Georgia Tops LSU In Top-10 Shootout, 44-41

Sept. 29, 2013




Georgia's defense

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Game 4: Georgia (2-1, 1-0 SEC) vs. LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
Rankings: Georgia - #9 AP/#10 Coaches; LSU - #6 AP/#6 Coaches
Date: 3:30 p.m. - September 28, 2013
Site: Athens, Ga.
Stadium: Sanford Stadium (92,746)
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG - Scott Howard (PxP), Eric Zeier (Color), Chuck Dowdle (sideline), Loran Smith, Charlie McAlexander, Neil Williamson, Jeff Dantzler, Kevin Butler
TV: CBS - Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Radio: XM: 91, Sirius: 91
Internet Broadcast: Audio - GTV on georgiadogs.com; Video - CBSSports.com
Georgia TV Replay: CSS, Sun. at 11 a.m. & Wed. at 3 p.m. (Athens-Charter Ch. 37)

Defend Our Turf

The Bulldogs have won the last 14 home games at Sanford Stadium, which ranks as the third-longest home winning streak in school history and the best current streak in the SEC. The record is 24 set from 1980-83 and the second longest is 17, which stretched from 2001-04. Georgia's current winning streak started against Coastal Carolina, a 59-0 win on Sept. 17, 2011.

In fact, the Bulldogs are attempting to beat two top-10 teams in Sanford Stadium in the same season for the first time in history. Earlier this year, Georgia defeated #6 South Carolina.

Series History With LSU

LSU holds a 16-12-1 edge in the series history that dates back to 1928. The Tigers have won the last two meetings, including the 2011 SEC Championship Game and a matchup in Athens in 2009. However, Georgia won three consecutive games prior to the 2009 game, including a 45-16 victory in Athens in 2004. Saturday's game features two of the league's top senior quarterbacks in Georgia's Aaron Murray and LSU's Zach Mettenberger who began his career with the Bulldogs. Currently, LSU is third in the SEC in scoring offense at 43.2 points a game while the Bulldogs are fourth at 40.3.

Under head coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs are 3-4 against LSU:
2003 #11 LSU defeats #7 Georgia 17-10 in Baton Rouge, La.
2003 #3 LSU defeats #5 Georgia 34-13 in Atlanta, Ga. (SEC Championship)
2004 #3 Georgia defeats #13 LSU 45-16 in Athens, Ga.
2005 #13 Georgia defeats #3 LSU 34-14 in Atlanta, Ga. (SEC Championship)
2008 #9 Georgia defeats #11 LSU 52-38 in Baton Rouge, La.
2009 #4 LSU defeats #18 Georgia 20-13 in Athens, Ga.
2011 #1 LSU defeats #12 Georgia 42-10 in Atlanta, Ga. (SEC Championship)

Aiming For Another Big Ranked Win Between The Hedges

Georgia is 31-45-2 all-time against ranked opponents in Sanford Stadium. The last ranked team to visit Athens came on Sept. 7 when the 11th-ranked Bulldogs topped sixth-ranked South Carolina 41-30. This will be the biggest game between two top-10 teams in Sanford Stadium since 2008 when third-ranked Georgia was upset by eighth-ranked Alabama 41-30. Incidentally, that was also the last time ESPN College GameDay was on campus. Saturday will mark the third time that College GameDay will be in Athens for a game. The Bulldogs have beaten top-10 teams in Sanford Stadium 10 times since 1942, including this year's win over No. 6 South Carolina. Georgia will be looking to register two wins over top-10 teams in the same season for the ninth time in school history. The last time it happened was in 2007 when Georgia beat #9 Florida in Jacksonville and #10 Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.

Potent Offense Returns In 2013

The Bulldogs are currently ranked seventh nationally in total offense (574.0 ypg). Georgia posted 35 points against #8 Clemson, 41 versus #6 South Carolina and 45 in the win over North Texas. The Bulldogs rolled up 545 yards on 70 plays, including 222 on the ground, against the Tigers. In the matchup with the Gamecocks, Georgia gained 536 yards on 76 plays with 227 rushing yards. Highlighted by 450 passing yards, the Bulldogs piled up 641 yards on 74 plays against the Mean Green.

Last year, Georgia tallied a school record 529 points including scoring more than 40 points in eight games.

Youth Movement

The Bulldogs have played 14 true freshman this season. Three of those have started (FS Tray Matthews, CB Brendan Langley, OLB Leonard Floyd). In fact, 10 of the 14 play defense. This is tied for

New-Look 'D'

Georgia's rebuilt defense, which lost two NFL First Round linebackers (Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree), debuted at #8 Clemson versus the Tigers' fast-paced offense. Clemson, now up to #3 in the polls, recorded 38 points on 76 plays. The Bulldog defense featured six new starters, including three true freshmen. A pair of junior inside linebackers led the defensive charge against the Tigers with career-high outputs. Ramik Wilson posted 13 stops while Amarlo Herrera finished with 12 tackles.

Against #6 South Carolina, the defense came up with a goalline stand in the fourth quarter. The Bulldog offense then ran out the final 8:28 of the game to lock down the 41-30 win.

The defense held the North Texas offense to a single touchdown and just seven yards rushing. The Mean Green scored their other two touchdowns with special teams plays.

Even though Georgia has played just three games, Wilson ranks second in the SEC with 31 tackles while Herrera is tied for fourth with 30 stops.

ON DECK: @ Tennessee

The Bulldogs will return to the road for a matchup with Tennessee (2-2, 0-1 SEC) on Oct. 5. The Volunteers own a 21-19-2 edge in the series, however Georgia has recorded victories the last three times the teams have faced.

Last year, the Bulldogs won a 51-44 shootout in Sanford Stadium. After building a 21-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, the teams were tied 30-all at halftime. The Bulldog freshmen tailbacks were in the difference as Georgia pushed its record to 5-0 on the season. Keith Marshall finished with 164 yards on 10 carries (16.4 avg.) with two touchdowns (a 75 yarder and a 72 yarder). Todd Gurley had 130 yards and three scores on 24 carries. The Bulldogs assured their victory after forcing the Vols into three turnovers in their final three possessions.


OFFENSE


Murray Looking For Another Signature Win

Senior QB Aaron Murray returns as one of the nation's elite at his position. In 2012, Murray ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency at 174.82. Currently, he is fourth nationally with a 201.78 mark. The SEC record is 182.1 set by Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton in 2010. In 2011, Murray graduated with a degree in Psychology after posting a GPA of 3.4. He is now taking undergraduate classes towards another degree.

In his 30 wins as a starter, Murray has 81 TDs to just 17 INTs. Murray is the SEC's leading active player in total offensive yards (11,352), completions (755), TD responsibility (113), TD passes (102) and passing yards (11,131, No. 2 nationally).

Here are some of Murray's career highlights:

  • First QB in SEC history to have three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons
  • Named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week after completing 17-of-23 passes (74 percent) for 309 yards and four touchdowns in the win over #6 South Carolina this season
  • Matched career-high 427 passing yards and 5 TD passes in 45-31 win over #23 Nebraska in 2013 Capital One Bowl
  • Directed four straight touchdown drives to open Auburn game as Bulldogs clinched the 2012 SEC East title with a 38-0 win on the Plains

Murray has started every game of his career, a total of 44 contests. His 44 starts leads the nation for active players.

Active Career Start Lists
44 Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
43 Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State

Four-Year Bulldog Starting Quarterbacks
Johnny Rauch (1945-48), 45 starts
*Eric Zeier (1991-94), 41 starts
David Greene (2001-04), 52 starts
Aaron Murray (2010-13), 44 starts
*started last seven games of the 1991 season

Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Active Career Leaders
TD Passes: 1. Aaron Murray, 102
Total Offense: 1. Aaron Murray, 11,352
Total TD Responsible For: 1. Aaron Murray, 113

SEC CAREER RECORD WATCH

TD PASSES
1.114 - Danny Wuerffel, Florida, 1993-96
2.102 - Aaron Murray, 2010-13
TD RESPONSIBILITY
1.145 - Tim Tebow, Florida, 2006-09 (57 rushing, 88 passing)
2.122 - Danny Wuerffel, Florida, 1993-96 (8 rushing, 114 passing)
3.113 - Aaron Murray, 2010- (11 rushing, 102 passing)


BULLDOG CAREER RECORD WATCH
MOST PASSING YARDS
1.11,528 - David Greene, 2001-04 {SEC Record}
2.11,153 - Eric Zeier, 1991-94
3.11,131 - Aaron Murray, 2010-13


DID YOU KNOW?

Aaron Murray is the only QB in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards or more in each of his first three seasons. There only have been two in NCAA history to do it in four seasons: Timmy Chang, Hawaii (2000, '02-04) and Kellen Moore, Boise State (2008-11)

MOST PASS ATTEMPTS
1.1,440David Greene, 2001-04 {3rd in SEC}
2.1,402Eric Zeier, 1991-94
3.1,213Aaron Murray, 2010-13
MOST PASS COMPLETIONS
1.849David Greene, 2001-04 {4th in SEC}
2.838Eric Zeier, 1991-94
3.755Aaron Murray, 2010-13
TOTAL OFFENSE
1.11,352Aaron Murray, 2010-13 (3rd in SEC; SEC record is 12,232 by UF's Tim Tebow, No. 2 is 11,380 by UF's Chris Leak)
MOST OFFENSIVE PLAYS
1.1,644David Greene, 2001-04 {5th in SEC}
2.1,560Eric Zeier, 1991-94
3.1,464Aaron Murray, 2010-13
AVG. GAIN PER PLAY
1.7.52Charley Trippi, 1942, 1945-46* {3rd in SEC}
2.7.14Mike Bobo, 1994-97
7.59Aaron Murray (10,609/1400)
PASSING EFFICIENCY RATING
1.142.86D.J. Shockley, 2002-05 {11th in SEC}
2.138.30David Greene, 2001-04
3.137.54Joe Cox, 2006-09
161.47Aaron Murray, 2010-13
BEST COMPLETION %
1.59.77%Eric Zeier (838x1402), 1991-94 {Not in SEC top 20}
2.59.17%Hines Ward, 1994-96
3.58.96%David Greene, 2001-04
62.24Aaron Murray (733x1183), 2010-13
AVG. GAIN PER PASS ATT.
1.8.38Matt Robinson, 1974-76 {SEC: n/a; NCAA: 9.9}
2.8.37Johnny Rauch, 1945-48
3.8.27Mike Bobo, 1994-97
9.18Aaron Murray (10,723/1183) 2010-13
LOWEST INTERCEPTION % (Min. 600 attempts)
1.2.22%David Greene (32 in 1440 atts.), 2001-04 {4th in SEC}
2.2.64%Eric Zeier (37 in 1402), 1991-94
3.2.80%Aaron Murray (33 in 1183), 2010-13
4.2.93%Quincy Carter (25 in 853), 1997-00
5.3.39%Mike Bobo (26 in 766), 1994-97


Gurley & Marshall Ignite Rushing Attack

Since the legendary #34 Herschel Walker lined up in the Bulldog backfield, every tailback since then has been compared to the Heisman Trophy winner who led the Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship. In 2012, true freshmen roommates and North Carolina natives Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall became Georgia's weapons in the backfield.

The 2013 season has seen Gurley and Marshall continue their dominant performances. Gurley has gone over 100 yards twice and has hit the century mark 11 times now overall. He also had his first career touchdown reception against #6 South Carolina complementing his 132 yards rushing and a score on a career-high 30 carries.

Marshall has totaled 117 yards rushing this year. He also has seven catches for 111 yards and a score. Marshall had his second career receiving touchdown against the Gamecocks. This marked the first time since 1997 that a pair of Bulldog tailbacks had touchdown catches in the same game (Robert Edwards, Patrick Pass).

Gurley became the 12th Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards in a season in 2012 and the first since Knowshon Moreno in 2008 after going for 68 yards and a touchdown versus Georgia Southern on Nov. 17 in the 11th game of the year. When Moreno did it, he was a redshirt sophomore and he gained 1,400 yards with 16 touchdowns in 13 games. Only Gurley and Walker have tallied 1,000-yard seasons in their true freshman seasons.

Gurley set the Bulldog freshman record for rushing TDs in a season with 17. Gurley and Marshall have combined for 14 runs of 25 or more yards, including nine that went for touchdowns.

2012 Game-By-Game (Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns)

GurleyMarshallTOTAL
Buffalo8-100-210-46-018-146-2
@ Missouri10-65-112-32-022-97-1
Florida Atlantic10-111-110-104-120-215-2
Vanderbilt16-130-210-82-226-212-4
Tennessee24-130-310-164-234-294-5
@ #6 S.C.13-39-012-37-025-76-0
@ Kentucky12-47-06-23-018-70-0
vs. #3 Florida27-118-14-4-031-122-1
vs. Ole Miss18-117-011-28-029-145-0
@ Auburn11-116-18-105-119-221-2
Ga. Southern15-68-17-29-022-97-1
Ga. Tech12-97-27-66-219-163-4
vs. #2 Alabama23-122-22-3-025-125-2
vs. #23 Nebraska23-125-18-36-031-161-1
Total222-1,385-17117-759-8339-2,144-25


2013 Game-By-Game (Attempts-Yards-Touchdowns)

GurleyMarshallTOTAL
@ #8 Clemson12-154-216-43-128-197-3
#6 S.C.30-132-17-58-037-190-1
Career Total264-1,671-20140-860-9404-2,531-29
North Texas21-91-18-16-029-107-1
Total63-377-431-117-194-494-5
Career Total285-1,762-21148-876-9433-2,638-30

Big Guys Up Front

For the season opener and most recently in the North Texas game, Georgia's starting unit for the offensive line was: senior Kenarious Gates at LT, senior Chris Burnette at RG, senior Dallas Lee at LG, junior David Andrews at C and junior Kolton Houston at RT. Houston moved over to LG in the win over #6 South Carolina as sophomore John Theus got the nod at RT.

Houston got his first shot to play for the Bulldogs after he was ruled eligible after a three-year battle with the NCAA (For more on Houston, check out the story at http://gado.gs/1xu).

Here's a look at Georgia's offensive production this year:

OpponentPointsTotal Offense (Rushing/Passing)Sacks
@ #8 Clemson35545 (222/323)4
#6 South Carolina41536 (227/309)2
North Texas45641 (191/450)0

Talented Targets

Even after playing two top-10 opponents to start the season, Georgia leads the SEC in passing efficiency (204.8) and ranks second in passing yards per game (360.7).

One of the keys to Aaron Murray's success has been his passing efficiency, and his ability to spread the ball around. In 2013, Georgia has seen the emergence of redshirt sophomore SE Justin Scott-Wesley. He had a career day versus #8 Clemson in the 2013 season opener, hauling in four catches for 55 yards. Against #6 South Carolina, Scott-Wesley posted his first 100-yard performance with three catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, including an 85-yard score. He is sixth in the SEC averaging 78.0 yards/game with 10 receptions for 234 yards. Scott-Wesley only had six catches in his career before this season.

Junior Michael Bennett is back from a 2012 ACL injury and is tied for the team lead in catches with 10 for 124 yards. Junior Chris Conley also has 10 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. He was the leading receiver last week versus North Texas with five for 63 and a score. True freshman Reggie Davis caught a 98-yard touchdown strike from Murray to etch their names in school history. This was the longest offensive scoring play in school history. It is also tied for the third-longest passing touchdown in SEC history and is the longest passing touchdown in the FBS this year.

One of the team's leaders last year, Malcolm Mitchell, went down with an ACL injury against Clemson and is out for the year.

Versatile Lynch

Senior TE Arthur Lynch, a preseason First Team All-SEC and Second Team All-America selection, has picked up this season where he left off in 2012. He posted career highs with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown against North Texas. Lynch had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown versus the #6 Gamecocks after adding an 18-yard catch against #8 Clemson the week before.

Backup TE Jay Rome played against North Texas after injuring his ankle in the Clemson game. He had a career-long catch for 27 yards, but left the game favoring his ankle again.

Mason Waiting In The Wings

Redshirt junior Hutson Mason leads a group of quarterbacks vying for playing time behind senior Aaron Murray. Mason is listed as the No. 2 on the depth chart after redshirting in 2012 to create a year of separation between the entrenched starter.


DEFENSE


Gaining Experience

Georgia's newcomers jumped into the fire facing eighth-ranked Clemson and sixth-ranked South Carolina to open the season. The Tigers registered 38 points and 467 yards of total offense on 76 plays. A week later, the Gamecocks rolled up 454 total yards on offense and 30 points on 61 plays.

While the Gamecocks tallied 24 points in the first half, the Bulldog defense held them to six points the rest of the way, including a goalline stand on their final possession midway through the fourth quarter.

Georgia flexed its muscle on defense even more during the matchup against North Texas. The Mean Green managed only one touchdown on offense (two on special teams) and 245 total yards on offense, including just seven on the ground.

Georgia has had nine new starters on defense including three true freshmen. 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.

Defense Forced To Grow Up In A Hurry

The hallmark for Georgia's defense in 2012 was its ability to make key second half adjustments. For example, opponents averaged just 7.7 points in the final two quarters (107 points), and one touchdown came on an interception return. This season, eighth-ranked Clemson scored 21 first half points and then 17 in the second two periods. Sixth-ranked South Carolina scored 24 points in the opening half, but only six in the second half. Georgia's defense versus North Texas tossed a shutout in the second half. The only touchdown that the Mean Green scored in the final two quarters came on a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone.

The Bulldogs will be faced with another challenge in trying to slow down #6 LSU. The Tigers feature another potent offense that has scored at least 35 points and tallied 400 total yards of offense in every game this season.

The 2013 defense features nine new regulars. The returning starters are junior CB Damian Swann and senior DE Garrison Smith. Junior ILB Amarlo Herrera and sophomore OLB Jordan Jenkins combined for 15 starts last season. Additionally, sophomore OLB Josh Dawson, junior DE Ray Drew, junior SS Connor Norman and junior N Mike Thornton all earned significant playing time during the 2012 campaign.

Linebacker Duo Leading The Defense

Although Georgia has played just three games on the year, Bulldog linebackers Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera are both ranked in the top five in the SEC for total tackles. Wilson is second with 31 while Herrera is tied for fourth with 30. Herrera played in all 14 games last year, starting nine contests, and is the top returning tackler with 70. Wilson played in 10 games for the Bulldogs in 2012 and got his first start versus Clemson this year.

Another returner in the linebacker corps is sophomore OLB Jordan Jenkins. Jenkins has 15 tackles so far, including a team-high four tackles for loss. Last year, he had 31 stops with the team's second-most sacks behind current Pittsburgh Steeler Jarvis Jones with 5.0. Jones had a school record 14.5 sacks in 2012.

Freshman OLB Leonard Floyd also give the Bulldogs depth at line- backer. Floyd has 12 tackles this season, including the first two sacks of his career in the win over North Texas.

Swann Leading A Youthful Secondary

Georgia's secondary faces another stiff test this week as #6 LSU features one of the top passing offenses in the league (2nd in passing efficiency). LSU is led by senior QB Zach Mettenberger and two of the most talented receivers in the SEC in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Beckham is third in the league with 20 catches for 389 yards and four touchdowns while Landry has 24 catches for 364 yards and six touchdowns. Beckham ranks first in the SEC in all-purpose yards as well.

Junior Damian Swann is the only starter back from the 2012 secondary. He led the Bulldogs with four interception and had 53 tackles including two sacks. This season, freshman safety Tray Matthews and senior safety Connor Norman lead the unit with 14 tackles each. Matthews registered his career interception against North Texas, which was also Georgia's first pick of 2013.

A pair of reserve safeties return for the Bulldogs in Norman and junior Corey Moore. Norman, who has started the first two games of 2013, started two games and played in all 14 contests last year. He finished with 18 tackles. In the 2013 opener, Norman had eight tackles, including combining on a tackle for loss. Moore played in 14 games with one start to go with 14 tackles. However, Moore was sidelined for the Clemson game with a knee injury and then got his first start against North Texas. Also, defensive back Sheldon Dawson appeared in 13 games and had 12 tackles last year and is back in a reserve role this year.

After missing the Clemson game, sophomore CB Josh Harvey-Clemons made his season debut versus South Carolina. He had five tackles and recovered a fumble which set up a third quarter field goal. Harvey-Clemons posted a career-high seven stops, including a tackle for loss, during the victory over North Texas.

Georgia's 2013 signing class featured eight defensive backs/safeties including three who enrolled early in Matthews, Quincy Mauger and Reggie Wilkerson. Wilkerson tore his ACL during summer workouts and is out for the season.

The First Line Of Defense

Georgia's trio up-front so far this season has featured senior Garrison Smith, redshirt sophomore Sterling Bailey and junior Ray Drew.

Bailey leads this group with 16 tackles and that ranks third on the team. Bailey has battled back from shoulder and foot injuries that slowed his progress early in his career. He exploded for a career-high 10 tackles against #6 South Carolina and his performance included a sack.

Drew has earned increased playing time on the frontline since season's start. He collected 23 tackles in 13 games last year. Against Clemson in the 2013 season opener, Drew had four solo tackles to lead the defensive front. He then started his first game versus South Carolina and added another three stops.

The Bulldog defensive front will have another test against the Tigers. TB Jeremy Hill (6-2, 235) and FB Connor Copeland (6-0, 270) are two of the conference's most powerful backs.

The Bulldogs welcomed three from the junior college ranks. They are Chris Mayes, a 6-4, 321-pound native of Griffin via Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, Toby Johnson, a 6-4, 305-pound native of College Park, Ga., via Hutchinson CC and Johnathan Atkins, a 6-4, 322-pound native of Thomson, Ga., via Hargrave Military Academy. Mayes and Atkins arrived in January and practiced this spring. Johnson has played in each of Georgia's first two games as Mayes made his debut against North Texas.

The defensive line is led by coach Chris Wilson, who joined the Bulldogs in January from Mississippi State.


SPECIAL TEAMS AT A GLANCE


Specialists Gain Experience

In 2012, P Collin Barber of Cartersville, Ga., and PK Marshall Morgan of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., came in as freshman and became the starters in 2012.

Barber has averaged 47.9 yards on 11 punts this year and has forced four fair catches. Barber also ran five yards for a first down on a fake punt from the Georgia 34-yard line. However, he bobbled a snap against the Gamecocks and was credited for a loss of 14 yards after retrieving the loose ball. Versus North Texas, Barber's punt was blocked and the Mean Green recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. However, Barber averaged 49.8/yds on five punts against North Texas, including a career-long 61 yarder. He is on pace to have one of the best seasons in school history with a 47.9 average through three games. Drew Butler (2009) owns the school record at 48.1.

Morgan was suspended for the first two games of 2013 and played in his first game versus North Texas. He was 5-for-5 on PATs and 1-for-2 on FGs against the Mean Green after missing a 52 yarder as time expired in the first half. Morgan tallied 87 points last year. He hit 8-of-14 field goals (hitting two from 50+) and connected on a school record 63-of-67 extra points.

During Morgan's absence, sophomore Patrick Beless was 10-for-10 on PATs and 2-for-2 on FGs (both versus South Carolina) during the first two games. He was lined up to attempt another 19-yard field goal against Clemson, but a high snap caused a fumble and loss of six yards. Beless made the team in the spring of his freshman year in 2012 and has been on the roster the last two seasons.

Redshirt sophomore Nathan Theus has started the first two games as Georgia's snapper. True freshman Trent Frix has also seen action in each of the Bulldogs' first three contests. Trent is the younger brother of Ty Frix, who was the Bulldogs' snapper for the last four years. Theus, who played special teams last season, is the older brother of offensive lineman John Theus.

The Return Men

The Bulldogs did not have any kickoff returns in the season opener as the Tigers' Bradley Pinion had seven touchbacks. Redshirt sophomore SE Justin Scott-Wesley returned a pair of kicks versus #6 South Carolina and finished with 39 return yards (19.5 avg.). Freshman TB J.J. Green returned one kick for 19 yards in the matchup with North Texas.

TB Todd Gurley had seven returns as a true freshman last year, including a 100 yarder to tie the NCAA record versus Buffalo.

In the punt return game, junior CB Damian Swann has six returns for 30 yards.

Did You Know?

Georgia has blocked 21 punts, 13 field goals and four PATs in the Mark Richt era. The Bulldogs have converted them into 137 points. Georgia has scored 17 special teams touchdowns and four safeties in the Richt era.




Georgia Tops LSU In Top-10 Shootout, 44-41

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ATHENS, Ga. -- In its third game against a top-10 team, the No. 9 Georgia football team won a 44-41 shootout with No. 6 LSU in front of a sellout crowd of 92,746 and a nationally televised CBS audience at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 28. Georgia improves to 3-1 on the year and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while LSU falls to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.

Aaron Murray went 20-for-34 for 298 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to the win. Chris Conley was his top target, picking up 112 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Justin Scott-Wesley added 55 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Michael Bennett finished with 38 yards and two touchdowns. Keith Marshall led Georgia's ground game, rushing for 96 yards on 20 carries. Todd Gurley finished with eight carries for 73 yards, while J.J. Green added 18 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Marshall Morgan connected on four extra points and was 2-for-2 in field goals, including a career-best 55-yarder.

Georgia defense was stout, sacking LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger four times. Josh Harvey-Clemons led the team with 16 tackles, including five solo stops, while Leonard Floyd finished with eight tackles and a sack. Chris Mayes, Jordan Jenkins and Ray Drew each recorded a sack.

Georgia wasted little time, driving 75 yards on eight plays in just over three minutes for a touchdown on the opening drive that gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead. It was the first time that LSU has trailed this season. During the drive, Murray found Lynch for 21 yards that set the Bulldogs up with 1st-and-10 in the red zone. After a seven-yard rush, Murray connected with Bennett for five yards and the touchdown.

LSU answered on the next drive, going 66 yards on six plays before Kadron Boone scored on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Zach Mettenberger that tied the game at 7-7 following the point after. The Tigers intercepted Murray on Georgia's next drive and scored on a four-yard pass to Boone to take a 14-7 lead.

The lead didn't last long, as Georgia marched 79 yards on five plays in just under two minutes to tie the game at 14. Gurley took the ball 23 yards on the first play of the drive to put Georgia near midfield. Murray founded Conley in the back of the end zone three plays later for 25-yards and a touchdown that tied the game at 14 after the Marshall Morgan extra point.

Morgan broke the tie with 8:16 left in the first half with a 24-yard field goal that capped off a 66-yard scoring drive that resulted in Georgia taking a 17-14 lead. A trio of rushes by Gurley that totaled 31 yards that put Georgia in the red zone highlighted the drive.

The defenses took over on the next two possessions, as both teams were forced to punt. An LSU drive stalled at the Georgia 31-yard line, but the Tigers elected to try a 49-yard field goal, which tied the game at 17-17 with 3:51 left in the half.

Georgia answered with a nine-play, 82-yard touchdown drive. Murray found Conley and Davis for a total of 64 yards that put the Bulldogs in the red zone at the LSU 17. A pass interference call made it 1st-and-Goal at the LSU 2. Two plays later Murray found the end zone on a one-yard keeper that allowed Georgia to retake the lead at 24-17 with 20 seconds left in the half.

Georgia and LSU traded field goals on the first two possessions of the second half. LSU made it a 24-20 game with a 39-yard field goal before Morgan answered with a career-long 55-yarder that extended Georgia's lead to 27-20 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.

LSU tied the game on its next possessions, driving 80 yards in just under three minutes. Jarvis Landry was on the receiving end of the 39-yard touchdown pass by Mettenberger.

After a three-and-out, Georgia was forced to punt but the catch was bobbled, allowing Connor Norman to recover the fumble at the LSU 20-yard line. Two plays later, Murray found Bennett wide open in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown grab, Bennett's second touchdown catch of the game, that gave Georgia a 34-27 lead.

The lead didn't last long, as the Tigers went 70 yards on 11 plays in just over four minutes. Kenny Hilliard punched the ball in from two yards out for the score that tied the game at 34-34.

With 12:17 left on the clock, Murray orchestrated an 11-play, 55-yard drive that included a fourth down conversion that set Morgan up for a 38-yard field goal that gave Georgia a 37-34 lead.

LSU answered with a 75-yard touchdown drive that gave it a 41-37 lead when Jeremy Hill ran eight yards into the end zone with four minutes left on the clock.

On the ensuing drive, Murray went 3-for-3 to lead the Bulldogs into LSU territory. He completed an 11-yard pass to Scott-Wesely before finding Artie Lynch over the idle for a gain of nine yards. Murray and Lynch hooked up again for a gain of 10 yards that gave Georgia 1st-and-10 at the LSU 43 yard line. Green picked up 18 yards on the ground before Murray found Scott-Wesley in the end zone for 25 yards and a touchdown that allowed Georgia to retake the lead at 44-41.

LSU had just under two minutes to drive the length of the field. On the first play of the final drive, Mettenberger was sacked for a loss of seven yards before a first-down pass to Odell Beckham gave the Tigers a first down. Mettenberger was unable to complete his last four passes, allowing the Bulldogs to take over on downs and run out the clock, sealing the 44-41 win.

The Bulldogs travel to Knoxville, Tenn., next Saturday, Oct. 5, to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.








GAME LEADERS
YDSTDGeorgiaLSUTDYDS
298 4 Murray PASS Mettenberger 3 300
96 0 Marshall RUSH Hill 1 77
112 1 Conley REC Landry 1 130

Georgia LSU
28 1st Downs 22
4-11 3rd Down Conv. 10-15
496 Total Yards 449
20-34-298 Passing 23-37-372
34-198 Rushing 36-77
4-20 Penalties 5-40
1 Turnovers 1
27:35 Possession 31:33


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