Georgia's record-setting quarterback, Aaron Murray, preparing to face rival South Carolina and star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney this weekend, said it's "not even close" when asked during a radio interview Wednesday morning whether he'd ever faced anyone quite like the Gamecocks' pass rusher.
"He's an extremely talented pass rusher, extremely talented against the run. Physically, there are not many guys like him walking the streets, that's for sure," Murray said on The Dan Patrick Show. "A guy that just causes you to scheme for him, whether it's put multiple guys on him, have a tight end chip, a running back chip, slide a protection his way -- he causes a lot of focus. We've got to be ready to go, and I know our coaches will have a nice game plan that hopefully slows him down a little bit."
The Bulldogs and Gamecocks face off in the first crucial SEC East matchup of the season on Saturday. Last season, the Gamecocks destroyed visiting Georgia 35-7, but it proved to be the Bulldogs' only regular-season loss of the year and thus not enough to keep Georgia from winning the SEC East. This year, Georgia (0-1) comes off a close road loss to Clemson, while South Carolina opened the season with a win over North Carolina. Murray was sacked four times by Clemson, a stat surely not lost on Clowney, who turned in a less-than-spectacular season debut.
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Murray also discussed how close he came to leaving college early last year and entering the NFL draft.
"It was close. I think the deciding factor was just (losing) the SEC Championship Game and knowing how close we were to winning that game and being able to play for the national championship," Murray said. "That was really the driving factor for me coming back."
In a 32-28 loss, Murray had a potential game-winning touchdown drive end as time expired at the Alabama 5-yard line last December. Asked if he would have turned pro early had he won the SEC title game against Alabama, Murray said "it would have been a lot harder decision."