Georgia's Aaron Murray Earns Manning Award Player of the Week Honor park
Aaron Murray, a senior from the University of Georgia, has been selected as Manning Award Player of the Week. He earns the win over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
In the Facebook competition's third year, he is the first Southeastern Conference quarterback to grab the honor. In week two of college football action, Murray, a Tampa, Fla. native, completed 17-of-23 passes for 309 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Murray turned in one of the best games of his career, capping his day with an 85-yard touchdown pass, as he led Georgia to a critical 41-30 victory over No. 6 South Carolina.
Murray's four touchdown passes put him at 99 for his career which is 2nd all-time in the SEC. Six times in his Bulldog career he has had at least four touchdown passes in a game with zero interceptions. This is his first time beating South Carolina in his career.
Murray tallied 1,757 votes on Facebook with his top competitor being another SEC quarterback, LSU's Zach Mettenberger with 1,401 votes. Mettenberger completed 16-of-19 passes for 282 yards with an LSU record five touchdown passes in three quarters of action in a 56-17 blowout win over UAB. Coming in third with 388 votes was Devin Gardner of Michigan. Gardner completed 21-of-33 passes for 294 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for a game-high 82 yards and a score in a 41-30 victory over No. 14 Notre Dame.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.
While the Manning Award selected 30 quarterbacks for its preseason Watch List, additional quarterbacks are expected to be added to the Watch List later in the season. The 10 finalists for the honor will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the BCS National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 6.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. McCoy was followed by top-two NFL Draft picks – Auburn's Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers and then Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, was the 2012 winner prior to being the No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Redskins. This past season's winner was Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, who became the first freshman to earn the honor.