Aaron Murray knew the job was difficult when he took it.

Man, talk about your bad first date

Aaron Murray had already committed to Georgia in 2008, but he’d never been to a game at Sanford Stadium before the Bulldogs’ regular-season showdown with Alabama that year.

Murray was among the top recruits in the country, and his No. 1 priority that Saturday was convincing a few other big names to join him as part of the 2009 signing class. This game figured to be the perfect opportunity to close the deal. Georgia had entered the 2008 season ranked No. 1 in the nation, led by Matthew Stafford, Knowshon Moreno and A.J. Green, and was off to a 4-0 start. It was a prime-time game, national TV. ESPN’s College GameDay was on campus that morning, and the Bulldogs had already announced they’d be wearing their famed all-black jerseys, which they’d worn to much fanfare during wins over Auburn and Hawai’i the year before. The environment was electric, well, until about 20 minutes after kickoff.

By halftime, Alabama led 31-0. The Nick Saban era had officially begun, and Georgia’s hopes for a national championship in 2008 were all but over.

“I just remember at halftime, they’re getting their butts spanked,” Murray said. “And all these recruits were saying, ‘I thought Georgia was good. What’s the deal?’ I just said it must’ve been an off night but, ‘Hey, those jerseys look sweet.'”

Fast forward to the scars of 2012…

Murray knows the feeling.

In the 2012 SEC championship, with the Tide leading 32-28, he led Georgia on a potential game-winning drive. The Dawgs had the ball, first-and-goal at the Alabama 8 with just 15 seconds to play and the clock running.

“People say we should’ve clocked the ball,” former Georgia coach Mark Richt explained in a measured, matter-of-fact tone that suggested he’s told this story a million times before. “But if you throw into the end zone, you’re going to get three plays. If you clock it, you’re going to get two. Strategically, it was not a bad thing.”

Problem is, the strategy backfired. Murray’s first-down pass was tipped and caught by Conley, who couldn’t get out of bounds before the clock expired, sending Alabama on to the BCS national championship game, where the Tide annihilated Notre Dame.

“I’d love to put it behind me, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Murray said. “I still have nightmares about that drive.”

And you thought you had it bad.

“The media is going to continue to talk about how you haven’t beaten Alabama and look at recent history and look at what happened four weeks ago,” Murray said. “You can look at the film and say Georgia is more talented, but every single day all you hear is Georgia can’t get over the hump, Georgia can’t get over the hump. You want to walk into the stadium with the confidence of knowing you can win the game, but that’s in the back of your head. That’s part of the reason Alabama has had so much success the past 15 years. When a team looks across the field they see Nick Saban, and the trophies. And the success. And the first-rounders. And the Heisman Trophy winner. And you say, ‘Man, how can we get through this?'”

Good question.  We find out tomorrow if they do.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

27 responses to “Aaron Murray knew the job was difficult when he took it.

  1. I wonder how much players like Aaron Murray are especially looking forward to Georgia getting the Bama monkey of its back so people stop digging up the list of losses and showing them off like tragedy porn.

    It will almost be like the demons of all those losses get exorcised, and then instead become necessary stepping stones leading to the promised land. So those 2008, 2012, 2017, etc. games are no longer back breaking, devastating losses, but necessary – albeit painful – lessons that got us to the national title. Maybe? 🙂

    For all of us – fans, alumni, former players – god I hope this is the one where we finally get over the finish line with the W.

    Prediction, as always: Dawgs 70 – Bama 0


    Liked by 13 people

    • spur21

      I like your optimism 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Down Island Way

        It’s not that Satan is across the way, with all those trophies and all those wins and all those wonderful student athletes, it’s all that stuff just annoys the shit out of me…all of it, UGA football could use a “W” not in the worst way, just could really use a “W”…the bammers are in our future for quite a while, get use to it, don’t have to like it, just need a “W”…GO DAWGS!

        Liked by 4 people

      • The way I look at it: before a game happens, I can think whatever I want and nobody can tell me that I’m wrong. Why not choose to think something awesome, right? 😛

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Gaskilldawg

    I never played college sports beyond intramural level so I have no first hand knowledge of the psychology of alpha male athletes who have been highly successful all their teenage and adult years. Does our roster of great athletes who have always experienced success really get neurotic when having to face other skilled teams? Do they forget the success forged in the “iron sharpens iron” practices and lose their confidence? I don’t know but I suspect that the 105 on the travel roster aren’t shitting in their pants.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. ben

    We had just moved to Mobile, AL, about three weeks before that game. There is a small but vocal contingent of Dawgs down there, and we were barking and howling all week. We got invited over to someone’s house to watch the game that weekend, and I think even those Bama fans were shocked. Over our time there, though, we learned that the Bama presence in Mobile is likely the largest and most vocal (and maybe deepest-pocketed) part of Red Elephant country.

    Living in the crimsonest part of Crimson Tide country during these past however many games has not been fun at all when it comes to the football team.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Remember the Quincy

      I can’t imagine a place with a larger and more vocal Bammer crowd than Birmingham. Just an hour from T-Town and loads of Bama grads end up here year after year.


  4. RangerRuss

    Hey y’all, fuck Bama.

    Liked by 11 people

  5. RangerRuss

    I’m thinking by midnight tomorrow we’re all going to be wondering what all the fuss and worry was about and still scratching our heads at the anomaly that was the SECC game.
    Dawgs D goes off and the O takes care of business. Just another game for the best team in college football. We’ve seen it all year.
    Dawgs 34- Bama 13

    Liked by 14 people

  6. voxdawg

    The odd are that the SECCG was an anomaly. If both teams regress to their 2021 mean, we see the Dawgs on top, and Kirby hoists the trophy tomorrow night.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Castleberry

    Now is the time. Let’s get it done.

    Off topic, but speaking of Murray I recently thought that Bennett has taken his mantle of the all time most crapped on Georgia QB. Both guys are DGDs who put their all everything in for the team, school, and deserve better.

    A W tomorrow will be cathartic on so many levels.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. uga97

    Grantham coached his ass off that game until they couldn’t stop the run in the 2nd half. This time, Lanning has to coach his ass off to stop the pass, especially in if we are up a few scores. Our chances are better if we keep ball in front of us & dare Bryce Young to try & run more. His body likely will get beaten & crushed if runs 10-15 times on our D.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RangerRuss

    Lady Dawgs win!
    72-68 over Bama.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. RangerRuss

    I was trying to recall if I had been faced with a situation similar to what the Dawgs face tonight. A nemesis if you will. I was starting in Tae Kwan Do and a fellow named Pop just kicked my ass. My bud said I looked like the bad guy in a Bruce Lee movie. These ass whoopns continued all through high school and I never could do anything with Pop. He was more experienced, taller and had the range on me. Pop was a bully. I didn’t like it and was determined to do something about it.
    Took a class at UGA, worked out regularly with anyone who was willing and toted some more ass whoopns. Graduated and went to a place where Men were serious about hand-to-hand combat. Toted some more ass whoopns but I was dishing ’em out too. I kept up the training and got better.
    A life time since he first kicked my ass I ran into Pop in front of Mr Gene Snellings store in The Glade.
    “Yo Russ, you want to go free style?”
    He immediately tried that spinning back kick with the roundhouse right that Bill Wallace made famous. It was if he was moving in slow motion. I didn’t even block. Stepped inside and knocked him smooth the fuck out. We went at it a few more times in the ensuing years and it never got any better for Pop and I never grew tired of whipping his ass.
    I’m hoping for similar results tonight and every season. UGA has done everything in its power to conquer the Dawg’s nemesis. I believe they’ve reached the point of continued success. Because you know what, y’all?
    Payback is a motherfucker.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. archmartyr

    Things that are more recent than Georgia winning a national championship in football………

    U.S. invasion of Grenada
    Sandra Day O’Connor being selected as a Supreme Court Justice
    Ronald Reagan taking office
    The fall of the Berlin wall
    The fall of the old U.S.S.R
    The invention of the cell phone
    Georgia Tech and BYU, yes BYU, winning national titles
    Cell phones invented

    And for a bonus, the attack on Pearl Harbor was closer in time to their last national championship than today is. LOL

    Death, taxes and Alabama smacking Georgia around. Tonight’s the night fellas, get ready to see Bama celebrate another one. Roll Tide