Georgia Bulldogs’ senior quarterback Aaron Murray suffered a torn Achilles tendon injury in his final home game against the Kentucky Wildcats, an injury which effectively served to abbreviate his tremendous and storied UGA career. There could not be less fitting a way for so meaningful a signal-caller in school and conference history to conclude his four-year starting career. In fact his decision to return to Athens for his penultimate season as starter was largely spurred by how his junior season ended last year. Murray and his Bulldogs were literally separated by four yards of Georgia Dome turf from capturing an SEC championship crown and from securing a spot opposite Notre Dame in the BCS championship game. This season was touted as a year of potential redemption for Murray and the Bulldogs, an opportunity for UGA to make amends from the painful defeat suffered at the hands of Alabama a year ago. Not only was Murray set to return, but very crucial members of his supporting cast from a season ago were set to come back. Namely, Murray’s backfield mates in the form of two-headed monster Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were again back in the fold and poised to pose tremendous challenges for opposing defenses. But this season has largely deviated from the preordained script, leaving Murray and the Bulldogs very disappointed.
This season was anointed from the outside as a golden opportunity for Murray and Georgia to rectify the wrongs of yesteryear, to clear that last daunting hurdle and to attain the pinnacle which the game has to offer. What was unfortunately unforeseen, though, was an incessantly crucial rash of key injuries which the Bulldogs would sustain at inopportune times this season. Such injuries served as a severe detriment to the Dawgs at various points throughout the year. No one prior to the season could have justifiably forecasted that the team would lose its leading receiver Malcolm Mitchell for the season courtesy of a fluke injury suffered from celebrating a touchdown with teammate Todd Gurley. Additionally hampering the Bulldogs in a much unanticipated fashion was the later injury suffered to star tailback Keith Marshall, a knee injury which served to greatly downgrade UGA’s backfield and to largely contribute to the ensuing road loss at Vanderbilt. Given all the unfortunate setbacks which Georgia had already suffered, Murray’s injury on senior day simply came off as a fitting conclusion to an unexpectedly disappointing four-loss season.
With the return of Aaron Murray, Georgia harbored legitimate aspirations of both conference and national championships. But those dreams were derailed, as the Bulldogs suffered much unanticipated setbacks throughout the course of the year. The way in which UGA’s season has transpired is not the way whatsoever in which Murray envisioned it progressing upon his decision to return.
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