GAINESVILLE – Georgia coach Mark Richt hasn’t endured many seasons as strange as this one, which even sparked some speculation that his days as the Bulldogs’ leader might be over.
But along the way, he’s watched the growth of redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray help build a three-game winning streak that, going into Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game against Florida, now has Richt smiling about the future.
“I think his progression has been very good from the very beginning,” Richt said of Murray, a Plant High graduate and Tampa native. “I think he’s pretty much done what we’ve asked him to do all along. I know we weren’t getting the results in the win column that we were looking for but I wouldn’t relate that to Aaron Murray not doing what he was being asked to do at any time of the season.”Richt feels like much of the transition stage is over, in the development of a new leader.
“The one thing about him is he really understands how to prepare,” Richt said. “He understands what it takes. In the offseason he did have the benefit of knowing he was going to be the starter after the spring, throughout the summer the whole team knew he was going to be the guy, he knew he was going to be the guy. And a lot of times that will help you gain the credibility of your teammates because everybody is kind of learning to realize that you’ve got to rely on this guy. So, they were paying attention to what he was doing and he was doing all the right things.” Murray, who has completed 121 of 193 passes for 1,765 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three interceptions, had never been to a Florida-Georgia game before watching from the sidelines last year. His college choice came down to the two schools.