SEC all-time leading passer Aaron Murray shares vision of new Georgia offense
ATHENS — The Georgia football program received some added prep time when the SEC moved back the start of the season to Sept, 26, but not enough to take pressure off the defense early on.
At least, that’s what all-time SEC passing leader Aaron Murray said on his recent appearance on WJOX radio show “3 Man Front” this week.
“These games may be close early on, It’s going to be defensive games, close games,” said Murray, who is a CBS Sports analyst. “And you’re going to need a kicker to win it for you, I’d say within the first five games of the season, until that offense starts sparking and putting up a bunch of points.”
The Bulldogs enter the season ranked No. 4 in the Amway Coaches Poll. This, despite being in the midst of a complete rebuild on offense with a new offensive coordinator, quarterback, backfield and reloaded offensive line.
The league has opted for a 10-game conference only schedule. There’s not likely to be much of a grace period, in terms of allowing for the offensive to find it’s identity and timing.
At that, the Bulldogs don’t even know the entirety of their schedule or order of games. The SEC is expected to announce that any day now, but had not as of the time of this Aug. 7 publication.
Murray said he expects Georgia’s offensive identity to revolve around the winner of the quarterback derby, who he projects will be Jamie Newman.
“The threat of a quarterback with his size, his capability, I think you build off that,” Murray said. “So I think it’s going to be an offense Georgia tans aren’t used to seeing.”
Murray said UGA ran some of the RPO (run-pass-option) action Newman is known for, but he believe Monken’s version will have a different look.
“Even my junior and senior year with (Mike) Bobo we dabbled into the RPO, getting into it more,” Murray said. “But we were still 40-50 percent getting under center, I-Formation, zone run game, play-action pass.
“I don’t think you’re going to see much of that at all. I think it’s going to be primarily (shot-) gun, 11 personnel, (one back, one tight end, three receivers), to get more receivers on the field. Spread it out, let the quarterback make the decision.”
Murray’s vision is that Newman also plays a significant role in the run game, to the extent Georgia might not have the 1-2 punch at tailback fans have grown accustomed to.
“It may be, ‘OK Jamie, you’re gonna run the ball 10, 12 time a game, we want you to be that physical runner,” Murray said. “Maybe not break a 20- or 30-yard run, (though) maybe that happens now and then, but to get that first down, to get 4 to 5 yards, to keep the defense honest with the zone read game.”
1) Georgia QB Aaron Murray (2010-2013), 13,166 yards
2) Missouri QB Drew Lock (2015-2018), 12,193 yards
3) Georgia QB David Greene (2001-2004), 11,528 yards
4) Florida QB Chris Leak (2003-2006), 11,213 yards
5) Tennessee QB Peyton Manning (1994-1997), 11,201 yards
6) Georgia QB Eric Zeier (1991-1994), 11,153 yards
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