Kingsport Times News Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Sports

UPDATE: Georgia QB Murray tore ACL, needs surgery

November 24th, 2013 5:00 am by CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer

UPDATE: Georgia QB Murray tore ACL, needs surgery

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) struggles to his feet after being injured in the first half against Kentucky on Saturday night in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo)

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will have season-ending surgery.

Georgia said that tests Saturday night and another exam Sunday confirmed Murray tore the ligament in the second quarter of the Bulldogs' 59-17 rout of Kentucky.

Murray has little swelling and is expected to have the surgery this week.

Murray started all 52 games of his four years and became the Southeastern Conference's career leader in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions and total offense. The senior is the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in four seasons.

Murray completed 18 of 23 passes for 183 yards with four touchdowns against Kentucky. He left the game after he was hit by defensive end Za'Darius Smith on his only interception with 2:17 remaining in the half.

Murray couldn't put weight on his left leg and was supported by trainers as he was taken to the locker room. It proved to be the end of his college career on the night seniors were honored during Georgia's final home game of the season.

Despite Georgia's big win, coach Mark Richt called Murray's injury "just sickening" and said he "really had a hard time enjoying the rest of the game."

"It's kind of a crummy feeling when you think of what Aaron is going through right now," Richt added.

Murray thanked Georgia fans for their concern and support in a message on his Twitter account Sunday.

"Thank you for all the prayers over the past few hours. Gonna come back stronger than ever! Dawg for life. Truly love you all #GoDawgs," Murray said.

In another tweet, Murray said, "Truly am blessed to have been your QB for 4 years!"

Georgia director of sports medicine Ron Courson said a full recovery is expected for Murray, who bypassed early entry in the NFL draft to return for his senior year.

It has been a disappointing season for Murray's Bulldogs (7-4, 5-3), who have lost several top players to season-ending knee injuries, including running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. Running back Todd Gurley also missed three games and receiver Michael Bennett missed two with injuries.

Junior Hutson Mason, who took over for Murray against Kentucky, is expected to start in this week's final regular-season game at Georgia Tech and in the Bulldogs' bowl game.

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Earlier story

ATHENS, Ga. — This was supposed to be the night Aaron Murray was celebrated for the toughness that helped him shine as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in SEC history.

Instead, Murray had to be carried off the field with a knee injury that coach Mark Richt said sapped much of the joy out of Georgia's lopsided win over Kentucky.

Murray threw four first-half touchdown passes before hurting his left knee, leaving backup Hutson Mason to play the second half in Georgia's 59-17 rout of Kentucky on Saturday night.

Propped up by trainers, Murray couldn't put weight on his left leg as he was taken to the locker room late in the first half of his final home game. It was a sobering sight for Richt after Murray made his 52nd consecutive start.

"It's just sickening," Richt said. "I really had a hard time enjoying the rest of the game. ... It's kind of a crummy feeling when you think of what Aaron is going through right now."

Todd Gurley ran for 77 yards and had five catches for 90 yards, including touchdown receptions for 16 and 24 yards, for Georgia (7-4, 5-3 Southeastern Conference).

Murray, who has the most yards passing and TD passes in SEC history, began limping in the second quarter following a 28-yard run.

Already favoring the left knee, Murray left the game after he was hit by defensive end Za'Darius Smith following a pass that was intercepted by Khalid Henderson with 2:17 remaining in the half.

"You could tell in his demeanor, in his body language, that he was hurt," Mason said.

Georgia fans applauded as Murray exited the field for the last time.

"It's sad to see him come off the field like that, to have to be carried off, because he's a warrior," said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

Murray was taken to an Athens hospital to have a MRI on the knee.

Richt said he didn't expect Murray would return for Georgia's final regular-season game at Georgia Tech next week.

"I would think it would be tough for Aaron to play (next) week," Richt said. "I don't know about a bowl yet. We'll see."

On a night he and other Georgia seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony, Murray completed 18 of 23 passes for 183 yards with four touchdowns, including two to tight end Arthur Lynch, and one interception.

Murray also holds SEC records for career completions and total offense. He added another milestone when he easily gained the 108 yards passing he needed to become the first SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in four seasons. Hawaii's Timmy Chang (2000, 2002-04) and Boise State's Kellen Moore (2008-11) are the only other quarterbacks to pass for 3,000 yards in four seasons.

Kentucky (2-8, 0-7) lost its 15th straight SEC game. The Wildcats must beat Tennessee next week to avoid their second straight 0-8 finish in the conference.

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