ATHENS, Ga. — Quarterback Aaron Murray went over 9,000 passing yards for his career and tailback Todd Gurley went over 1,000 rushing yards this season as No. 5 Georgia enjoyed all sorts of offensive milestones Saturday in a 45-14 thrashing of Georgia Southern.
Murray threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, which was a sizable chunk of Georgia's six-touchdown performance on a brisk afternoon at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs have scored 56 touchdowns this season, breaking the previous school mark of 54 set in 1942 and matched last year.
"We're scoring a lot of touchdowns, and we're not kicking as many field goals as we have in some years," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "That's probably been the biggest difference. We've got a really good chemistry with that group."
Georgia (10-1) has racked up its 56 touchdowns in 11 games, an average of slightly more than five a game. The 1942 Bulldogs needed 12 games to tally 54 touchdowns, while last year's team needed 14.
Murray threw two touchdown passes to Chris Conley and one each to Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King, and the redshirt junior is just the third Bulldogs quarterback to throw for more than 9,000 yards. David Greene (2001-04) and Eric Zeier (1991-94) each threw for more than 11,000.
"I think it's a credit to our players and how they go about their business every week," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "I'm excited about them believing in what we do offensively and never doubting or questioning what we do. If your guys believe in what you're doing and believe in each other, you've got a chance each week."
Said Murray: "It was an awesome day, and this team keeps getting better and better."
Gurley had 68 yards on 15 carries, snapping a streak of three-straight 100-yard games, and has 1,041 this season. The only other Bulldogs true freshman to produce a 1,000-yard season was Herschel Walker in 1980.
"I guess this is what people have been waiting for, and I've got it now," Gurley said. "I still have a lot of ball to play, so I don't think it's anything to be looking at."
Georgia took its opening possession 79 yards in 10 plays, grabbing a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Gurley. The Bulldogs were up just 10-7 with 1:03 left in the first half when Murray zipped them 78 yards on six plays, getting the touchdown on a 24-yard strike to Mitchell.
The Bulldogs started at their 22 and gained 8 yards on a Murray pass to tight end Jay Rome. Murray threw incomplete to King on the next play, but Eagles defensive end Terico Agnew was flagged for roughing Murray, moving the ball out to the 45.
That was all the room required for Murray, who hit King for 10 yards and Rome for 21 before the score with four seconds to spare.
"It was huge," Bobo said. "We were going for it the whole time, even though we didn't have any timeouts, but any time you can get a 15-yard penalty, it's big for the offense."
Georgia will now face a Georgia Tech team that improved to 6-5 Saturday with a 42-24 thumping of Duke. The Yellow Jackets have retaken the lead in the ACC's Coastal Division, but Richt said the matchup always is big regardless.
"It's a state deal," Richt said. "It's a huge game."
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 ...