to three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead score where he ran for five yards on 4th-and-goal. Murray ended with night with four total touchdowns in the loss.

And the fact he had a chance to win it after Auburn scored on the on the miracle play shows that as long he has the ball in his hands, the Bulldogs are never down and out.

This is what ESPN’s Todd McShay had to say about Murray’s performance against Auburn.

What an effort by Aaron Murray. I'm so impressed with his competitive temperament this year. Can't coach that...

— Todd McShay (@McShay13) November 17, 2013

As it was said earlier, this season has not been great for the Bulldogs, but Murray’s play has been outstanding. Gurley may be the most talented player on the roster, but had it not been for Murray’s play this season, the Bulldogs would not likely have six wins right now.