In this file photo, Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf (14) scrambles from pressure from the Alabama defense during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
ATHENS, Ga. — Four games into the season, quarterback Chris Relf leads Mississippi State with 65 rushing attempts.
Better Relf than Aaron Murray, his counterpart his Saturday.
"That's one of the reasons why I came to Georgia," Murray said Tuesday. "I didn't want to get beat up. I'm not 250 pounds and can take a pounding. I'm more of a sit-back-in-the-pocket-and-try-not-to-get-sacked kind of guy."
Relf rushed 20 times for 109 yards in last year's matchup, leading Mississippi State to a 24-12 win in Starkville. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder had a team-high 194 carries last season for 713 yards and five touchdowns.
The 6-1, 211-pound Murray had a 35-yard touchdown run last year against Tennessee and did his share of scrambling last Saturday at Ole Miss. Tuesday, he was sporting a cut on his nose and another near his right eye after his helmet came off on a 1-yard touchdown sneak against the Rebels.
"I think we're on the extreme ends of quarterbacking," Murray said. "It works for them, and it's the kind of quarterback they want. I know I wouldn't fit in that offense at all, but he's definitely a perfect match for them."
Seeking some noise
Georgia coach Mark Richt began Tuesday's news conference by telling fans to get loud this week every time Relf comes to the line of scrimmage and then looks to the sideline for the play.
"We don't want them to be able to communicate well," Richt said. "We want them to have trouble hearing each other. We want offensive linemen to jump offside, so UGA fan base, the time to go crazy is after the quarterback starts his cadence."
With all the hype surrounding freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell entering the season, Richt decided to provide him with an older roommate who also was highly touted but has remained level-headed. So he chose junior tight end Orson Charles.
"It was definitely one of those things that Coach asked for, and you can't really say no to the boss," Charles said. "It's panned out great."
Odds and ends
Georgia has scored first in all four games and is outscoring foes in the first quarter 44-7. ... Richt is hopeful of having receiver Marlon Brown (ankle) and guard Chris Burnette (knee) available this week, but he announced that freshman cornerback Chris Sanders will have to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery but is eligible for a medical redshirt. ... This is just Mississippi State's 12th trip to Georgia's campus, which is MSU's most infrequent travel destination among all active charter members of the SEC. ... Murray: "It's turned into a 10-game season, and we're 2-0 and feeling good about the direction we're going."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...