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Dogs QB Murray tries to shale four-turnover game

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- Aaron Murray couldn't pull himself away from the worst start of his career.

Georgia's freshman quarterback threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in Georgia's 34-31 overtime loss to Florida last week. He was determined to take something positive from the game.

Mike Bobo, Georgia quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, kept returning to the team's facility to find Murray studying film. He said he found Murray watching film by himself not only on Sunday but also Sunday night and Monday morning. Georgia (4-5) hosts Idaho State (1-7) on Saturday.

"I was like 'What are you doing? It's time to move on to the next game,'" Bobo said. "He said, 'I've got to learn from my mistakes.' That's the kind of kid he is. He's going to learn from it. He's going to grow from it and he's just going to continue to get better."

The first interception came when Murray threw late for A.J. Green on the first play of the Oct. 30 game.

"It's been tough to move on from that throw but you've got to move on from it," Murray said. "It's football. It happens. You've got to learn from it. Hopefully if I get put in that situation again, I won't make the same mistake again that I did that time."

The early interception was a stress test for Murray, said receiver Tavarres King.

"He probably was a little bit nervous after throwing a pick the first throw of the game," King said. "Nothing changed in the huddle. He kept being Aaron. In the huddle, everything seemed fine."

Before last week, Murray had been the most consistent player on Georgia's offense. He threw 12 touchdown passes with only three interceptions in the Bulldogs' first eight games and was the bright spot in a disappointing season.

Even with his four turnovers in the loss to the Gators, Murray set a career high with 313 yards passing and matched his high with three touchdown passes.

"The bottom line is you've got to keep playing ball and that's what he did," Bobo said. "He put us in a position to win the game late and we just didn't finish."

Murray said he watched at least 10 replays of the game.

"His comment was 'I'm going to watch it one more time and see if I can pick up anything extra and learn something extra from it,'" Bobo said.

Coach Mark Richt said Murray's responded to the loss like a leader.

"One thing about Aaron is he's a great leader," Richt said. "A great leader is going to put it on himself and say, 'We didn't win because of what I did.' So you really have to admire that about him.

"Was it his best game? It was not, but he made a lot of great plays. I'm sure there were some that, like in any game, you'd like to have back. I was proud of his effort."

Richt said the first interception would have rattled some quarterbacks.

"When you watch a quarterback and if there is something that happens big early on like that pick the very first throw, it can send a guy into a really bad state of mind and you can just look at him and say this guy is shook," Richt said. "I never thought that happened in the game. I never thought he was shook up to the point where I was really nervous about having Mike call anything within our system. I think he handled the adversity pretty well."

Murray threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including a 15-yard pass to Green that tied the game at 31-31 to force overtime.

Murray's final interception came in overtime, setting up Florida's winning field goal.

"We had a chance to come back and win and it would have been an unbelievable victory," Murray said. "It was definitely hard for everyone on the team, definitely hard on me. I was probably beating myself up but I've watched the film, I've learned from it. You've got to put it behind you and get ready for Idaho State."