Sep 1, 2013
Gurley Goes 75 And Finishes With 154: Sophomore TB Todd Gurley ran for a career-long 75-yard touchdown on his first carry with 9:17 left in the opening period. His previous long was a 55-yard touchdown run against Buffalo to start the 2012 season. The 75-yard run was the longest since Keith Marshall had a 75-yard TD versus Tennessee last season. Gurley scampered in from 12 yards out in the third quarter to tie the game at 28-all. Gurley finished with a career-high 154 yards on 12 carries. This is the 10th 100-yard game of Gurley's career. Also on the ground, sophomore FB Quayvon Hicks had his first career carry and it went for 37 yards from the Georgia 3-yard line. He then scored at the end of a 97-yard drive from 4 yards out for his first career TD. Hicks also had a catch for 38 yards that set up the Bulldogs' fourth score.
97-Yard Drive: Thanks in part to Hicks' first and second runs, the Bulldogs drove 97 yards on 10 plays to go up 21-14 early in the second quarter. That 97-yard drive matched Georgia's longest drive since last year versus Kentucky when the Bulldogs went that distance on four plays. Overall, senior QB Aaron Murray finished 20-for-29 for 323 yards and one interception plus he was sacked four times. Tonight was the first time he didn't throw a TD pass in a game since last year's South Carolina contest.
Fake Punt: P Collin Barber ran five yards for a first down on a fake punt midway through the third quarter. This was the first fake punt for the Bulldogs since TE Arthur Lynch completed a 16-yard pass to CB Sanders Commings in last year's SEC Championship Game. Barber finished with a 47.4 average on five punts.
Scott-Wesley Picks Up Where He Left Off: Redshirt sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley finished the first half with three catches for 41 yards and wound up with 4 catches for 55 yards. This matched his three-catch performance against #23 Nebraska in the 2013 Capital One Bowl. Scott-Wesley finished with 67 yards receiving in the bowl win. He had a total of 6 catches for 135 yards last year.
Season Openers: Tonight marked the first time that both Georgia and its opponent were ranked in the top 10 to start a season. The Bulldogs fell to 10-3 all-time in season openers under Coach Richt and all three losses came against top 10 opponents. Tonight was the 63rd meeting in the series and now Georgia holds a 41-18-4 edge. Before tonight, the last time these two teams met came in the 2003 season opener here, a Bulldog win. Georgia's all-time mark in season openers is now 90-27-3.
Turnovers: The Tigers have scored seven points off two turnovers while the Bulldogs did not score off one Clemson turnover. Murray was sacked and fumbled on the Georgia 21-yard line late in the second quarter and Clemson recovered. The Tigers then scored a touchdown. In the next series, Barber punted and Clemson fumbled at the Bulldog 30-yard line. Scott-Wesley recovered the fumble. On the next play, Murray threw an INT that was returned by Clemson's Corey Crawford. The Bulldogs then forced the Tigers to punt.
Starters: FS Tray Matthews, OLB Leonard Floyd and CB Brendan Langley became the first true freshmen starters in a season opener on defense under Mark Richt since Kedric Golston (2002). They are the only four on defense under Richt. Prior to them the last true freshman to start in the secondary in a season opener was Tony Flack in 1982 and it was against Clemson in Athens. Flack was the first true freshman (non-kicker) to start a season opener in the Vince Dooley era, which began in 1964. The Bulldogs also had three more first-time starters on defense. Sophomore DE Josh Dawson, junior ILB Ramik Wilson and sophomore DE Sterling Bailey all lined up to start the game. Wilson had a team-high and career-best 13 tackles while Matthews had eight.
Houston Gets His Shot: Junior Kolton Houston started at RT in his first action as a Bulldog. He was the only first-time starter on offense.
True Freshmen: Ten true freshmen played for the Bulldogs tonight. Georgia played a total of 13 true freshmen in the 2012 season opener versus Buffalo.
Injuries: Junior SE Malcolm Mitchell had a right knee injury in the 1st quarter and did not return.
Up Next: The Bulldogs (0-1) now play host to #6 South Carolina (1-0) in their SEC opener on Sept. 7 in Sanford Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and ESPN will televise it.