ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray entered the Bulldog huddle on UGA’s own 25-yard line with 4:14 left to play in Saturday’s contest at Sanford Stadium against No. 6 LSU. His team was behind by four points, 41-37.
Forget about Murray’s subpar track record against ranked teams and don’t fret about Murray’s so-called lack of big-game success. No one in the huddle had anything like that on their mind.
“People can say anything they want about Murray,” said wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley. “They say he can’t win the big game. He just showed the world what he can do.”
Murray started the fourth-quarter drive with an 11-yard pass to Scott-Wesley and then followed that up with a 9-yard connection with tight end Arthur Lynch. Add in a 2-yard run and an 18-yard run by running backs Keith Marshall and J.J. Green, respectively, and another connection with Lynch for 10 yards and the Bulldogs were within striking distance on the LSU 25-yard line.
With just under two minutes to play, Murray didn’t waste time finishing the drive. He noticed busted coverage on the right side at the 5-yard line and hit a wide open Scott-Wesley for a 25-yard touchdown strike.
The go-ahead scoring drive only lasted 2:27, but it meant so much for Murray and the Bulldogs. The defense ended LSU’s hopes of a comeback six plays later and Georgia won the football game 44-41.
How was Murray in the huddle during what might have been the most important drive to date of his college career?
“Everyone was poised and confident,” said Marshall. “Murray did a great job taking over the huddle and everybody followed suit.
“He was confident,” continued Marshall. “I don’t think anybody on offense had any question that we were going to go down there and score on that last drive.”
Marshall said there were no pep talks in the huddle, Murray kept the vibe one strictly of business. Wide receiver Chris Conley said the gist of the pep talk was simply ‘Hey, we need a touchdown let’s do it.’
“I knew he could win the big game,” said Conley. “I knew he could make the big throws, he’s a great quarterback. He just provided more evidence of that today.”
Murray connected on four touchdowns Saturday and threw for 298 yards. More important than his full-game numbers was the fact that he was 4-for-4 on what turned out to be Georgia’s game-winning drive.
In what should have been one of the more pressure filled moments of Murray’s career, one of those times that detractors say he never shows up for, the senior leader was at his best.
Murray was calm, he was precise and he was a winner in what was a huge game for these Bulldogs.