ATHENS, Ga. — There is room in Georgia’s exclusive fraternity of Southeastern Conference championship game-winning quarterbacks for Aaron Murray.
“Absolutely,” D.J. Shockley, 2005 SEC title game MVP, said Monday, “especially for my man Aaron.”
“We’ve got plenty of room.” said David Greene, quarterback for the Bulldogs’ 2002 SEC championship team. “We wish we could have one every year.”
It’s been six years since Shockley and a 13th-ranked Georgia team beat No. 3 LSU, 34-13.
Georgia is finally back in the SEC title game. Murray has his chance to cement his place in Bulldogs lore with his own championship when the No. 12 Bulldogs go up against top-ranked Louisiana State University on Saturday in Atlanta.
“Championships is all that matters,” Murray said. “When people talk about stats or this and that, I think the biggest stat is how many championships you’ve won. My goal is to win a few while I’m here and my first opportunity is this weekend.”
The redshirt sophomore leads the SEC and is 14th nationally in passing efficiency. His 32 touchdown passes broke Matthew Stafford’s school record of 25 and rank seventh nationally, 10 more than anyone else in the SEC.
The Tampa, Fla., native completed 19 of 29 passes for 252 yards with four touchdowns in Saturday’s 31-17 win at Georgia Tech. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns with two interceptions in the past four games.
“He’s played pretty good all year long,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I mean, there’s been some moments in time when he hasn’t played as good as we would like. But I like what he’s done all season long. You wish your quarterback would be hot as a firecracker every time he drops back and throws it.”
Murray’s 56 touchdown passes rank third on Georgia’s all-time list. Greene is No. 1 with 72 between 2001-04.
Greene threw 22 touchdowns in Georgia’s 2002 SEC championship season. He was named the title game’s MVP after completing 17 of 29 for 237 yards and one touchdown in the 30-3 win over Arkansas for Georgia’s first SEC title in 20 years.
“The ’02 game, we were just playing so well at the end of the year, it kind of reminded me a little bit of this team this year,” Greene said. “We started out not playing that well against Clemson but we won (31-28), but we just kept getting better and better as the year went on.”
Greene returned to the SEC championship game in 2003, but LSU won 34-13 en route to the BCS title.
“I prefer to think about the ‘02 game rather than the ‘03,” Greene said.
Shockley waited behind Greene until his redshirt senior year to finally start in 2005.
He got Georgia off to a fast start against LSU with touchdown passes of 45 and 29 yards to Sean Bailey and later scored on a 7-yard touchdown run in the 34-14 upset.
“It was huge for me personally just because all the stuff that was said before the season, could I get it done?” Shockley said. “It was kind of satisfaction to say, `Hey I did have the ability with guys around me to make this thing work.’”
Greene and Shockley, both now out of the NFL, will be appearing later this week at the SEC FanFare at the World Congress Center in Atlanta.
“He’s got Georgia back to the SEC championship game,” Shockley said of Murray.
“We actually talked about that and I was telling him about the last time we played LSU and he said `Oh, yeah I remember.’ Being MVP, I told him you’ve got something to live up to.”