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.