published Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Four-receiver sets pay off for Georgia

  • photo
    Amarlo Herrera of the Georgia Bulldogs in action against Ole Miss in this file photo.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia used quarterback Aaron Murray in the shotgun and employed a lot of four-receiver sets during the second half of Saturday night's 41-20 win at Missouri.

It appears to have been an enjoyable experience.

Murray threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while Marlon Brown, Michael Bennett, Tavarres King and Rantavious Wooten combined on 19 catches for 229 yards and the three scores. Brown had eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, which was the 6-foot-5, 216-pound senior's second career 100-yard game.

"We just have such huge mismatches when you can put Marlon and Michael Bennett in the slots and put them against linebackers or maybe DBs who are third or fourth on their depth chart," Murray said. "Marlon and Bennett are starting receivers anywhere in the country, and when you put them against guys who really can't cover them, it can create such huge mismatches that it really makes my job easy."

Said Brown: "When we were all on the field at the same time, it was kind of like pick your poison, and that's what Murray did."

Turning 40 again

The Bulldogs could make history Saturday against Florida Atlantic by becoming the first team in program history to open a season by scoring 40 or more points in three straight games. Georgia followed a 45-23 opening triumph over Buffalo with its 41 points at Missouri.

Georgia's most dominant start to a season occurred back in 1910, when the Bulldogs defeated Locust Grove 101-0, Gordon 79-0 and Alabama 22-0.

Unheralded Herrera

Although junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has ownership of the headlines this week and leads the Bulldogs with 17 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss, sophomore inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera is putting up solid numbers as well. The 6-2, 245-pounder from College Park, Ga., is second on the team with 15 tackles and has one tackle for loss.

"Amarlo is doing very well," coach Mark Richt said. "He's better against the run than against the pass right now in his development, but he's getting better in that area. He's been a very sure tackler. You get a lot of tackles when you play hard, and Amarlo has been doing that.

"He's been fundamentally sound, and he's certainly improved his strength, agility and speed in the offseason, so it's paying off for him."

Taking it seriously

Georgia is a 43-point favorite over the Owls, which is believed to be the largest point spread for the Bulldogs against an FBS team.

"I just know they will come to play and give us a good challenge," junior left tackle Kenarious Gates said. "It's an important game on our schedule because it's the next one. We're all on a journey to Miami, and you have to go one game at a time."

Odds and ends

Florida Atlantic's campus in Boca Raton is two miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and Richt said it's about a mile and a half from where he used to live. ... Richt had a cut on his chin Tuesday, which he believes was the result of hugging Richard Samuel after Samuel stopped a fake punt by Missouri early in the fourth quarter. ... Richt on freshman kicker Marshall Morgan, who missed an extra point against the Tigers and made an attempt that bounced off the upright, "I think he'll calm down and be fine. It's not that hard to do."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

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 ...

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