ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s Aaron Murray won’t be the only accomplished senior quarterback in town today.
Murray is the Southeastern Conference’s new career leader in passing yards and is on the verge of passing Tim Tebow as the conference’s all-time leader in total offense. Those records, plus wins over top-10 teams South Carolina and Louisiana State University, have placed Murray in the national spotlight for No. 7 Georgia.
James Franklin and No. 25 Missouri also are earning national respect. Franklin threw four touchdown passes to lead Missouri (5-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) to a 51-28 win at Vanderbilt last week. The win pushed the Tigers into the Top 25.
“James is playing pretty well,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. “This will be another test for him. James’ performance does not surprise me right now. His leadership is great, and he is kind of what I thought he would be. There are people around him that can make plays.”
Franklin will lead a balanced Missouri offense against a short-handed Georgia team.
Georgia (4-1, 3-0) lost tailback Keith Marshall and two receivers to injuries in last week’s 34-31 overtime win at Tennessee.
Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley were lost for the season with injuries to their right knees. Receiver Michael Bennett will miss at least two weeks after hurting his right knee against the Vols.
“It definitely hurts but we have a lot of talent and great depth,” Murray said. “Our receivers position is extremely deep. It’s not just three or four guys. We have so many guys who can play this year.”
The Bulldogs also could be without tailback Todd Gurley for the second consecutive week with a sprained left ankle. Coach Mark Richt has said Gurley is doubtful for the game.
Pinkel said Georgia is one of the nation’s most talented teams, even with all the injuries.
“They are obviously one of the great teams in the nation with a bunch of great players, and great athletes that play well,” Pinkel said.
Murray needs 325 yards to top Tebow’s SEC record for total offense (12,232) in a career.