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Former Plant High quarterback Aaron Murray savors Georgia Bulldogs' victory over Florida Gators

JACKSONVILLE — Aaron Murray won't be talking trash next time he comes home. He swears.

But if Murray decided to give his friends a little lip, to remind everyone back home which school won Saturday's game, he wouldn't be at fault.

Since enrolling at Georgia in early 2009 out of Plant High, the quarterback has absorbed plenty of jabs. Nothing serious, he says. Just friendly ribbings — "You're Gator Bait and this-and-that."

When he returns to Tampa, Murray won't repeat Saturday's score — 24-20, Bulldogs — but said he will wear his Georgia T-shirt with pride.

The redshirt sophomore was far from his best, completing 15 of 34 for 169 yards and an interception, but he came through in the clutch, tossing two touchdowns to tightly covered receivers, both coming on fourth-down plays.

The No. 22 Bulldogs trailed 17-3 late in the first half, but on fourth and 5 from the Florida 20, Murray hit 6-foot-3 receiver Michael Bennett, who made a leaping catch on a flag route in the end zone in front of 5-8 safety De'Ante Saunders with 1:28 left in the second quarter.

"That was huge to get us back in the game," Murray said. "As an offense, we just got to keep going and going and going. … We kept chugging along."

Georgia completed the comeback in the third. On fourth and 5 from the Florida 14, Murray tossed a fade to Tavarres King, who outjumped Gators cornerback Jaylen Watkins for the touchdown.

Saturday was not Murray's best performance. He entered averaging 236.1 yards a game, second in the SEC. And he only completed 44 percent of his passes — 17 points below his season average.

Still, he completed pivotal passes, including a team-high four to fellow Plant alumnus Orson Charles. Also, Murray at times beat UF with his feet, rushing for 42 yards.

Murray and the Bulldogs lost 34-31 in overtime to UF last year. His last pass was an interception. Last week, coach Mark Richt suggested his quarterback had been too excited before that game. Murray agreed, saying he kept his emotions in check this time.

"We just kept fighting," he said. "That's something we've done all year — keep fighting, fighting."

And not trash-talking.

Former Plant High quarterback Aaron Murray savors Georgia Bulldogs' victory over Florida Gators 10/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:20pm]
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