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Post No pressure – just set the all-time Georgia record

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Georgia coaches have set a benchmark for junior quarterback Aaron Murray’s improvement: become more accurate and complete 62% of pass attempts.* Murray so far during preseason camp seems up to the challenge, so quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is asking for even more. “I just want to set the standard a little bit higher than 62. I think we’re capable of reaching that,” Bobo explained.

How audacious is this goal? Consider that no starting quarterback under Mark Richt at Georgia has had a better completion percentage than Stafford in 2008 at 61.4%. In fact, starters in 8 of Richt’s 11 seasons have thrown for under 60%. Only two quarterbacks in Georgia history have had a better season than Bobo’s original 62% benchmark: Zeier in 1993 (63.29%) and Bobo in 1997 (65.03%). Bobo’s new target is the very peak of historical Georgia quarterback performance. So if Murray has the kind of season Bobo envisions, it will be one for the record books and will shatter the standard set for Richt/Bobo quarterbacks.

Starting quarterback completion percentage for Richt teams:

  • 2011: 59.1% (Murray)
  • 2010: 61.1% (Murray)
  • 2009: 55.9% (Cox)
  • 2008: 61.4% (Stafford)
  • 2007: 55.7% (Stafford)
  • 2006: 52.7% (Stafford)
  • 2005: 55.8% (Shockley)
  • 2004: 58.5% (Greene)
  • 2003: 60.3% (Greene)
  • 2002: 57.5% (Greene)
  • 2001: 59.3% (Greene)

But there’s another context. A completion rate of 65% or even 60% would be good by Georgia and Richt standards, but how about nationally? In that light, Georgia’s record books and expectations are a little less impressive. Last season 64 qualifying quarterbacks had a completion percentage over 60%. 26 were at 65% or better and would be at the top of Georgia’s all-time list. Murray clearly has his own part to play, but is there something about Georgia’s offense that doesn’t lend itself to particularly high completion rates? You can credit SEC defenses to a point, but there’s McCarron at 66.8% and Shaw at 65.4%. Does it say anything about Georgia’s offense that South Carolina’s backup can end up with a completion percentage that would rank as the best ever at Georgia?

* – True, completion percentage isn’t everything. It’s only one way to measure quarterback effectiveness, and there’s a lot more that goes into a good efficiency rating.

2 Responses to 'No pressure – just set the all-time Georgia record'

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  • Yards per completion would be a good judge to tell you if Murray is less accurate because of the distribution of the passes to some extent. Here are QB numbers from SEC from LY. Murray’s average completion was a full yard longer than both McCarron and Shaw over the year. The bigger question/comparison would be Tyler Wilson who essentially had same completion distance, but was at 63.2%.

    Obviously YAC and drops play a big part in both of those numbers (Comp % and Yards per completion)

    Name Comp Pct. Yards Yds/Cmp
    Randall Mackey 77 49.7% 1112 14.4
    John Brantley 144 60.0% 2044 14.2
    Jordan Rodgers 108 50.0% 1524 14.1
    Aaron Murray 238 59.1% 3149 13.2
    Tyler Wilson 277 63.2% 3638 13.1
    Jarrett Lee 104 62.3% 1306 12.6
    Clint Moseley 66 61.1% 800 12.1
    AJ McCarron 219 66.8% 2634 12.0
    Connor Shaw 123 65.4% 1448 11.8
    Chris Relf 114 60.0% 1212 10.6
    Larry Smith 68 55.3% 668 9.8
    Morgan Newton 83 47.7% 793 9.6

  • Yeah, our offense seems a little tough on passing. Is that because there is never any emphasis on running ? I think so. If you think about it, we throw deep a lot on 1st downs, like it’s a throw-away down. Or, hold it too long waiting for something to open-up downfield. And, get sacks. 56 sacks 2 years Aaron Murray does speak for itself.

    Then, on 2nd down, we are sprint draw.

    3rd Down, just a failed offense…

    Way too pass-happy.

    When your QB keeps the ball a 60 % of the plays and only completes 59 % of those and that was with Malcolm Mitchell, we’ve got to see what he did with the ball when he had it.

    He’s put the ball on the carpet 23 times

    He’s thrown 22 interceptions

    That’s in just 27 games.

    He’s averaging 1 yard a carry.

    He’s stealing 7 carries a game from the running backs.

    We have a fullback-oriented offense and seem to feel we can just plug anybody in the position.

    We went 6 recruiting classes in a row until 2012 without signing one of the over 200 fullbacks the other teams sign instead. Now, 2012, we signed one fullback and he’s not going to play according to the coach, but a guy offered a job at Alabama A and M only as scholarship offer who is Mark Richt’s starting fullback. A guy injured in high school and not played since.

    Trust me on this; it’s a failed offense 11 years which has averaged the # 51 Total Offense all 11 years.

    We give up and get away from the run except little Aaron Murray.

    I do not think we know what we’re doing on offense.

    Or, special teams, either for that matter.