September 6, 2010

Can Murray handle the noise?

Aaron Murray passed his first quiz by helping lead Georgia to its season-opening win over Louisiana-Lafayette 55-7.

Now comes the big test - seeing if he can recreate similar success on the road in a hostile SEC environment at South Carolina (noon, ESPN2).

Following Monday's practice at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility, Murray said he's already received plenty of advice on how to handle the noise from what's sure to be a rambunctious stadium full of fired up Gamecock fans.

"Mostly it's just to relax and have fun," Murray said. "Yeah, it's going to be crazy out there and it gets loud, but it is still football. You're still going to run the same plays. You've still got to go out there and execute."

No, Murray isn't na´ve. Neither are Bulldog offensive coaches.

Monday, Murray talked with offensive coordinator Mike Bobo about a silent count, which the quarterback said will be completely installed during Tuesday's practice.

"We talked about that a little bit today, but we didn't do too much because it was a short practice," he said. "(Tuesday) we'll start putting some of that in."

It's not like Murray is a complete novice when it comes to a silent count.

"We've practiced it last year and I saw how Joe (Cox) used it, so I know how we do it," he said. "I did it in practice, so it's just a matter of remembering that."

To simulate what it will be like, Georgia coaches will pump in artificial crowd noise during Thursday's practice at Sanford Stadium.

"It (pumping in crowd noise) does help," offensive tackle Clint Boling said. "It definitely helps with calling plays in the huddle, not only for Aaron but it also helps us make our calls across the line. We know it's going to be hard to communicate, so we have to take whatever measures we can to be prepared."

Murray's first game resulted in some very respectable numbers.

The Tampa native completed 17-of-26 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.

He also rushed four times for 42 yards, including an electrifying 21-yard scamper for a touchdown on the final play of the first half.

Only eight seconds remained when Murray took the snap, and although he scored, he received a friendly bit of advice from Bobo and head coach Mark Richt during the film session Sunday afternoon.

"We had a little talk about that. Yeah, they told me in the end you scored but you've got to be a little bit smarter," Murray said. "That was pretty much the main message."

It's one he expects to remember.

No, coaches don't want him to stop trying to make plays. They just want to make sure he stays healthy.

"Now that I see it on film I understand. You always want to make plays, but the more you see that you could have done something different the more it's going to stick in your mind where 'Ok, you have been in this situation before, now you need to do this.,'" Murray said. "You start teaching yourself different habits and the best way to teach yourself better habits is to see it on film. I was able to see some of the things I did wrong. There were some times when maybe I could have gone down, where now I can say 'OK, I could have made it to the sideline or gone down right there.' Maybe I would have gained one yard but I wouldn't have gotten hit right there, either."

Murray is also banking on the experience of his offensive mates helping him in regards to dealing with the crowd noise.

That includes a couple of players who weren't available for last Saturday's games due to suspensions - running back Washaun Ealey and wide receiver Tavarres King.

"It will be nice. Those other guys did a great job and they'll still be playing, but it will be nice to add a couple more guys," Murray said. "All the receivers have looked great. Tavarres had a great camp and everything like that. That was a little hit what happened to him but he's continued to push himself and he's worked very hard. He should have a big week. He's pumped up that he's going to be able to get back out there."

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