Georgia Bulldogs: Aaron Murray Completes What Peyton Manning Couldn't Against Steve Spurrier

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Aaron Murray Perfect in Win Over South Carolina
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

You could just see the disgust in South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier‘s face with about six minutes to go in the game. He knew that he had been hoodwinked and couldn’t believe that Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs took care of business against his most beloved team in his coaching history.

There was a lot of chatter this week around the sports world that Murray had never pulled a big play in a big game. He was just a good quarterback who just didn’t have what it took to be great. And if you are as old as this guy, you can remember all the same talking heads saying the same thing about one Peyton Manning during his college football career.

Both Murray and Manning had identical stats entering their final season, and both had a goose egg when it came to figuring out Spurrier.

But for Murray and his Dawgs, everything changed in the Bulldogs’ 41-30 victory over the Gamecocks. It was simply a defining game in Georgia’s history under Mark Richt. There wasn’t one single Bulldog fan who had any faith in Murray or Richt entering the game, and what little hope they had was gone by halftime.

Murray proved them all wrong and finally did something Manning never did: beat Spurrier.

And beat him he did by going 17-of-23 for 309 yards, tossing four touchdowns and more importantly, committing zero turnovers. He even had a defining playing to seal the game in the roll out after coverage broke down to Justin Scott-Wesley for 75 yards, but it was his leadership that was present more than anything in the win. Murray was a rock, and someone Todd Gurley and everyone followed into battle today.

Now the season is far from over for both Georgia and South Carolina. The Bulldogs still have a crazy schedule to maneuver while the Gamecocks have a bit of the easier road if they can just take care of their own business. But the way Murray, Gurley, Arthur Lynch and Quayvon Hicks looked tonight, you like Georgia’s chances to play ball control and impose their will on their opponents.

So Georgia fans, for the love of everything that is good and holy, please get off Murray and Georgia’s back. You’ve been missing out of some pretty amazing football and one special player like you’ve never had before. Enjoy your moment in victory over Spurrier. Lord knows he is already scheming how to beat you next year.

M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association. Follow him @woodysmalls.

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