ATHENS, Ga. — Aaron Murray did a lot of jumping up and down during the first 20 minutes of Georgia's 45-23 win over Buffalo.
Georgia's redshirt junior quarterback wasn't celebrating but rather displaying his frustration with numerous overthrown passes, and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo wasn't thrilled, either. Murray overthrew Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten and Michael Bennett before connecting with King on a 63-yard scoring pass with 9:26 remaining before halftime.
"After I hit Tavarres on that touchdown, I got on the headset and Coach Bobo was screaming, 'Finally!'" Murray said. "He started screaming, '1-for-3! 1-for-3!'"
Murray was a pedestrian 5-for-11 passing for 74 yards when he completed the touchdown to King, which was the 60th scoring pass of his career. He wound up 15-of-26 for 258 yards and added his 61st and 62nd TD throws.
"We were a little off early, and I think there was confusion on our end with what they were doing in the secondary," Bobo said. "We got in here at halftime and talked about some things, but early on there was some doubt about where to go."
Said Murray: "I was a little juiced up early on."
Bowman a starter
When Georgia's vaunted and veteran defenders took the field to open Saturday's game, redshirt freshman cornerback Devin Bowman was right there among them.
Bowman practiced throughout the preseason behind Sanders Commings, who is suspended for the first two games, and Malcolm Mitchell, who sprained his ankle in Thursday's practice. That left an opportunity for the 6-foot, 180-pound former Ridgeland High standout, who made two tackles.
"He went into the game as a backup, so he didn't get as many reps as he would have had he been a starter," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "From that standpoint, I think he fought and battled. I thought he did fine, and I think he is going to continue to get better."
Mitchell is considered questionable for next week's game at Missouri.
Odds and ends
Senior receiver Marlon Brown missed Saturday's game with a strained left hamstring. ... Chris Conley in the second quarter provided the 20th punt blocked by Georgia in the Mark Richt era. ... Freshman Collin Barber's first punt for the Bulldogs traveled 57 yards, and freshman kicker Marshall Morgan made a 35-yard field goal after missing a 44-yard attempt. ... Freshman right tackle John Theus sprained his ankle early in the fourth quarter and was on crutches after the game, but Richt said linemen tend to bounce back from that injury faster than skill players. ... Former Baylor School swimmer Martin Grodzki was recognized during halftime for winning the NCAA 1,650- and 500-yard titles.
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 ...