Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Murphy: Into the Spotlight

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When you think of the Florida Gators, you think of great college quarterbacks. Names like Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Rex Grossman, and Tim Tebow come to mind. None of those quarterbacks were ever in the anonymous category that Tyler Murphy has been in since his arrival four years ago.

Tyler Murphy has gone from a little known two star prospect to the full-time starter at a school known for its quarterbacks. He was buried behind multiple quarterbacks since being on the roster. Many have come and gone, but Murphy dug his heels in. If anybody deserves this chance its him. He seems to be making the most of it, even being labeled a great game manager by his head coach

“That’s one of the greatest compliments you can have as a quarterback — a game manager.” Head coach Will Muschamp proclaimed. “I don’t know where that became a bad word in the coaching profession.”

and fellow players.

“He really commands the offense,” Gators offensive lineman Max Garcia said this week. “We just run really smoothly with him. He’s just so relaxed. It’s almost like nonchalant.”

When you break down his first three games since coming off the bench, you can’t help but be impressed. Murphy’s completion rate is at 72 percent (530 yards). This is all against SEC defenses.

Coming off the bench in the Tennessee game, Murphy completed 8 of 14 passes for 134 yards, 1 touchdown, and zero interceptions. He also ran for an extra 78 yards and a score on ten carries. Mind you, this was his first game, as a Gator, that he ever completed a pass.

The next week at Kentucky, he found himself completing his first 13 passes, second longest streak in school history. He did throw a pick, but it was his first collegiate start. He added an extra 31 yards and a score on the ground.

His last game was the most promising. Against Arkansas the Florida ground game struggled. With the offense leaning on him, Murphy calmly took control of the game completing 16 of 22 passes for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns.  His 209.4 passer rating was the highest for a Florida quarterback since Tim Tebow’s final game.

Murphy’s 17th ranked Gators (4-1, 3-0 SEC) will face 10th ranked LSU (5-1, 2-1 SEC) this Saturday in Death Valley. Considering the gators top ranked defense will be matched up with the Tigers high scoring offense, this should come down to what Murphy can do against a rebuilt LSU defense.

If the Florida defense continues to shine and Murphy continues his, what seems to be, constant improvement, the Gators could be booking a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. This won’t come easy, however, with LSU, Georgia,  South Carolina and Florida State still to come. The Gators will be taking this one game at a time.

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