PILING THEM UPThe milestone touchdown passes in the career of Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray:• 1 -- Kris Durham (3 yards vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in 2010)• 25 -- Orson Charles (36 yards vs. Boise State in 2011)• 50 -- Bruce Figgins (15 yards vs. Auburn in 2011)• 75 -- Arthur Lynch (10 yards vs. Kentucky in 2012)• 99 -- Justin Scott-Wesley (86 yards vs. South Carolina in 2013)
ATHENS, Ga. - Being Georgia's quarterback for a long, long time is one thing, but now Aaron Murray is on the verge of turning 100.
By throwing four touchdown passes two weeks ago in the 41-30 win over South Carolina, Murray has 99 aerial scores in his college career. The only Southeastern Conference quarterback ever to crack the century mark in that category was Florida's Danny Wuerffel, who accumulated 114 in leading the Gators to four straight league titles from 1993 to '96.
"It's definitely been a successful three years and two games so far," Murray said Tuesday. "Hopefully there will be a lot more to come. That would be great."
Murray, who earned national player of the week honors for his 309-yard performance against the Gamecocks, could notch his 100th career touchdown pass relatively quickly Saturday against North Texas. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound redshirt senior from Tampa, Fla., threw his first touchdown pass in his first game, a 55-7 shellacking of Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 4, 2010.
He remembers the play like it was last Saturday.
"It was to Kris Durham on a little back-shoulder fade," Murray said.
Murray has not lacked for important touchdown passes throughout his career, throwing a 45-yarder to Malcolm Mitchell in last season's 17-9 win over Florida and the recent 86-yarder to Justin Scott-Wesley against South Carolina. Yet he went back in time again when asked to recount his favorite score.
His choice was a 32-yarder to former tight end Orson Charles in the first quarter of the 42-34 win over Georgia Tech in 2010.
"We needed to win that game to make it to a bowl," Murray said. "I know that's crazy to think about having to win the last game of the year to make it to a bowl, but I just remember rolling to the left and throwing it to him. He had run a little in route and then broke it back out. It was pretty sweet."
Murray has averaged more than two touchdown passes a game throughout his career and would surpass Wuerffel's total with relative ease by maintaining that clip. He could throw four touchdowns a game the rest of the season and still not catch the all-time Bowl Subdivision mark of 155 set by Houston's Case Keenum, whose final season was in 2011.
"Aaron has worked for it and does a great job of preparing every day and being ready for every situation," Bulldogs receiver Chris Conley said. "When he throws them in those clutch situations like we had against South Carolina and plays like that and executes, everyone rallies behind him. It does wonders for the team, so I think every single touchdown pass that he throws is quite magnificent."
Said tight end Arthur Lynch: "When you prepare how he does, success is imminent. Now, this level of success is obviously in the record books here at UGA and on the conference scale in the SEC, but I'm not surprised. He's averaging 25 touchdowns a year, and it's only going to go up. Success will only continue to follow him."
So who catches Murray's 100th? It's anybody's guess.
Murray's four scoring passes against South Carolina went to Lynch, Scott-Wesley and tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.
"He does a good job of keeping everyone happy, and that's a good thing," said receiver Michael Bennett, who has nine career scoring receptions.
Murray can almost recall as many of his touchdown tosses as offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, whose favorite is the 22-yarder to Conley last year at Kentucky after he avoided a blitz.
Throwing for 99 scores to this point has required a lot of dedication and accuracy on Murray's end as well as some talented receivers, including A.J. Green in 2010. And what's wrong with being old when you're achieving milestone moments?
"When you think about it, Murray has been here for like five or six years," Scott-Wesley said. "So you would think he would have more. Just kidding. If I can catch No. 100 or No. 105, I'll be honored."
Contact David Paschall at [email protected] or 423-757-6524.