Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray is determined to rewrite is legacy in 2013.
Murray, though, will likely only continue to show the world that he deserves what his legacy has already become: choke artist.
The senior quarterback began his college career at Georgia as one of the best quarterback prospects in the country coming out of high school. The major concern scouts had about him was his gunslinger mentality, similar to that of Brett Favre. This mentality causes a quarterback to believe he can make any throw into any window at any time.
This mentality has resulted in Murray trying to do too much in big games.
In his three seasons as a starting quarterback in the SEC, Murray has led the Bulldogs to two SEC Championship games and three bowl games. When he has gotten to these games, though, he has given most of them away.
With a 1-4 record in SEC title and bowl games, Murray has thrown just as many interceptions as touchdowns (nine) on these stages. In the four losses (two SEC title games and two bowl games) Murray has thrown just four touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
Even though Murray has shown himself to be a very solid quarterback in the SEC, he gives games away by trusting his arm too much. The quarterback has put up a 28-13 record as a starter, and has thrown 95 touchdown passes to just 32 interceptions. However, 15 of those picks came in the 13 losses.
In fact, Murray’s career numbers show him to be a completely different quarterback at times. This “Jekyll and Hyde” scenario correlates directly with Georgia’s success and failure. Similar to the Stephen Garcia conundrum at South Carolina a few years ago (when Garcia was able to look like either the best quarterback in the country or the worst on any given Saturday), the world tunes in each week to see which Aaron Murray is going to show up.
In his 28 wins, Murray has thrown 74 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. This gives him a 4.35 touchdown to interception ratio in those games, while he averages just 0.6 interceptions. However, because he plays so bad at times (1.4 touchdown to interception ratio in his 13 career losses), it is hard to tell who the real Aaron Murray is.
While he boasts a career touchdown to interception ratio of 2.97, this ratio falls to just 1.0 in his five postseason starts. The knock on him four years ago is the same he carries with him today.
At times, primarily in the games he wants to win the most, he tries too hard and believes in his arm too much. Unless he is able to overcome this mentality, Murray will once again give big games away, and cement his college football legacy as a choke artist.