Of course, Hutson Mason would have notched a 201.16.

No doubt some of you are prepared to go all Ezekiel 25:17 on me for having the temerity to suggest what I’m about to in this post, but so be it.

This post of Chris Brown’s caught my eye.  Particularly this chart:

Translated into passer rating, that works out as follows for the three quarterbacks:  Keenum, 144.33; Weeden, 167.66; Smith, 201.15.

Keenum’s performance came against the 17th best pass defense in the country.  Weeden faced the 95th ranked pass defense and Smith worked his magic against Clemson’s #50.

Against Michigan State’s 11th ranked pass defense, here’s what Aaron Murray managed in comparison:  20 completions on 32 attempts, 288 yards, 9.0 yards per attempt, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.  Passer rating:  146.23.

My point here isn’t to argue that Murray had a better game than the three (although it’s certainly on the same level as Keenum’s).  Instead, it’s to observe that in the context of a comparison with three quarterbacks who have more college experience, who operate in pass-oriented offenses and who faced weaker defenses, Murray’s numbers don’t look that out of place.

Murray’s shortcoming in that comparison, one we’ve seen throughout the season, is turnovers.  It’s something he’s got to get under control if he’s to become an elite quarterback.  With a better supporting cast on the offensive line (a big if, admittedly) and a running game that can support play action, there’s no reason that can’t happen next season.  I’d certainly argue it’s a more realistic option for Georgia than throwing an unproven quarterback against the wall in the blind hope that something might stick.

About these ads

144 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

144 responses to “Of course, Hutson Mason would have notched a 201.16.

  1. James Stephenson

    I would suggest that if he keeps his long passes to 50-60% completion, which he looked good on Monday with his deep passes, he could have a hell of a year next year. With a running game, and not running for his life. The teams we play will have those safeties deep, which would seriously open the underneath for the TE.

    • gastr1

      He needs to never fumble a ball on a run past the line of scrimmage again. There’s just no excuse for it. Learning to slide/ run out of bounds/ whatever other means necessary should be one of the priorities.

      • stoopnagle

        If I recall – and I was about three bourbon and gingers into the game – it was a 3rd down play and he was not sliding because he was trying to get to the first down marker. He wasn’t going to make it, but he’s got too much moxie (bleh! sorry.) to give up. To his credit.

        Still, he ought to avoid fumbling. The Outback Bowl was way too reminiscent of the South Carolina game to make me giddy about ’12.

        • Merk

          These are the same people who would be posting:

          “MURRAY IS A P**** and doesnt put it on the line in big games” had he of slide for a 4th n 1-2 instead of trying to get the extra yardage.

          The truth is that most fans will never be pleased unless their team wins 100-0 every game.

          • gastr1

            The issue is that it’s pretty much an avoidable problem. I can’t recall the last time I saw a pro qb fumble the ball on a run beyond the LOS. I know Murray isn’t a pro, but it seems that if they can not lose the ball when being chased by those guys then college guys can too.

    • Scooter Brown

      The safeties are always deep. How many throws to the tight end against Michigan State? What makes you think our OC will even notice safety play?

      • Biggus Rickus

        You’re right. Bobo would never call something directed to a tight end when it’s obviously open. Which is why Aron White and Orson Charles were complete non-factors in every game last year.

  2. Ron

    The other guys are most certainly not proven. But in my opinion, two consecutive years of facts are pretty telling as well. Murray is a hard worker and he seems like a good kid. But he turns the ball over way too often. This much we know.

    He’s yet to have a game that was won by his arm. He’s yet to truly exert himself as THE leader on the team. And frankly, his unwillingness to learn from his past mistakes make it almost inconceivable not to open this competition up in the spring.

    Everyone goes ga-ga over the fact that Murray came back from a season long injury back in high school to lead his team to a state championship game. But everyone forgets that some other lesser known quarterback actually won all of those games leading up to the state championship. The fact that we’re so blinded by his two years of experience proves that we’ll continue our mediocrity. We’ll lose 1-2 games next year that seem almost impossible after the game ends.

    Of course, we all know how this is going to play. Blair Walsh proved it this season. The blind loyalty from Richt will keep Murray in the game – win or lose.

    • You think Murray’s hit his ceiling and can’t improve? If so, who do you see on the roster who has a higher one?

      • gastr1

        +1…and: “unwillingness to learn from his past mistakes”? What are you talking about, Ron?

      • Raleigh St. Clair

        As you pointed out, how would we know?

        Mason may have a higher ceiling, but the coaches have hit he’d their wagon to Murray who is a turnover machine.

        Murray probably is the best though, which is of even greater concern. By the time MSU rolled around, Murray was at the very end of his 3rd season a UGA. In light of his performances against Boise, USC, and LSU, he probably should have had some awareness of the impact of his turnovers. Yet, there he is turning it over 3 times in the worst possible scenarios.

        If he doesn’t have situational awareness by now, I think its reasonable to be concerned that it might never come around.

        • Biggus Rickus

          Um, he threw one interception against Boise, which matched Kellen Moore’s one interception. He turned it over too much this year, but as a freshman he protected the ball pretty well. Calling him a “turnover machine” is unfair, and there’s no reason to think he can’t correct it. But play the backup. That’s never not worked.

      • Ron

        No one knows that answer but an battle during the spring & summer sure may give us some clues. If the most successful QB in the history of UGA football can split time with another QB, then I think a healthy battle is feasible here.

        • gastr1

          How do you know it is already happening and Mason just isn’t that good? Clearly they are not afraid of him transferring like they were with Shockley. I mean, I know you probably know better than the coaches on this, so clue us in too.

      • Lemay may have a higher ceiling, although I’d be fine with Murray if he could get more accurate, and we gave him some short passes such as slants, TE crossings, quick outs, to help him get a rhythym. And I’d disagree on his proximity to Keenum for one sole reason. Case had 3 TDs, 0 picks. Murray, 2 TDs, 2 picks, and it’s those 2 picks that cause the bad game talk. Make the picks simple incompletes, and we’re probably not having this discussion about him having a bad game.

    • Zdawg

      Murray has given up some critical turnovers no doubt. You can look at it this way: either this is a product of the type of QB he is and that will never change (sweeping generalization I think) or that other factors contributed to this and that improving these other factors will improve Murray.

      I like to believe that if we can somehow improve the o line and running game Murray will improve. This along with another year of experience will help cut down the turnovers. Even if we don’t improve in the first two, I think the latter will at least keep us competitive. We do not have QB’s with experience other than Murray that can counter weak o-line and running games.

      I also like to think that IF Murray’s turnover tendencies were a unfixable trait, that this would show up in practice and that other QB’s would get a shot at starting.

      “Yet to have a game that was won by his arm” wah??? Did you see the Auburn game? No wait, I’m sure you mean ‘against a top 15′ opponent.

    • James Stephenson

      The two TOs in the bowl game were not all his fault. The pick 6 was tipped at the line, surprised the announcers never said anything. And I guess that King ran the wrong route on the other.

      Both backbreakers, but the tipped ball is just bad luck.

      James

      • Silver Creek Dawg

        King turned to block and Murray expected him to come back for the ball.

        Just miscommunication there.

        • adam

          I don’t dislike Murray, but that one was on Murray not on TK.

          As you said, he turned to block when he saw Murray start running. Then Aaron threw the ball at him. No way he should’ve thrown that ball. TK could’ve maybe kept trying to get open, but I think he did the right thing.

    • JRod1229

      Not to plug another site, but I believe you’d feel right at home at SportsandGrits

    • UGLYDAWG

      Ron, you say ” he’s yet to have a game that was won by his arm”…..
      Talk about broad statements….What about GT last year? Without a running game and a lot of times, a servicable SEC caliber running back, Georgia managed ten wins. If Bobo let’s him throw it on the last possesion in regular time last monday, I believe there would have been ten wins. Give the kid a break. He’s a sophomore. The glass is more than half full..find something positive. Murray’s a smart young man. He’ll certainly get better and better. He didn’t have the luxury of a Moreno type back to keep defenses honest…Murray may have made some mistakes, but his arm won ten games. I find that encouraging.

      • UGLYDAWG

        correction and amplification…ten games this year…and could have easily been eleven if we throw it at the end of qtr. #4.

  3. ChicagoDawg

    Murry was not the problem, nor was Bobo (shocking as that may be to some). While, the 2 picks and the fumble were certainly nut punches the root cause for the loss was the inability to get any meaningful push from the OL. The number of negative yardage plays was a recipe for fail.

    • ChicagoDawg

      Not sure how the comma got placed after the ‘while’ in that post…oh well.

    • I get that the offensive line was ineffective. It was, and it must improve next year. But, UGA was in control of the game despite the offensive line until Murray started giving the ball away. The first rule of being a UGA quarterback: do no harm. Murray had three turnovers. One gave MSU momentum and excellent field position for a quick-strike TD. Another led directly to 6 points. Take away those turnovers, and UGA wins the Outback Bowl going away. As long as he has crooked numbers in the turnover column, UGA will lose games they shouldn’t.

      And, I think QB rating is a fine statistic, but the most important statistic for a QB is his TD/TO ratio. If you are -1, you don’t really compare favorably to guys that are +3, +2, or +6, no matter what some formula says.

      • ChicagoDawg

        “UGA was in control of the game despite the offensive line until Murray started giving the ball away. The first rule of being a UGA quarterback: do no harm.” Agreed, however they were only in control in that they were able to throw over the heads of MSU in spots. To truly assert control and alow the QB to do no harm, you need to be able to move the sticks on the ground. It would be great to turn Murray into a hand-off machine the second half with an occasional play-action, but the ground game was non-existent. Also, I may have overstated it in my post. Murray clearly is culpable, but the primary cause resides on the inability to control the line of scrimmage.

        • adam

          The whole “gotta be able to run the ball” thing is a myth. You can totally control things on offense and never run the ball once. Houston didn’t call a single running play in the first half and went up big. Keenum has like 350 yards in the first half.

          You can move the sticks by throwing short passes too. In the bowl game, we clearly were having 0 success running the ball up the middle with those slow handoffs. The majority of our TFLs came when we ran those plays. But we kept on trying.

          • gastr1

            I’d really like people to recognize something about running the ball up the middle: they want it to work but they have to keep doing it even if it doesn’t because the passing game is predicated on play-action to a back in the middle. Faking to a back in the middle, as opposed to faking a pitch to one on the outside, does three things: a. helps make disguising the play easier because the OL stays in roughly the same lanes (no one pulls); b. keeps the back in the most likely position to pick up a blitz; c. holds the linebackers and safeties in the middle which can allow more space for throws to the outside.

            You may not like the design, but please critique it instead of the play-calling. Runs up the middle serve a larger purpose than just gaining yards in this offense. That doesn’t mean I agree with running C Thomas up the middle; it only means I understand that they have to in order to make the offense work as they designed it.

            • adam

              I understand that concept, but it doesn’t mean it’s. Good idea when it keeps costing you yards.

              Sometimes I know we run it on 2nd and long (despite no success running the ball) to try to avoid 3rd and long. Yet, we gain nothing or lose yards and end up in 3rd and long anyway.

              I don’t mind PA offense. I just think that running it up the gut 12 times for a loss is stupid. So is play action on 3rd and 10 when everyone knows we have to pass.

              They really don’t *have* to keep trying those plays for nothing (or less than nothing). We have plenty of non-PA passes.

            • Raleigh St. Clair

              Yeah, except play action really only works when the running game has at least some success.

              Against MSU it didn’t, so the reasonable corse of action was to abandon that pretense altogether. Of course, that requires a modicum of imagination, which our offensive coaches do not have, especially in a close game in the 2nd.

              • adam

                Just because I’m curious…

                Did we have any successful plays that were successful because of the play-fake?

                I honestly don’t remember. Was the 80 yard TD on a PA pass? Did it work because of PA or just because TK beat his mean deep?

                • Biggus Rickus

                  They rolled Murray a bit and faked the short out that they’d thrown to Mitchell a couple of times. King gave his man a double move, the corner bit, and King was open.

                • gastr1

                  That’s a really good question. On that play, as BR says, they rolled everyone out to the right and King ran what startted out as an out pattern toward the roll-out sideline. He then turned and ran more toward the middle of the field for the TD catch. In that case the fake was not up the middle but toward the sideline. In any case it only can work a second time in the same game if you throw a few passes on the original single move toward the rollout sideline–even if it doesn’t net a gain you establish it as a play that has to be defended. Or what the hell, run the double move again and establish that, then throw to the sideline.

                  Could we mix in more rollout? With Murray’s mobility it makes sense. Seems to me when we did that this year there were a lot of sacks, though, too, which speaks to the OL’s LACK of mobility to some extent as well as AM’s tendency to take the sack rather than throw the ball away.

              • Rocketdawg

                Real smart there genius….their D Line was already teeing off on Murray even with the small threat of a run. Take that away and go to a straight passing game and Murray would have left the game on a cart.

                You sure (don’t) know a lot about football.

              • gastr1

                “Yeah, except play action really only works when the running game has at least some success.”
                I don’t think that’s so clear–check the stats the senator has posted re: play action pass completion percentage for the last two years or so. I am sure it works BETTER when the run game is working, but “works better” is not the same as “works at all.” :)

    • Scooter Brown

      If you have an obviously ineffective offensive line, why keep trying to run into the opposing defense’s strength?

      • gastr1

        Oh, I don’t know–maybe because doing that can lead to 60- and 80-yard pass completions later on in the game?

    • Murry was not the problem, nor was Bobo…

      To say Bobo and Murray were not the _whole_ problem is probably a fair statement. Nevertheless, the three turnovers generated by Murray were the largest contributing factors to the loss.

  4. Yup

    Aaron Murray is our Tony Romo.

    • AusDawg85

      I am so fearful of this…

      • Puffdawg

        Aren’t you guys kind of painting yourself into a corner here? I mean, what happens when AM leads to an SEC Championship this year? You certainly can’t turn around and claim to be fans after skewering him all preseason, right? Unless you go ahead now and admit to being fair weather, in which case I could more easily stomach your trashing of Murray…

        We’ve already seen this with people – ahem, Mayor of Dawgtown, ahem – who said we needed to fire Richt immediately in January 2011 because we’d never win again only to see us win the East in 2011.

        Not to mention your assertion that Murray cannot lead us to a championship like Romo is factually inaccurate as he’s already won an SEC East title as only a sophomore. But I guess you “nailed it” and all. Good call chubs.

        • It depends on how you want to view Tony Romo. I see him as a pretty talented guy that can’t quite get his game to the next level. That is where AM is at right now.

          You won’t find a post where I am calling for Mason. I also never said Murray can’t lead us to a championship. I am far from “Trashing” Murray. So please refrain from projecting on me.

          • Puffdawg

            Ho-kay buddy. The comparison to Romo you said “nailed it” was not meant as a compliment. It was clear to the rest of the world what was implied there. But I like your ability to back peddle.

            • gastr1

              +1. Getting compared to Romo is never a compliment. Everyone knows what his problem is and no one wants that label.

            • It’s not back peddling. I don’t need your approval to be a fan or to cheer or to criticize. You are not the UGA fan police.

          • KennyT

            Okay – Romolicious. But as any knowledgeable NFL watcher knows – comparisons to Romo carries mostly negative connotations

            Murray’s game and stats actually compare better to Drew Brees’s sophomore stats. Let’s be positive.

  5. wnc dawg

    Quite frankly, I think Murray is the barometer for the program. He has been good, but not great, and is prone to a mental lapse in key situations against equal talent. But the suggestions about benching him are asinine. I would hope the QB competition would be just that, a competition. The lack of earning playing time in practice was a big issue before, but is something that has appeared to have been corrected over the last couple years. That said, Murray has beaten Mason out for the job before, and I would expect him to again. We do not have a Shockley like talent behind him that brings a different set of skills. Greene was not immune to bad picks in his time, and really didn’t put that behind him until 1/2 way through his JR year.

    The upheaval of switching a QB unless there is a clear gap is just not something that needs to be added to the equation when the focus needs to be on establishing an OL and run game. There are not too many SEC programs that wouldn’t LOVE to have Murray to build around.

    • Ginny

      “The upheaval of switching a QB unless there is a clear gap is just not something that needs to be added to the equation when the focus needs to be on establishing an OL and run game.”

      Well said!!

      • adam

        Agreed!

        While I stand by that teams don’t absolutely *have* to be able the run the ball. Clearly, with the way we call games currently, we do. We desperately need huge upgrades on the OL and at TB. Fixing the OL will make our backs look better too.

  6. Ginny

    But but Hutson Mason looked sooo good against Coastal Carolina!!!

  7. Turd Ferguson

    “With a better supporting cast on the offensive line (a big if, admittedly) …”

    You acknowledge that it’s “a big if,” but honestly, are there ANY good reasons for thinking that our OL will be better next season? I thought it was pretty mediocre this past season; and from that mediocre OL, we lose our two best.

    • There are always reasons: better talent evaluation with the coaching change, more depth, etc. Also, it’s likely they’ll be able to deploy true tackles at the position in 2012, instead of guards in tackles’ clothing.

      How much of that makes a difference? Your guess is as good as mine.

      • UGLYDAWG

        A lot more depth and talent at running back and a modest amount of improvement with the o line, coupled with AM’s maturing and seasoning, should produce a much better offense in 2012.
        As far as throwing the ball every down…you better have a great, great, great offensive line and backs that can pass block, and recievers that never drop the ball (see Kansas State at last night’s Cotton Bowl) And if your line’s that great, why not strive for balance. Georgia Tech is and example of a team that’s one diminsional…very impressive against weak defenses.

    • simpl_matter

      Year 2 of Will Friend, maybe?

    • Puffdawg

      Add year two of S&C changes on a good reason to think we can improve. From what I remember JTII had the boys spend a lot more time on lower body.

  8. Doug

    I’ve got to admit I’m kind of flabbergasted by the waves of negativity directed at Murray since the bowl loss. Did he have a great game? No, but there are any number of people at whose feet you could lay the blame for that loss. And if you’re going to lay into him for the pick-six (which was tipped), it’s kind of unfair to ignore the two beautiful TD passes he threw.

    On that note, since everybody’s holding up David Greene as the standard for smart decision-making by a QB — and not without reason — here’s a stat for you: In his first two years, Murray’s TD:INT ratio (57:20) is better than the ratio Greene tallied (72:32) over his entire four-year career.

    A commenter above says we haven’t had any games that have been “won by his arm.” I submit that just about every game we won in 2010 was won by his arm, since they damn sure weren’t won by a lockdown defense or a consistent running game. Murray isn’t perfect, but if he can mature the way Greene did, he’ll be fine, and I’d argue that he’s started his career off in a stronger position than Greene did when he assumed the starting role in 2001. Throw open the QB competition this spring if you want, but if you’re betting on anyone other than Murray to win it on merit, you’re going to lose some money.

    • I don’t contest the TD/INT ratios, but they do not take into account Murray’s fumbles which have been crippling. The one vs. South Carolina salted the game away. The one vs. LSU gave them everything they needed to take that game over. The one vs. MSU gave them hope when previously there was none. With the play of the offensive line, UGA needs him to make some plays with his legs. But, when you fumble trying to make a play, you take a bad situation and you make it apocalyptic. I don’t really remember Greene fumbling that frequently. And, I certainly don’t hold up Greene as a paragon of QB excellence. He played a role, and he did it fairly well for the most part. UGA had success while he was here largely because the defense was formidable. But, that’s the rub. The philosophy of the head man is to take care of the football, play defense, and bore everyone until they quit watching, playing, etc. Murray needs to learn to take care of the football. If he does, UGA will be uber-successful. If not, we will get more of the same.

      But, seriously folks. Are we really talking about Hutson Mason getting playing time? Murray needs to work on his weaknesses, but he is still the best option by a lot. Mason is not an SEC starting QB. This isn’t exactly Stafford v. Cox, but it’s pretty close.

      • James Stephenson

        Do not forget the reason for the SC fumble, no blocking at all that time. It was like a jail break where the whole O-Line said Ole at the same time.

        • The reason for the SC fumble was Murray trying to make something happen when there was zero chance of doing so. If he tucks the ball and takes the sack, then Georgia lives to fight another down. Instead he tried to make a miraculous play and it backfired monumentally.

          It was a screen play, so the offensive line was supposed to let ‘em through, but it would have been nice if they at least chipped the defenders. They may have been the cause of the busted play, but I don’t know that I would blame the fumble on them as well.

          • FWIW, the Senator agreed with me in his post-game assessment:

            The game-killing fumble resulted from Ellis Johnson sending the house from a 10-man defensive front – no way every defender gets blocked on a play like that, yet Murray didn’t adjust and then made matters worse by trying to make something happen after Clowney got his hands on him.

            • ChicagoDawg

              Murray is not Kellen Moore or Peyton Manning or David Greene and may never be. Nonetheless, the guy has been quite good given the fact he just completed his sophomore year — neither of which had a 2 NFL RBs standing behind him (i.e. Musa Smith or Verron Haynes). Perhaps Isaiah will grow into that type of back who is able to stay on the field series after series and end up in the League. Whatever the case, Murray was better this year than he was last. If he is 10% better next year than he was this year, he will be a hell of a QB. If he builds on that his senior year then he very well could be that special championship winning QB we all want him to be.

      • ChicagoDawg

        The fumbles come with mobility. A cigar store Indian (i.e. Chris Weinke, Steve Bartkowski, etc.) will have fewer fumbles but no ability to avoid pressure or pick up a critical 1st down by escaping pressure. It is a good with the bad proposition. I don’t believe he was reckless in ’11 by trying to mimic Mike Vick. Murray is more athletic than Greene and is more apt to make plays with his feet, which carry some risk with the benefits.

        • The fumbles come with mobility.

          I agree that a mobile QB will have more opportunities to fumble, but that doesn’t mean it is okay that he fumbles more than any RB on the team. If he can’t run the ball without a substantially increased risk of a fumble, then perhaps his mobility is not an advantage. If the option is a) convert a 3rd & long into a 1st down at a not-so-crucial part of the game with an increased risk of a catastrophic, momentum-changing turnover or b) punt ‘em inside the 20 with a 16-point lead and no discernible offensive mojo, then I know which one I would take. And, I know which one Richt and Bobo would take.

          Also, if he were running it 15-20 times per game, I could see taking the good with the bad. But, he’s not. He’s running it maybe 5-6 times per game on average including sacks.

          • Rocketdawg

            How many 1st downs did Murray run for this year? I can recall at least 3-4 from the UT game alone. I don’t want to take that out of his game.

      • sUGArdaddy

        Greene made a critical fumble in Baton Rouge in ’03 in the red zone that changed the game and may have lost us a national title. Greene also fumbled into the end zone on the plains in ’02, but Jon Stinchcomb fell on it and all was forgiven.

        It happens. Aaron Murray is going to leave Athens as the greatest QB to ever wear silver britches. Mark it down. And he’ll also likely break wuerffel’s SEC TD record. Murray’s going to hit his potential late in his career. He’s still a young one.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Murray’s fumble against MSU came in the second quarter with the score 2-0. I think MSU still had hope at that point.

    • UGLYDAWG

      Doug, it’s early in 2012, but I’m voting that the “post of the year” to date!
      Very well put.

  9. Fitzdawg

    A friend of mine suggested that Murray’s TO’s seem to consistently occur when we’re in our ‘conservative, burn the clock and don’t turn over the ball’ times, and that when he’s in a must score situation, he’s much less likely to throw an interception. Can you confirm or deny that assertion Senator? Could it be that Murray just doesn’t deal well with the conservative play scenario?

    • That wasn’t the case against South Carolina. Nor against LSU.

      I think Aaron gets into the most trouble when he’s not comfortable with the pass rush. His mechanics suffer noticeably.

      • Bevo

        Exactly. I’m with the Senator on this one. Murray is a good QB with one very significant issue, which the Senator acknowledges:

        “Murray’s shortcoming in that comparison, one we’ve seen throughout the season, is turnovers. It’s something he’s got to get under control if he’s to become an elite quarterback.”

        Personally, I’m not buying the argument that there’s another QB on our roster that would perform better — in the games, as a team leader, and so on — than A Murray.

        All season I’ve put the blame for our shortcomings squarely on the offense and special teams. Murray has been a part of that, a major part at times. He has also been a huge part of our success on offense, despite a questionable line and a weak running game. If we can improve the OL and RB situations — yes, big if, as some have recognized — I think the QB will improve too.

        Either way, the fumbling has got to stop.

        • Either way, the fumbling has got to stop.

          That’s all I’m trying to say. Murray is the leader of the team, and I think he’s capable of big things. But, the fumbling has got to stop if he is going to take this team anywhere.

      • WFdawg

        Bobo has said as much, too. And I agree with the other commenters that the first thing to be addressed this off-season should be ball protection when Murray decides to cross the LOS.

  10. Scott W.

    Grand Canyon sized if.

    • If the o-line doesn’t improve, is it reasonable to expect Mason or LeMay to excel behind it next season?

      • Scott W.

        No not at all. I want the o-line to improve and Murray to stay behind it.

        • Bevo

          Agreed. Murray will be a better QB with a decent OL. Additionally, and related to having a decent OL, a running game would be nice. And what about RBs who pick up blitzes? I’d settle for all the above.

          With our luck, we’ll cobble together a complete team right around the time the schedule gets to be a killer again. Then injuries or something else will come calling.

  11. CarolinaDawg

    Not that I disagree with an open QB competition to have players push themselves, but I don’t think it would really address the specific problem people have with Murray. It’s not just turnovers that he commits, it’s catastrophic turnovers (that include fumbles). I’m not positive (since I was never in the arena ;) ), but I don’t see many QB’s committing fumbles in practice since there’s no contact on them. Or even that many INT’s for the same reason. Someone please correct me if I’m off base.

    All that being said, Murray should remain the QB. Find some way to work on his decision making and move forward towards improvement. One of the biggest things I noticed on Monday was when he scrambled on a 2nd? down play on the Dawgs 10yd line. AM proceeds to slide for a no gain, maybe even a one yard loss. Then later on he tries to push his way through two defenders and losses the ball. There’s no consistency in his decision making.

  12. paul

    Since I have been one of those complaining about Murray, I must say your point is well made. You did your homework and backed it up with facts. His costly turnovers still concern me a great deal though. You also pointed out the other day that going to the number two guy should only occur when you feel your number one is no longer salvageable. I’m not completely sure I agree with that. You can throw another guy in the game when you believe he brings a different skill set or a style of play that may give your team an advantage. LSU does this to some extent and the the Old Ball Coach has never been shy about rotating his guys. I am not advocating Spurrier type handling of the QB position but I do still think it’s worth finding out if the other guys can contribute. Perhaps I am being unfair but I am beginning to wonder if Murray is ever going to outgrow his tendency to turn the ball over. I think he actually suffered from the coaches insistence that he run less. But that’s just my opinion. I know it scares the crap out of most folks to see their QB take off. But I’ll take it over a sack or a turnover. Plus, Murray seems not to want to throw the ball away. So let him run.

    • Junkyard Dawg '00

      I have been advocating using AM as more of a dual threat since the beginning of the season and I agree with you on letting him run more. It doesn’t seem the coaches want this and it may be he is working on being a “true pocket passer” by design for his NFL aspirations but I don’t know why you don’t have more designed QB draws, aka Stafford-like plays, to keep defenses more honest… especially when you have such hard time establishing a running game. With that said and as we’ve seen, the fumbles are game changers and really show a lack of awareness by AM. He fumbles because he’s trying to run through a few players and the really baffling thing is he is taking off on 3rd and long and is no where near the 1st down marker when he is getting hit. That shouldn’t be that hard of an issue for AM to see and fix… although granted, he’s done it in two straight games now.

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        …Still, I think his skill set is amazing and with potentially two more years to put it all together I think the sky’s the limit for this guy. Looking for a great season out of him next year.

      • adam

        Go rewatch the 06 Auburn game.

        Richt was still calling plays, so that could be a part of it, but we had quite a few QB rushes in that game. Think Stafford may’ve finished with 100 yards on the ground (or pretty close).

        Think sometimes those plays are there but we’re scared of getting Murray hurt or something. Far too often we have coaches that seem to be scared of what *could* happen and their decisions (play-calling, kneeling the ball for a long FG, etc.) are affected by it. I thought the first quarter against LSU was super aggressive. The onside kick was brilliant. But then… We stopped. And then things changed. I think we play better when we’re playing agressively. When we starting coaching timid, we start playing timid.

        • Junkyard Dawg '00

          ’06 Auburn. Good call, It was certainly one of the games I was referring to with Stafford. Might be time to dust those plays off the shelf for our guy. I understand the worry of getting him hurt but our QB situation looks to be in a good enough spot to take the risk in some key games.

          • adam

            It certainly looks better than it did in 06.

            And that didn’t stop us from running Stafford from time to time.

            Some of that likely is Richt vs Bobo. I wish I could watch some old games and see if I get as mad at Richt as I have been at Bobo recently. I know that Richt had some bad games (16-13 vs UAB, ugh) but I wonder if maybe he was better at surprising the defense with a run when they thought pass and vice versa. Things like that.

  13. Kenny T

    Senator – here you go again with all your statistics and what not. Lest we forget the real football experts don’t rely on such things like that. They evaluate based on what they see on film from when the player was 16 years old and someone put together an entire seasons worth of highlights so the player can obtain interest from colleges. They evaluate based on what they have heard from their “insider” friends close to the program. They rely on small sample sizes against overmatched opponents to determine which players are guaranteed to be bonafide stars if their guy would just get more playing time. They often use words like smart, grit, feel and high school in the same sentence. They believe in “clutch”, “winners”, and “gamers”. Most of all, they never rely on the judgement of professionals – especially football coaches. These football coaches cannot be trusted, despite the fact that these coaches have devoted their life to the study of the game. Even though the coaches spend like 12-18 hours a day working on their chosen profession, they will never have the insight and brilliance as these football experts.

    These football experts are like a religion truly .. in baseball they are the Ecksteinians. In the NFL, they become Tebowists. There are many denominations at the college level, but disputes every couple of years usually cause splits within the congregation. As of January 2, the Masons are the most vocal in Athens.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Brilliant, Kenny. Mark Richt played with Jim Kelley, coached Charlie ward and chris weinke to heismans. Coached greenie and shock to all-sec performances and sec championships and stafford to a #1 draft pick. Do people honestly think the guy can’t evaluate the QBs on his team and do you honestly think he’s not going to put the guy out there that is going to give him the best chance to win?

      • Macallanlover

        +1 While AM has made some bad throws, usually under duress due to the OL’s ineptness, his TD to INT ratio is damned good. His major errors are with ball security while he is holding the football. Otherwise, he is a warrior and I like him at the helm. I have total confidence in CMR’s judgement on any QB evaluation, questioning his ability in this area makes no sense. That said, I really look forward to seeing both Mason and Lemay play a lot of snaps in the G Day Game.

  14. Andrew

    I’d really like to see him get rid of the ball more quickly when the pocket collapses around him. The O line isn’t the only reason he takes so many sacks. The thing that drives me insane is knowing he sees the sack coming, but he still holds onto the ball.

    • The Lone Stranger

      That’s the Roethlesberger Syndrome (to mix sporting metaphors) at work: said QB thinks he can get it all done by himself and consequently does more harm than good.

  15. charlottedawg

    Key stat here is turnovers not passer rating. Whether or not Murray and the offense take the next step hinge on that. Murray scores a lot of points unfortunately you don’t know if those points end up under Georgia’s tally or our opponent’s. If Murray stops turning the ball over he will immediately start “leading us to signature wins”. In addition if Murray can’t stop turning the ball over “he’s the best guy we have on the roster” is not a valid excuse. IF (still a big if) murray never develops into a qb who can take care of the ball either A) Bobo did not evaluate Murray correctly out of high schol, B) Bobo couldn’t develop Murray to take better care of the ball in critical situations, or C) Bobo failed to have another QB behind Murray ready to go who could get the job done when or if he figured out Murray wasn’t going to pan out. This isn’t saying they can’t get it done but it’s totally up to Bobo and Murray to get the QB situtaion to a point where it is always an asset never a liability.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      I’ll take lousy stats and a win, over good stats and a loss any day. The Senator is adopting CMB’s definition of success. Wins don’t matter. Great stats are the goal. Balance, yards, completion percentage. etc. etc. Show me td’s.

      • Biggus Rickus

        You act as if stats are not generated by play on the field. You must be the kind of guy who praised Tebow as a winner while he put up terrible numbers during Denver’s winning streak. People who actually understand these things realize that stats are an indication of performance, and that if you put up bad stats long enough, your luck will run out as it did for Tebow and Denver.

      • The Senator is adopting CMB’s definition of success. Wins don’t matter. Great stats are the goal.

        That would explain all the second-half leads Georgia sat on this last season.

        Tell you what, WCD – you find a quote from Bobo that says stats matter more than wins and I’ll buy you a beer.

        There’s plenty to criticize Bobo about without having to make up shit out of thin air.

  16. Gravidy

    You sure do know how to drive up the hit count, don’t you? Keep on putting up these posts about Murray and Bobo, and you’ll hit 10M before the end of next week! :-)

  17. ColoradoDawg

    Senator Blutarsky – All that you’ve demonstrated in this post is that QB rating is woefully inadequate as a measure of a QB’s performance. Lost in this analysis is the fact that Murray’s 2 INTs turned into points for Michigan State. Take those turnovers away and there’s no overtime, there’s no loss and we’re talking about August of 2012.

    That’s the irritation with Murray – he and the Bulldogs continue to shrink on the bigger stages and his INTs have been central to points given up by the offensive. Imagine what kind of team (and defense) this could’ve been if the offense and special teams didn’t give up points.

    So, color me unimpressed that Weedon, Smith and Keenum had similar QB ratings to Murray.

    • Junkyard Dawg '00

      Take those two TD passes away and there’s no overtime, there’s no loss and we’re talking about August of 2012.

      Color me unimpressed that you can’t see both sides of the coin.

  18. Eric

    Does Murray know that when he’s outside of the pocket, he can throw it away for no loss in yards? I’ve seen him numerous times not throw the damn ball away when he could have, but instead, ran out of bounds (sometimes for a small gain, sometimes for a small loss, still risky nonetheless) or take a slide like he did in the MSU game for a loss in yards. Murray at times can look like the best QB in NCAA and other times look terrible, which is frustrating to say the least (and stating the obvious as well). Here’s hoping he improves and the OL improves as well. Will Friend, you got your work cut out for you brother.

  19. Skeeter

    Must have some kind of run game, or the threat of a run, or we’ve got nothing and opens us up to all the aforementioned problems.

    • Alphadawg

      Ding, Ding, Ding…We have a winner. Fix this and the other issues are mute. I hope Theus and IC and KM can live up to their billing.

      • AusDawg85

        This AND our OC developing an alternative set of plays to work around the problem when necessary. Somehow, using CT on the dive play seems less effective at solving a stalled rushing attack than some other options.

        /loves perpetuating the CT dive play meme…but you know what I mean.

  20. flukebucket

    Murray is easy to fix.

    But Crowell? That is going to take one hell of a lot of love.

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      I read people banging on Crowell and I wonder if they know the whole story on him.

      He rarely played more than a half in HS, rarely was touched and was injury prone then too. I really think he would have benefited greatly from having Ealey and/or King this season in spite of their issues. It certainly didn’t help matters that the weight of the Dawg Nation was thrust upon him immediately.

      Make no mistake; I want him to grow up and show some leadership. But I wonder if more was heaped upon him than he was equipped to handle.

      • flukebucket

        Hell, if he will just become a decent follower I will be happy. And if he got hurt in high school playing half the time and rarely getting touched then maybe he should consider a career in modeling underwear.

      • sUGArdaddy

        Silver, stop being rational. Great running backs never get hurt. Herschel missed games his freshman season…what? Lattimore hasn’t made through a season yet…what? Thomas Brown and Kregg Lumpkin missed chunks of multiple seasons…what? You mean playing RB in the SEC is rough and tough? Surely not.

    • Murray is easy to fix? I think CMB and CMR would disagree since they have said repeatedly that they tell Murray to tuck the ball away instead of creating turnovers.

  21. Grafton

    I will say one thing about Murry. He is a lot better at quarterback than I could ever be, so I’m not going to bad mouth the kid for making some unfortunate mistakes here and there. I will leave it up to the coaches, I think they have watched him play a few times.

  22. Will Trane

    I think must would agree the Dawgs lacked depth along the offensive line; the QB operated behind a less than average line; an offense with none to an inconsistent rushing game. and a sophomore QB who lacks maturity for the position he plays. Many sophmore QBs are immature. Make the wrong throw, timing, and forcing a play when it is not there.

    But let’s look at those three afore mentioned QBs. They all were coached in the same system and played less than stellar defenses. They all operated out of the spread. Mississippi State shutdown Keenum. Now look where Mississippi State ranks in national pass defense.
    Now look at the teams Murray and the offense face in the top 25. There are 6. How many sophomore QBs faced that many? Not many if any. He talked like a sophomore, he acted like a sophomore, and he played like a sophomore. Poor decision making and maturity. Coaching can help that along with another year of growth. The first 4 games next year will tell you where he really is and his progress. But he is not my type of QB. Not mean enough, not bold enough, and not tough enough.mentally. If his line develops along with a running game he should do very well. Now where that means more wins, who knows. Maybe next year he will sit in an offense that can stretch and use the width of the field as well as the length. Remember he will not operate behind the same center he has the past two years. The play of the center will be big for him and the tempo of play Richt and Bobo will try to use. Every team in the SEC they see next year will be better…in other words, get to work ASAP.
    I know what Mason did in high school. He is a good QB. I like to see him play more. Did not see him play Spraybery, but I do not know who Sprayberry is. I do know in his last game against Colquitt Coutty he was shut down and intercepted about 5 times. Sprayberry is no Colquitt County and Casey Keenum did not come close to the defenses Murray faced other than Mississippi State, and we all know how those two games went.
    Rush the ball Dawgs and use all those yards on the wideth to create gaps and lanes. The Dawgs offense is almost like the shape of a “V” with the TB at the bottom. Notice a spread is not like that. See the sets and plans you can run from that. That is why you can hang 70 points a Clemson. And what does that say about the ACC other than you got your ass beat badly.

  23. If Murray is not in the groove in a particular series, using the backup for a change of pace for a series or two cannot be that bad.
    I also wonder if he has achieved a plateau or may be maxed out in his abilities as he seem to have not improved as the 2012 season went on comparing just the first two games and last two games against more credible opponents and defenses. The OL may be it, but he basically made the same kind of interceptions and made almost similar fumbles.

    • adam

      I would like to see us give LeMay a few possessions here or there if the rumours about his success in bowl practice have any merit. I don’t know if his skillset is much different from Murray’s though.

      Still, it would be good to get him some experience and maybe he could play some when Murray’s have one of those mistake-heavy games. Murray could come out and get some coaching and LeMay could go run the offense some.

    • sUGArdaddy

      Eric, do you actually watch tackle football? I’m sorry, senator. I’m tired of being nice. Sit and watch 2-3 bowl games and you realize how extremely blessed we are. If either Bama or lsu had Murray they’d win by 3 touchdowns on Monday night.

      Just sittig here watching the cotton bowl while reading all these idiotic comments. Hogs are up 19-2 and in complete control with 1:00 in the half with hogs facing 3rd down. K-state has done nothing. Wilson, the other all-sec QB, fumbles, k-state punches it in before the half snatches momentum and now it’s 19-16. It happens, people.

  24. shane#1

    I posted late about Murray a while back so I doubt anyone read the post. It seems to me that the team suffers from a lack of focus at times. Mental errors at crucial points in the game have hurt the Dogs for years. Of course, lack of focus is always a problem when dealing with kids. I think the time to correct this problem is before spring practice when Coach T is in charge. Make them redo lifts until they are perfect, the same in all other exercises. Be an asshole Coach T, I know you have it in you! Don’t let these guys drift at anything, be on them like white on rice. Then by the time spring practice starts they will be used to paying attention. Don’t let up then, make them run every drill until it’s perfect. The devil is in the details, nothing is so small as to not matter.

  25. H-Town Dawg

    It’s so much easier for those constant whiners to zero in on Murray and concentrate their fire than to acknowledge that our OL couldn’t stand up to the elite DLs they faced in the four games the Dawgs lost. And that we never had consistency in the running game partly because the holes weren’t there and we had a merry-go-round of injuries and suspensions. Murray’s numbers for the season indicate how effective he can be. But when things go haywire because other units aren’t very good at their jobs then yeah, he has his screw-ups too.

    But now that the Fire Richt! crowd has been thwarted for the time being on that front, they can’t help but find a new target.

  26. 69Dawg

    Murray = Joe Cox without the red hair. Sorry Joe at least you could win an occasional big game.

  27. Skeeter

    I just don’t believe Hutson killed those 5 prostitutes.

  28. Biggus Rickus

    I really don’t understand why anyone puts any stock in bowl games. They often have bizarre outcomes due to long layoffs, player eligibility issues, lack of motivation, coaching changes and so on. They’re predictive of nothing for the next season, and they often don’t provide much indication of a current team’s ability. When Georgia blew out A&M in 2009 it didn’t matter. When they lost to UCF last year it didn’t matter. They simply don’t matter, and it really annoys me when people read shit into them.

  29. KennyT

    I honestly believe that Purdue fans had similar discussions about QB play circa Jan. 1999. The anti-Breesists were upset about his 20 ints his sophomore season.

  30. Greg

    Stats are for losers. The proof is in the winning. — Gene Stallings (around 1992).

    • Biggus Rickus

      Stupid quotes from Gene Stallings are for idiots. Statistics inform analysis. – Biggus Rickus (around 11:44 am EST)

      • Depends on your statistics. As others have pointed out, the statistics don’t emphasize the gravity of those three turnovers.

        • Biggus Rickus

          As I quoted myself saying, they inform analysis. They aren’t the whole story. However, for all of the turnovers, Murray did enough to get Georgia to a point where a stop in the final 1:55 would have won the game.

          • You have to be able to view the other side of the coin though. We would not have needed a stop in the final 1:55 had he not turned the ball over three times. I think we all agree Murray can be a very good QB. He can be an elite QB if he can control himself in pressure situations.

            • Biggus Rickus

              Tell that to the people who want Hutson Mason to play. I just think people are being entirely unreasonable in their digs at Murray. He’s not perfect, but neither has any other Georgia QB been.

              • Agreed. Not perfect. Flashes of brilliance from Murray which I think is why people get frustrated. The biggest surprise to me this season was the wide receivers. Just awesome talent for the next few years.

  31. FanSince59

    The only reason “we” won the east this season is due to the weakest schedule in the conference. Period. And for all you “hope springs eternal” fans who think next year is going to be better. Well, dream on. Your going to have an awfully long wait.