Aaron Murray‚Äôs pinpoint passing has been a catalyst during Georgia‚Äôs eight-game winning streak.
On Saturday, he went on a hot streak that might set off fire alarms as the Bulldogs blasted Auburn 45-7 at Sanford Stadium and edged within a game of winning the Southeastern Conference‚Äôs Eastern Division title.
Murray hit 14 of 18 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions against the No. 24-ranked Tigers. He also broke Matthew Stafford‚Äôs school record for touchdown passes in a season and still has two more regular-season games on the schedule. It was also Murray‚Äôs first win against a ranked opponent and Georgia has beaten Florida and Auburn in the last few weeks.
‚ÄúMurray just played excellent, he was on fire,‚Äù Georgia defensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs been playing really well. The guy stays hungry. He‚Äôs not a complacent individual and he works extremely hard. We won that Florida game and he missed a couple in that game. He doesn‚Äôt get satisfied with his performance from last week. I think on Sunday he was in the office for about five hours down there by himself studying film.‚Äù
Murray has thrown for 462 yards and nine touchdowns the last two games. He had 238 and five scores in just a half of work last week in a 63-16 win against New Mexico State. His four scores against Auburn gave him 27 so far this season and broke Stafford‚Äôs record of 25 from 2008. Murray also tied Stafford‚Äôs career record with his 51st touchdown as a Bulldog. The SEC single-season touchdown pass record is 40 set by Kentucky‚Äôs Andre‚Äô Woodson in 2007.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got a lot of young receivers and I think I‚Äôve gotten the timing down with them and they‚Äôre making unbelievable plays,‚Äù Murray said.
‚ÄúCoach Bobo has done a really good job all year of spreading the ball out, and it‚Äôs hard for defenses to really come out and say, ‚ÄòHey we have to worry about this guy or this guy.‚Äô You have to worry about every guy with us and that makes my job a lot easier to know I can use the whole field and throw to anyone.‚Äù
Murray spread the ball liberally as he completed 14 passes to seven different receivers and four separate sets of hands caught touchdowns ‚Äî Michael Bennett, Malcolm Mitchell, Tavarres King and Bruce Figgins. Murray also ran for 21 yards despite getting sacked three times.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs really coming on strong,‚Äù Georgia tight end Aron White said. ‚ÄúHe was getting a little criticism early on for not making as many plays as last year. But he really came on the last couple of weeks.
‚ÄúHe broke the pocket a couple of times and threatened them with his legs. He‚Äôs putting the ball on the money. He‚Äôs seeing guys getting out in front of coverage. He‚Äôs hitting the back-shoulder throws. He‚Äôs breaking people down in the red zone and he‚Äôs picking them apart. He‚Äôs really become a complete quarterback and I‚Äôm happy he‚Äôs come on to have the kind of year we all knew he could.‚Äù
Murray has also been taking care of the ball. He has not thrown an interception for two games and has only thrown two in the last five games.
‚ÄúI guess he hit 14 of 18 tonight and that‚Äôs almost perfect,‚Äù Bennett said. ‚ÄúAaron is playing out of his mind right now. It‚Äôs awesome to see. This year he‚Äôs come in and he‚Äôs really taken command of the huddle. He‚Äôs the one who tells us to calm down in certain situations and he makes sure we‚Äôre all where we‚Äôre supposed to be. He keeps us poised. That‚Äôs what a quarterback is supposed to do and that‚Äôs what he‚Äôs doing.‚Äù