Murray poised in the pocket

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray lacks size at 6-1, but his vision and knowledge of the offense causes problems for the opposition. The Gators are hoping to use his size against him. Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has seen multiple passes deflected at the line of scrimmage because of Murray's size, and some have turned into interceptions. The Gators will try to contain Murray on Saturday.

"There's been some batted balls at the line of scrimmage from this quarterback, and some of those have actually resulted in turnovers," Dan Quinn said. "I think when you saw it happen against South Carolina, one went up in the air and they had a turnover on the first series of the ball game. But for him being able to throw in and out of windows, you have seen that on tape some."

The junior quarterback is in his third year as the starter at Georgia, and the poise is noticeable on film. He understands the offense the Bulldogs run because of his experience with the playmakers around him. His athleticism makes Murray a threat to run and helps him move well in the pocket to avoid sacks.

The Georgia offensive line has been inconsistent but only allowed 12 sacks this season, the fourth fewest in the Southeastern Conference. Some of that has to do with Murray's athleticism and poise in the pocket.

"When you're talking about quarterbacks, that's one of the first things that comes into play of how quickly they can decipher where they want to go with the ball, and he does a really good job of getting the ball out," Quinn said. "He hasn't been sacked a lot. He doesn't throw a lot of interceptions. He's accurate, so those are the initial challenges you face with a guy like this.

"He is a hard guy to sack because he clearly knows when he feels pressure, where to go with the football, so I've got a lot of respect for him and how he plays at that position in terms of being able to distribute the ball to guys."

The group of receivers torched Florida, especially on fourth downs during the game last season, because of their height. Marlon Brown (6-5), Tavarres King (6-1) and Malcolm Mitchell (6-1) will give the Gators a challenge this year because of their experience in the offense. Michael Bennett (6-3), caught one of the fourth down touchdowns last season, but he tore his ACL earlier this year and is out for the remainder of the season.

The most difficult part of limiting the Georgia passing game is that they've been around for a while. They have experience through the air, giving Murray a good understanding of where to go with the ball when he's pressured.

"They have some tall receivers who can go and aggressively get the ball," Quinn said. "It's going to be our job to affect (Murray) and get him off the spot where he doesn't feel comfortable in the pocket where he can make the decisions without being effective."

The running game has a different look to it this season. Isaiah Crowell rushed for 81 yards against Florida last season during his strong freshman season, and Richard Samuel added 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

This year, it's about two freshmen. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were heavily recruited players that are both making an immediate impact in Athens this year. Gurley leads the way with 93 carries for 622 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns. Marshall has 70 carries for 500 yards (7.0 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.

It's a talented duo that wants to run the ball to the perimeter.

"It's been really impressive because one of the things that these guys do best are bounce-out runners," Quinn said. "They've got real speed to get the edge where maybe that wasn't necessarily their top run last year, but I think when you find guys that can get the ball and get out on the perimeter for some long, extended plays, it's been good (for Georgia)."

The Georgia rushing offense delivered some humbling moments last season in Jacksonville. With 5:32 left in the game and the Bulldogs holding a four-point lead, they didn't give the ball back to Florida. The drive started at Georgia's 41-yard line and ended with Murray taking a knee at the Florida one-yard line before the clock expired.

"That was certainly a low point for me," Quinn said. "When you look back at it, we had chances to win the game and when you don't, it eats at you for a long time. When you're thinking about it or during the offseason or when you put the film on during the offseason to start on the study for them and then certainly the number of times we've seen that sequence of plays this year, during this week — it's especially is hard.

"You knew you had a chance to maybe make a stop and give us a chance to win the game and we weren't able to get that done," Quinn said. "That was certainly one for us in terms of winning the line of scrimmage, we weren't able to do. And as you know here, how important that is for us and how we do it. We're certainly looking forward to the challenge."

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