Georgia's 'unselfish' seniors honored

Georgia's 'unselfish' seniors honored

November 24th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) celebrates with fans after defeating Kentucky 59-17 in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Athens, Ga.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Georgia fans show their support for senior quarterback Aaron Murray after Georgia defeated Kentucky 59-17 in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, in Athens., Ga.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia recognized 28 seniors Saturday night before hosting Kentucky, including 10 who arrived on scholarship.

The loudest roar, to nobody's surprise, was for quarterback Aaron Murray, who was surrounded by cameras as he embraced his family. Whether Georgia's seniors arrived in 2009 or 2010, they experienced the only losing season in Mark Richt's tenure (6-7 in '10) before being a part of SEC East championships in 2011 and '12.

"These seniors have been through a lot," sophomore linebacker Jordan Jenkins said earlier this week. "They've been through the bad times when people were trying to blow up the program. They've just come such a long way, and they've changed people's opinions on Georgia over the past four years."

Richt called this senior class "a really unselfish bunch" but didn't want to say the group had gone through more adversity than any other previous senior classes.

"They all go through adversity of some kind," Richt said. "When everything is going your way, it's hard to grow as a person or as a player."

Raising the bar

Murray was already the SEC's all-time passing leader when he took the field Saturday night, but he added more milestones at Kentucky's expense.

On the second play of the game, Murray connected with tailback Todd Gurley on a screen pass that gained 44 yards to Kentucky's 9 and set up Georgia's first touchdown. The completion put Murray over 13,000 yards for his career, and he already was the only league quarterback with more than 12,000.

When Murray and Gurley hooked up for a 16-yard touchdown to conclude Georgia's second possession, it left Murray with 108 yards midway through the first quarter and 3,000 for the season.

Murray is the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Last year, he became the first in league annals to do it three straight years.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.