posted on Tuesday, January 01, 2013 at 6:52 PM in Capital One Bowl
Aaron Murray entered the Capital One Bowl with a winless postseason record, still reeling from an SEC Championship Game heartbreaker that saw a shot at the national title slip from his grasp. On New Year's Day, he put on a record-setting performance and left the Capital One Bowl a champion.
Murray finished as game MVP in Georgia’s 45-31 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. His final line was 18 for 33 for 427 passing yards and five touchdown passes, breaking a plethora of records. Among them:
Five touchdown passes set a new Capital One Bowl record and tied a Georgia bowl record. He also tied the "touchdowns responsible for" record in the bowl.
427 yards is second all-time in bowl history and fourth-most in a single game in Georgia history
The 87-yard touchdown to Chris Conley (the Bulldogs' final touchdown) was the longest in Capital One Bowl history and a Georgia bowl record.
Besides the single-game superlatives, Murray set the school record for single-season passing touchdowns with 35 and the single-season passing yards with 3,544, surpassing Eric Zeier’s record of 3,525 passing yards in 1993.
“It was an awesome game,” Murray said in the postgame press conference. “I was definitely very excited to get a win. It’s a great feeling to get a win.”
“It’s great for these seniors who have meant so much to this team,” Murray said. “They’ve really done a great job, the seniors and older guys, like Jarvis [Jones] and myself and Arthur [Lynch], of leading this team through the whole off-season, summer, camp and through the season as well.”
During the game, Murray proved he is one of the best long ball passers in college football today, completing touchdowns passes of 29, 75, 49 , 87 and 24 yards against Nebraska’s top-rated pass defense. Murray was quick to credit his protection for the help.
“A lot credit goes to the offensive line,” Murray said. “Those guys continued to get better and better in the spring and by the spring game they were great. They had a great summer, those guys. They showed up everyday to workouts, held meetings and extra workouts.”
“They’re just really a special unit and they’re the main reason why we’ve been so successful on offense this year because looking at those running lanes and the amount of time they give me to throw the ball, like I said, they're definitely the ones that make this offense run.”
The Capital One Bowl has not seen a performance of this caliber since Peyton Manning threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns in the 1997 Florida Citrus Bowl. Murray’s 427 yards passing was enough to pass Manning but not enough to beat Buster O'Brien’s 447 passing yards in 1968 Citrus Bowl. However, Murray’s performance will surely go down in Capital One Bowl history and catch the attention of many NFL scouts. Murray says he is mulling over whether he will skip his senior year to enter the NFL draft or not.
“I think I'm going to sit down with my parents in the next few days and still have to draw up the pros and cons and go from there,” Murray said. “I'm just too excited right now and happy with this victory and happy for those seniors.”