Bobo on Murray’s room for improvement

Mike Bobo has an interesting observation about his starting quarterback:

… Murray also can become more consistent, said Bobo, who noted a curiosity about the quarterback’s season: He has tended to play better in the second and third quarters of games than in the first and fourth periods.

“I think in the first quarter he gets hyped,” Bobo said. “His mechanics get a little off; he gets juiced on his throws.” As for fourth-quarter slippage, that has been a team-wide problem that will be a focus of off-season attention.

That got me curious.  So I took a look at the tale of the tape, via the always invaluable  This is the breakdown of Murray’s passer rating by quarter:

  1. 159.00
  2. 160.56
  3. 181.58
  4. 156.21

It seems that Bobo is on to something here.  Murray’s completion percentage is lowest in the fourth quarter – how much of that is due to the problem Bobo alludes to and how much of that is due to game conditions is hard to say.  (Although, note that when you look at his performance based on the game score, he was at his worst this season when games were tied.)

By the way, I continue to be impressed with Murray’s drive to improve.  It’s one thing that gives me hope that there will be some offset to the inevitable drop off resulting from A.J.’s departure next season.  Now if the coaches could find some way to bottle it and give it out to other players on the team…


Filed under Georgia Football

53 responses to “Bobo on Murray’s room for improvement

  1. Mark Richt

    I only care about QBs because I played one in college. I am trying to pass on this philosophy to Mikey. He played one too.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Well, he is the QBs coach, Mark.

      • Mark Richt

        Well, my point was that I don’t really care about the team. Just QBs, because I played QB in college. They are like my Barbie dolls.

        • Normaltown Mike

          Is that why you told Ealey and King to fumble in crucial situations? You are one sick puppy.

          • Mark Richt

            All part of my plan to “jerk them around.” I also advised them both to get arrested so I could suspend them at inopportune times this year. Anything to protect my beloved QBs. Because I played QB in college.

  2. Macallanlover

    Bobo is probably right about Q1, that seems to happen a lot to all QBs, not just young ones. As to the 4Q falloff, it seems like we needed late drives in several games this season. With our inability to run the ball, and time constraints, Murray could have thrown a higher percentage of passes in Q4s against defenses set to defend the pass, and bringing blitzes to hurry him. Still, those are impressive numbers for a QB, especially a first year starter.

  3. Bad Marinara

    We need a running game to take some of the pressure off. Who is teaching these guys how to hit a hole? Plus, the Backs need to work on balance, like Knowshon had naturally. Maybe a bit of Karate and Ballet. And the WR can work on juggling like AJ does. It will pay off.

  4. hailtogeorgia

    I’d be interested to see the data, but I wonder if some of that first quarter stuff isn’t due to our defense allowing so many opening drive points. It certainly can’t help to have our freshman quarterback starting off in a hole more often than not.

  5. JBJ

    According to the numbers you posted, it appears that there is a negligible difference between the first and second quarters which makes me wonder if Bobo is just perceiving that problem just because of the Florida game.

    The 4th quarter is not a severe dropoff either. Trying to determine why the 2nd quarter is such an outlier is an interesting question.

    • Keep in mind that Bobo wasn’t talking statistically there. He was making a general observation about what he sees in Murray’s play.

      • JBJ

        Yep. I just wonder why he would make a statement like that from “feeling” rather than making an assessment from the actual data which seems to indicate otherwise.

        Great work btw.

        • JaxDawg

          The 3rd qtr is the outlier, not the 2nd. And obviously Bobo wasn’t quoting the stats and was simply commenting on what he saw during the season.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            The increase in QB rating in the 3rd quarter is probably a result of halftime adjustments made by the UGA offensive coaching staff to what the opposing team’s defense was doing. The drop back down in the 4th quarter (to basically the first half norm) could be explained by in-game adjustments by the opposing defensive coaches to the UGA offensive adjustments made at the half.

          • JBJ

            Yea I meant 3rd. My point is that perception is often wrong.

            I just took a peak at Murrays stats from ESPN.

            I was surprised at the stark contrast in TDs and fewer throws in second half. Actually 71% of Murrays TDs (rushing and passing) came in the first half. So it seems to me that he is more effective in the first half.

            1ST HALF 105 175 1508 60.0 8.62 17 4
            2ND HALF 83 129 1343 64.3 10.41 7 2

    • hailtogeorgia

      I don’t know that the 3rd quarter is so much of an outlier (I realize that it is an outlier, but I think it’s a logical one). It would make sense that after having halftime to rest, be coached up by Bobo on what the defense is doing, and tweak the strategy a bit, Murray would come out and perform better in the 3rd. As the half goes on, it would make sense that the defense would make adjustments and the stats would go back to the mean.

      • JBJ

        Good point. Maybe if you look at the 1st quarter in the same light, then that is why Bobo is saying Murray should be doing better in the 1st. I’m not sure. The 3rd quarter does make more sense as once you are in the game you can make adjustments whereas when you start a game you don’t really know the tactics of the other team.

  6. 69Dawg

    By the 4th Qtr in our games that we lost the OL was gassed. The enemy DL was blitzing and Murray was running for his life. The 1st Qtr Murray was juiced, he admits as much and in the UF game he was out of his mind juiced because he was playing in his home state against a team he wanted to beat more than anything. His major need in the coming years is to get control of his emotions and be more like David G. “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs …you’ll be a Man my son.

  7. W Cobb Dawg

    Just playing devils advocate, but perhaps the playcalling needs improvement in the first and forth quarters, and the drop-off in production has nothing to do with AM’s performance. Maybe AM is fine and MB is the one who has problems under stress.

    • Mark Richt

      If passer rating is indicative of the performance of the OC, then you might want to rethink your position on Bobo. Murray has one of the highest passer ratings in school history.

  8. Marcus


    Those Murray numbers look even worse when you put them in the context of Murray’s ranking among all QB’s, like where Murray ranks in accuracy in the 1st quarter, 4th quarter, red zone, 3rd down, 3rd and 10+, among teams with a winning record, etc.

    He’s among the LEAST accurate in the NCAA in each of those categories (typically ranks like 75-95 in accuracy in those areas), which is the #1 reason Georgia is 6-6. Lack of running game is the #2 reason. Run defense is #3.

    His stats were jacked up a lot against teams without a winning record like La Laf, Vandy, and Idaho State. He’s really accurate against the 1-11 teams.

    • With regard to passer rating, that’s not entirely accurate.

      If by “accuracy” you mean completion percentage, a Georgia QB is always going to be out shown by a lot of spread attack passers in that category. If you’re going to blame Georgia’s record on that, ask yourself why Georgia has had better seasons of late behind QBs with far worse completion percentage numbers than Murray.

  9. shane#1

    Murray could improve by going through his checkdowns and finding the open man. Several times last season Murray either threw the ball away or ran when he had a man open. Murray must do as Wyatt Earp said a gunfighter must do, learn to “hurry slowly”. Murray has just scratched the surface of his abilities, because the kid works. All the extra time put in the film room and in the informal seven on sevens that Murray enjoys so much will pay off. He will improve and become more like his idol, Drew Breese.

  10. Will (the other one)

    One thing I’d love to see Bobo do this off-season is get in touch with Sean Payton. The Saints have an average-at-best running game, and a QB who is shorter than the average gunslinger, but they put up huge numbers out of a pro-set offense heavy on the play-action pass.

  11. Marcus


    It’s 3 things: QB passing, run defense, run offense.

    Compare UGA 2007 to UGA 2010

    1) Rushing attack
    2007 Rush offense ranked #37
    2010 Rush offense ranked #71

    2) Rush defense
    2007 rush defense ranked #16
    2010 rush defense ranked #59

    3) passing QB
    2007 pass accuracy
    against winn teams #68
    2010 #81

    2007 4th quarter pass accuracy #50
    2010 #80

    2007 3rd 4-6 yards to go pass accuracy ranking #27
    2010 #97

    2007 pass effic red zone ranking #49
    2010 pass effic red zone ranking #86

  12. Marcus

    Richt’s record when he gets a 100 yard rusher is what 43-3. Richt is 2-0 against Fla when he gets a 100 yard rusher. 0-8 when he doesn’t. Last 3 teams that have won the SEC average @240 yards rushing.

    UGA has never lost when Ealey gets a 100 yards rushing.

  13. Marcus

    It concerns me when Murray ranks so poorly in so many areas in passing accuracy (completion %):
    1- #81 against teams with a winning record
    2- #94 in 1st qrtr
    3- #87 in 4th qrtr
    4- #81 on 3rd and 10+ yards
    6- #83 in the red zone

    Again, some Georgia fans will excuse this because they want to support their guy, but that’s why UGA is 6-6.

    You can’t expect much more when your QB is in the 80’s and 90’s in all 5 areas.

    Murray is 0-6 when the other team scores first.

    Unlike Cox & Stafford, Murray has never beaten 1 team with a winning record.
    Lemay or Mason would do better. Can’t get worse.

    • Macallanlover

      Holy Crap! You are actually serious aren’t you? Sorry you missed the season, the record wasn’t good but we have a very impressive QB returning for 2011….one of the few bright spots.

    • I’m curious – why do you find completion percentage to be so important, especially given the type of offense Georgia runs?

      • Marcus

        Completion % is a true measure of a QB’s decision making ability to go to a checkdown receiver, particulary completion % under distress which measures poise, that’s the type of thing the NFL looks for. They don’t care how Murray does against La Lafayette & Vanderbilt, & Idaho State. You gotta go to checkdown receivers to keep drives going.

        In the Pro style offense, it’s your ability to go to that checkdown receiver that sperates the good QB’s from the great ones. Also, you have to be able to be accurate on the deep ball.

        If Murray can’t complete deep passes, then opposing defenses jam up 8 in the box and stop the run. That’s what happened in the first 2 SEC games.

        Same rush offense went from 7th in the SEC under Cox to 10th with Murray.

        Murray also had a hard time calling correct run audibles, as witnessed by the poorer rushing stats with same line and rb’s as Cox had.

        • In the Pro style offense, it’s your ability to go to that checkdown receiver that sperates the good QB’s from the great ones. Also, you have to be able to be accurate on the deep ball.

          So why aren’t you comparing Murray only to other QBs in pro-style offenses?

          BTW, on your long ball observation, Murray ranks fourth nationally in yards per passing attempt in conference games.

          • Marcus

            Compare Murray to Stafford and Cox (pro style–same exact offense) and how he did against SEC play in pass effic & completion %, and wins and losses.

            On the long ball, how many deep balls, total, did Murray complete in his first 3 sec games?

            • Good Lord, man, you’re comparing a redshirt freshman in his first three games to guys in their third and fifth (!) years in the program?

              Really, I get that you’ve got a hard-on about Murray. You don’t need to continue with this.

              • Marcus

                I’ve compared Murray to the NCAA QB’s, and to UGA QB’s, you don’t prefer either comparison? Murray’s gone through 2 Springs, not exactly brand new to the system.

                Any UGA QB could have done better, last 2 have. UGA generally does a good job with their QB’s (except for this season), considering they have someone with strong decision making skills and poise against SEC foes.

                Mason would have won 8 games, geez, Richt ain’t had a QB go 6-6 at FSU or UGA (25 years) until Murray did.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Man, the problems were an o-line that wouldn’t block, backs that fumbled at the worst possible time, a D that couldn’t stop the run up the middle and coaching decisions…I won’t even go there. You are blaming the only guy who wasn’t responsible for the 6 losses. Without him we lose all the games we lost and probably to UK and Tech, too.

                  • Marcus

                    Georgia’s defense won all 6 games:
                    1) Held Vandy, La Laf, & Id St to 7 points or less.
                    2) forced 12 to’s against Kent, Tenn, Ga Tech

                    Any UGA QB would have won those 6 games.

                    Murray had to win the games where he went up against high scoring offenses, that had terrible pass defenses (Col, Aub, Ark, SC). Those were the type of games Joe Cox won last season. Murray lost them all. MSU Murray had to complete some long balls to get 8 out of the box, couldn’t do it. Florida game, Murray had to limit TO’s, committed 4, couldn’t get it done.

  14. Marcus

    Murray, a very impressive QB? You’ve got to be kidding. Look at how he did in the 7 SEC games.
    South Carolina- o td’s, Kentucky- o td’s, Ark- 1 td, MSU- 1 td, Tenn- 2 td’s, Auburn- 3 td’s, Florida- 3 td’s, 3 int’s, 1 interception

    Murray really only made a positive SEC impact on the Auburn game. He was a non-factor in the other 6 SEC games. Murray did not face 1 defense ranked in top 30 in scoring defense–pretty weak schedule when you look at scoring defense rankings, especially of the 6 defenses Murray beat, all were horrible in scoring defense.

    • JBJ

      You missed the fact he ran for 2TDs against UT and 1 against Ark. He also threw for 2 TD against Vandy. Not sure why you would think those aren’t very good numbers. He threw 24 TDs and only 6 INTs as a RFresh.

      The UK game he was 9 of 12, but Ealy had a monster 5 TD day so we didn’t really need him to do anything fancy.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Marcus, use the reply button. That’s what it’s there for.

  15. Marcus

    Murray’s performance in the 7 SEC games was below average, with the exception of the Auburn game. Mason would have done better, easily, really, anyone on the UGA bench would have done bette rin those 7 games, you simply CAN’T do worse.

    Joe Cox threw for more SEC td’s in 1 game against Arkansas, than Murray threw in 5 SEC games (SC, MSU, Tenn, Kent, Ark).

    Murray, really great QB, can’t throw more SEC td’s in 5 SEC games than Cox did in 1 SEC game?

    • Mason would have done better, easily, really, anyone on the UGA bench would have done bette rin those 7 games, you simply CAN’T do worse.

      You pretty much wipe out any credibility you might hope to have with a statement like that.

      The average NCAA passer rating is 130. Murray exceeded that number in every conference game this season. So your “below average” observation isn’t accurate.

      • Marcus

        Passing Efficiency against SEC play?
        Stafford finished #1 in the SEC in 2008 against SEC conference opponents in pass effic. Joe Cox, Joe Cox, finished #2 in SEC play in 2009, against SEC cnference opponents in pass effic. Murray finished #3 in SEC play in 2010, against SEC conference opponents in pass effic.

        Completion accuracy?
        Murray loses there too. Stafford finished #2 in the SEC against conference opponents in 08, Cox #5 in 09′, and Murray, as usual, finished #7 in SEC play in completion accuracy against conference opponents.

        Like I said, ANY UGA QB could have done better, last 2 have.

        • Passing Efficiency against SEC play?
          Stafford finished #1 in the SEC in 2008 against SEC conference opponents in pass effic. Joe Cox, Joe Cox, finished #2 in SEC play in 2009, against SEC cnference opponents in pass effic. Murray finished #3 in SEC play in 2010, against SEC conference opponents in pass effic.

          Actually, Cox finished first, with a 141.57 rating. Matt finished second with a 143.23 rating. Murray wound up with a 155.21 rating.

          We obviously define “better” differently.

          • Marcus

            It’s how Murray stacked up in the SEC in a given year, each year brings it’s own unique defensive match-ups, compared to how Stafford & Cox stacked up in a given year. Did Murray rank higher in pass efficency or completion % in SEC rankings? No.

            How many top 30 defensive scoring defenses did Murray face, compared to Stafford & Cox?

            • It’s how Murray stacked up in the SEC in a given year, each year brings it’s own unique defensive match-ups, compared to how Stafford & Cox stacked up in a given year. Did Murray rank higher in pass efficency or completion % in SEC rankings? No.

              Did it ever dawn on you that that might have something to do with improved overall QB play in the conference this season? Four of the top ten QBs in passer rating are from the SEC. There were two in ’09 and one in ’08.

              • Marcus

                Bottom line, whatever your reasons, Murray didn’t rank as high in SEC against conference foes as past 2 UGA QB’s in 08′ or 09′. Any UGA QB could have finished #1 or #2 in pass effic in SEC against SEC foes, last 2 have, Cox & Stafford. Mason would have too. So would have Mettenberger.

  16. Marcus

    Stafford in 08′ faced 3 or 4 defenses in the top 30 in defensive scoring.

    cox faced 3 defenses in the top 30 in defensive scoring in 09′.

    Murray didn’t face a single defense in 10′ ranked in the top 30 in defensive scoring.

  17. hailtogeorgia

    Marcus, this is ridiculous. Did Murray sleep with your girlfriend or something? There’s really no other explanation for your hate.

  18. Marcus

    Murray seems like a great guy, definately is too positive–he is blind to his negatives/weaknesses–as are his fans, Murray needs to be judged by 3 things: 1) his win/loss record as a QB 2) his conference performance 3) his poise under pressure, not solely by 4) td’s 5) yardage.

    Murray is not the only big problem, other 2 are rush offense, and rush defense.

    Most fans don’t like going 6-6, it’s not acceptable.

  19. Marcus

    Which is worse?

    1) Murray has never won a game when the other teams cores first, lacks mental toughness

    2) Murray has never won a game against a team with a winning record–doesn’t perform at his best in big games

    • CLT Dawg

      Thanks for stopping by Mr. Lemay…

      • 69Dawg

        +1 Apparently he is either Zack M’s old lover or he is LeMays agent. Hutson Masons alter ego perhaps. Either way it’s refreshing to hear total BS on this blog. Wait maybe this is the famous Thomas Brown.