Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Deadliest Catch' captain talks reality TV, Snoop Dogg and Tampa Bay

    Outdoors

    Keith Colburn is best known as captain of the Wizard on the Discovery Network series Deadliest Catch. Colburn and crew go to battle in the Bering Sea working one of the deadliest jobs in America. A seasoned veteran, Keith has filmed 11 seasons of the show and is still going strong with his relief captain …

    Captain Keith Colburn is seen in this undated photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Courtesy of the Discovery Channel
  2. HomeTeam 100: Players 51-60

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA - Wharton defensive back AJ Hampton will help lead the Wildcats into the 2017 season. Taken 7-6-17 by Scott Purks
  3. Rays series preview: Who are the Rangers?

    Blogs

    The road trip is done, but the Rays will still face a western team, as they tasks on the Rangers in a three-game series at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Texas before the action kicks off.

    Record: 45-50, fourth in AL West

    Starter Tyson Ross, left, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, right, have struggled immensely this season.
  4. Checklist to help Bucs swagger into the postseason

    Bucs

    To boost their playoff prospects, the Bucs need to beat Atlanta at least once, as they did last year. Twice would be even nicer. (Loren Elliott, Times)
  5. Baddest of them all? Steelers LB James Harrison, hands down

    Bucs

    "No badass list is complete - or should begin anywhere else other than with - James Harrison," says Eric Edholm, an NFL writer who has worked at Yahoo Sports. (Associated Press)