Player of the week: SEC

More than a few eyebrows were raised in the preseason when the SEC coaches chose Georgia’s Aaron Murray over Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Alabama’s AJ McCarron as the league’s top quarterback.

Murray, a fifth-year senior, has generated eye-popping numbers during his career, but the knock on him was that he hadn’t won enough big games or played particularly well in big games.

That knock rings hollow now after his virtuoso performance against No. 6 South Carolina on Saturday in Georgia’s 41-30 win. Murray finished 17-of-23 for 309 yards and four touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception.

Through two games, Murray leads the SEC with 632 passing yards and is completing 71.2 percent of his passes. There were two plays in the win over the Gamecocks (both touchdowns and both coming on third down) that epitomized what Murray means to the Bulldogs.

The first one was an 8-yard touchdown pass to Todd Gurley in the third quarter. Murray had the presence while scrambling to motion to Gurley to cut back toward the corner of the end zone, and the play popped wide open for the touchdown.

Then in the fourth quarter, South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney burst up the middle on an inside move, but Murray sprinted to the left side and threw a strike on the run to Justin Scott-Wesley for an 85-yard touchdown.

“Every time we needed a play or every time it looked like South Carolina was making a move, Aaron was there to shoot them down,” Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch said.