Four of the last five BCS national champions have come out of the Southeastern Conference’s East Division, including each of the last three with Alabama winning twice and Auburn once. Still, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray says that you can’t say that one division of the SEC is better than the other right now.
You might prescribe to the belief that every season is a completely clean slate, but it’s not like Alabama or LSU are going anywhere. Murray and Georgia — and the rest of the SEC East — will certainly have a chance to prove themselves as equals, even though the Bulldogs don’t see LSU or Alabama on their regular season schedule.
Aaron Murray joined WCNN in Atlanta with The Rude Awakening to discuss what areas of his game need improvement, his need to win big games, the Bulldogs’ receivers, if the team might overlook Buffalo with Missouri coming up, other scheduling quirks and the SEC East versus the SEC West.
What are the parts of your game that you need to be better at this year?:
“I think my footwork. I think that’s the biggest area of concern after last season. I went back and watched the film … and just [saw] that every situation that went bad — interception or inaccuracy — it was caused by my footwork, not being in balance, not moving around the pocket, not keeping my eyes on the field. So we did a lot of drills this offseason. … I think I’m more in balance now and that’s causing me to be more accurate.”
On fans who wonder if he can win the big game:
“I know we need to win the big games, but it’s not all on me. We’re a team; we’re going to play every game as a team. I definitely know that my performance in those big games this year, I’m definitely going to have to step up and go make some plays and just relax and have fun. I think last season and the year before, I put a lot of stress on myself to be perfect. And I know now that not every play is going to be perfect, not every situation is going to be perfect.”
How do you feel about your wide receiver group?:
“I think if you had to name what’s the best part of Georgia right now, the best area, it would definitely be the receivers. Offense, defense, our receivers right now are doing great. Obviously we have our set starters, but there are seven or eight guys right now that could start. … I’m very comfortable with them with my timing and great feel with those guys right now.”
Is there a danger in having this opener against Buffalo with a big game looming at Missouri in the second week?:
“I don’t think we are. I don’t think you can look ahead to a game you’ve been waiting to play for seven or eight months now. … I know our guys are excited, I know our guys are juiced up, I know I’m not going to be getting any sleep all week just getting ready for this game. And I definitely don’t think we’ll be looking by Buffalo.”
On the SEC East schedule and not playing South Carolina until October:
“I don’t really mind at all. I know people are going to give us some slack for our schedule, but at the end of the day we’re still in the SEC. We’re still playing against great competition every week. … I think the East is going to have some great teams this year, once again, and we’ll be ready to go. … We’re not in control of who we play and who makes the schedules. All we can concern ourselves with is going out there every week and playing hard.”
Do you think the East narrows the gap with the SEC West this year?:
“I think so. I think we have a lot of talent this year in the East. The addition of Missouri in the East also helps out. I think they’re a very talented team. … I think it’s a level playing field all around. I don’t know if you can really say one side is better than the other, technically, right now. I guess at the end of the season we’ll find out. … As of right now, I think we have a very talented group of teams in the East.”