JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With one throw, Aaron Murray put all of his earlier troubles Saturday night behind him.
And he finally got the showcase win he has been chasing throughout his career as Georgias starting quarterback.
Murray struggled for most of the game against second-ranked Florida on Saturday but hit Malcolm Mitchell with a 45-yard touchdown pass with 7:11 to play to lead the Bulldogs to a 17-9 win.
Its a great feeling, just a great, great feeling, Murray said. I think its still sinking in a little bit, but what an awesome feeling. Im so proud of the guys because we worked hard all week, and we had a lot of adversity coming into this game that we had to overcome.
Murray had his own adversity in the first half.
Georgia led 7-6 at the break, but the Bulldogs junior quarterback was not a big reason for the lead. He completed only 4-of-8 passes for 34 yards in the first half and threw three interceptions, which kept the Bulldogs from extending their advantage.
It was just a sloppy first half, Murray said. I just couldnt get anything going and was really having a tough time, but we came back and finished strong. Im proud of the guys for that.
Stats dont mean anything to me. Obviously, I want to play better, and I hoped to play better, but we were able to pull out the win, and thats all that matters.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he gave Murray a pep talk at halftime, and Murray settled down a bit in the final two quarters. He finished 12-of-24 for 150 yards -- he wasnt helped by several drops by his receivers in the second half -- and didnt throw another interception.
I told him he had to come out and win the game for us, Bobo said. He just needed to come out and throw the ball with conviction and trust what he was doing. He did that in the second half, and we were able to win the game because of that.
Murrays key throw to Mitchell was made with plenty of conviction. Facing third-and-5, Murray hit Mitchell on a stop route, and Mitchell did the rest to give the Bulldogs an eight-point lead.
Malcolm made just an unbelievable play, Murray said. We had him man-to-man, one-on-one, and we got what we wanted on that coverage. That was just a huge play.
And it was a huge win for the Bulldogs and Murray.