Ever since the preseason, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has talked about extending plays with his legs.
A career-long 57-yard run against Tennessee certainly qualifies. Only nine quarterbacks nationally have a longer run this season and none in the Southeastern Conference.
“All of a sudden I see him take off and he’s kind of running for his life,” tight end Arthur Lynch said. “At first, I started laughing and I was like, ‘I better go help him.’ I don’t know if they thought he was going to slide or what, but he split the D and I was like, ‘He might score.’ When he switched the ball and went for the stiff arm, I was like, ‘If we win this game, this could be a little Heisman moment maybe,’ but he didn’t score. So he’s going to have to do it again.”
The quarterbacks with longer runs this season: Arkansas State’s Fredi Knighten (79 yards), Wyoming’s Brett Smith (74), Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (71), BYU’s Taysom Hill (68), Maryland’s C.J. Brown (64), Arizona’s Javelle Allen (61), Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch (61), Washington’s Cyler Miles (61) and Air Force’s Karson Roberts (60).
Only Mariota and Brown also rank in the top 45 in the nation in passing efficiency.
Murray’s 57-yard run wasn’t a designed run, Murray and Lynch said. Lynch thought he might get a pass directed his way on the play, but Murray said Tennessee matched up well in coverage, but left running room.
Murray thought he might score, but he was brought down by cornerback Justin Coleman.
“I’m not as fast as that dude who was chasing me,” Murray said. “I was just happy to get down to the 3-yard line and let the running backs take it the rest of the way.”
Murray thinks the run Saturday was longer than any he had at Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., where he rushed for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.