Monday, November 25, 2013
Player of the week: SEC
By Jeff Barlis
You have to feel for Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, whose college career ended on Saturday when he tore the ACL in his left knee during the second quarter of the Bulldogs' rout of Kentucky. It happened in the final home game of his storied career, his family watching in horror as Murray grimaced in pain when he was helped off the field.
It's hard to believe what happened just a short time after the Bulldogs fans in Sanford Stadium rose to shower their love and applause on Murray, the last of 28 seniors who were introduced during a pre-game ceremony.
In the short time that he played on Saturday, Murray picked apart the hapless Wildcats in a performance as worthy as any in a weekend slate of SEC games that featured more defensive battles (and FCS opponents) than we've grown accustomed to this season.
Murray was 18-for-23 passing for 183 yards and four touchdown passes and made some more history, which is another thing SEC fans have grown accustomed to this season. In the first quarter he became the fifth player in FBS history -- and the first SEC quarterback -- to pass for 3,000 yards or more in four seasons.
This season, Murray had already become the SEC's all-time leader in touchdown passes, a record previously held by Florida QB Danny Wuerffel (1993-96). He also became the conference's all-time leading passer, breaking the record of Florida's Tim Tebow (2006-09). The previous week, in a loss to Auburn, Murray claimed the all-time SEC record for completions.
Murray finished his college career with 1,478 pass attempts, 921 completions, 13,166 yards passing, 121 touchdowns and 41 interceptions. Even before Saturday's untimely end to his career, he had already earned the respect and admiration of so many across the SEC.
“I will say Aaron Murray is one of the best passers to ever play in the SEC,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said last week.
Of that there is no doubt. Unfortunately for Murray, Georgia and Bulldogs fans everywhere, his time in the iconic red-and-black uniform is history as well.