Richt says Aaron Murray plays ‘best game'

ATHENS -- Kris Durham couldn’t believe what he was watching.

He knew Aaron Murray was quick on his feet, but Durham never thought he would see Georgia's young quarterback sprinting past Tennessee’s defensive backs on his way to the Bulldogs' first touchdown in a 41-14 victory over the Volunteers on Saturday.

“I didn’t know he could run like that,” Durham said. “I’ve seen him run in and out all season, but straight ahead, he’s got some speed.”

Six games into his first season as a starter, and Murray continues to surprise and impress with his legs, arm and mind. Playing what Georgia coach Mark Richt called his “best game,” Murray accounted for four of Georgia’s five touchdowns.

He was 17-for-25 for 266 yards and two touchdowns through the air and rushed for 41 yards and two more scores.

“Aaron is such a special guy,” receiver A.J. Green said. “I’ve been saying that since Day 1. Some of the stuff he can do is just amazing – stuff that some older quarterbacks can’t even do.”

Uncertainty surrounded Murray entering his first year as a starter, but he has been Georgia’s offensive bright spot. It was thought the veteran line and running backs would be needed to carry the offense until he gained experience and confidence, but Murray has played consistently well.

He seemed especially determined against Tennessee.

Murray was heading toward the sideline on his 35-yard first-quarter scoring run -- Georgia’s second longest of the season, behind Green’s 40-yarder against Colorado -- but saw a block from receiver Tavarres King and cut it back toward the field to score.

On his 5-yard TD run, he tore away from a potential sack, outran defenders to the pylon and stuck the ball in the end zone to cap the first drive of the second half.

“I didn’t think he would be able to make as many plays with his wheels,” Richt said. “I didn’t think he would run for that many yards across the line of scrimmage. I feel like he would move around and make plays buying time and throwing the ball downfield and getting the occasional first down here and there, but I really didn’t think he would be able to break out and run the ball the way he has. I’m glad that he is.”

Murray entered the game completing 60.6 percent of his passes, a number that improved after he connected on 68 percent against Tennessee. After going 9-of-16 in the first half, Murray completed eight in a row to start the second half.

“I feel like he’s headed in the right direction, for sure,” tight end Aron White said. “I don’t feel like he’s a Heisman candidate or anything like that [right now], but he’s definitely showing good things and progressing well this season. This game, I feel like he came into his own a little bit.”

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