Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Shooting for Three; Key Matchup: Vaunted UF Secondary vs. Georgia QB

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murray Shooting for Three; Key Matchup: Vaunted UF Secondary vs. Georgia QB

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

Florida has kept record-setting Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in check the last two seasons. If the Gators erase their two-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, Florida's secondary likely will play a key role.

Georgia plays Florida (both are 4-3 overall, and 3-2 in the SEC) at EverBank Field at 3:30 p.m. (CBS), with the chance to beat the Gators for a third game in a row for the first time since 1987-89. Murray, who set SEC career records in total offense and passing yards in his last three games, can also become the first Bulldogs quarterback to beat UF three times in a row since Buck Belue (1979-1981).

But he'll have to do it against a pass defense ranked No. 1 in the SEC and No. 5 in the nation.

Murray also is chasing the SEC career touchdown pass record of 114, held by a Gators quarterback who never lost to the Bulldogs, Danny Wuerffel. Murray is two scoring passes behind.

However, Murray hasn't exactly lit up the Gators during his career and received great assistance from his defense and running game in winning the 2011 and 2012 games. The Bulldogs have limited Florida to 492 total yards and one offensive touchdown in those games and have rushed for a total of 308 yards.

Murray has been more of a game manager against the Gators rather than the prolific quarterback who two weeks ago broke Tim Tebow's SEC record of 12,232 total yards and the week before, broke former UGa quarterback David Green's record of 11,528 passing yards.

In his two victories over Florida, Murray has completed 46.5 percent of his passes for 319 yards, four interceptions and a passer rating of 96.02. Murray's 150 yards against the Gators last season was his second-lowest single-game total of the season, and when Florida held him to 169 yards in 2011, it was his fourth-lowest.

Because Georgia had lost 11 of the previous 13 games against Florida and was 2-18 since 1990, there wasn't much quibbling about style points - much in the same way that Belue presided over three victories in a row against the Gators.

Florida coach Will Muschamp expects the best of Murray in his last game in the rivalry.

"He's very experienced, very accurate and having an outstanding year and an outstanding career," Muschamp said. "We're probably not going to show him anything he's not seen over four years at Georgia. We just need to execute, play well."

Murray is unconcerned about the past two seasons in which being at the helm of the UGa offense, regardless of how he played, seemed to erase his stigma of not winning the "big" games.

"We just have to go out there and play ball and have fun," Murray earlier this week at a Georgia media availability. "You can't be worried about whether you've lost this many in a row, or won this many in a row, because every year is different. …

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