Chris Conley (31), Rantavious Wooten (17), John Theus (71) and Mark Beard (79)
Nov. 17, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs set a new school record for touchdowns in a season in Saturday's 45-14 win over in-state rival Georgia Southern at Sanford Stadium. Aaron Murray's pass to receiver Chris Conley late in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs their 55th TD of the year - breaking the record of 54 attained in both the 1942 and 2011 seasons.
The Bulldogs improve to 10-1 on the season heading into next week's regular-season finale vs. another Peach State rival, Georgia Tech, Nov. 24 at noon. Georgia today reached the 10-win plateau for the 20th time in school history, doing so in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007-08.
The Bulldogs posted 474 yards of total offense on the afternoon, including 354 through the air as Murray went 18-for-28 for 330 yards and four touchdowns. Parker Welch came in for Murray in the fourth quarter and threw his first career score to redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley, who earned his first career touchdown on the play as well. Georgia got 15 carries for 68 yards from freshman Todd Gurley, who had one touchdown. Classmate Keith Marshall added seven carries for 29 yards. On the receiving end, Conley pulled in four catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Arthur Lynch and receiver Tavarres King each had three catches. King and Malcolm Mitchell each had touchdowns on the day.
On the opening drive of the game, the Bulldogs got rolling as Murray found Lynch for a 49-yard gain that brought Georgia down to the Georgia Southern 29 yard line. Murray found his tight end a second time, this time for a 15-yard gain, to get to the 14. Then on first and goal, Murray appeared to scramble in for the touchdown, but the play was reviewed and brought back as it was ruled that his knee was down. But on the next play, the rookie Gurley broke into the end zone and this time it stood up, as the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead following the extra point with 11:21 on the clock in the first quarter, which is where it remained at the close of the first quarter.
The Eagles knotted things up at 7-7 early in the second quarter on a one-yard run for quarterback Jerick McKinnon with 11:53 to go in the period.
On Georgia's next drive Gurley surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the season, ultimately setting up a Marshall Morgan 37-yard field goal with 6:25 to play in the first half that made it 10-7.
The Bulldogs closed the first half strong, as Murray mixed up his options to find King and Jay Rome on consecutive throws to get down into GSU territory, before completing a 24-yard pass to Mitchell in the end zone to make it 17-7 at the end of the half.
Conley got in on the action with 8:51 on the clock in the third quarter as Murray found the sophomore for the 13-yard touchdown as Georgia went up 24-7 following the extra point. The defense also came out hot to start the second, forcing consecutive three-and-outs on Georgia Southern's first two possessions.
Georgia went up 31-7 when Murray found a streaking King for the 43-yard completion and the score with 5:07 remaining in the third, and Conley tacked on his second of the game as he reeled in the 33-yarder with 2:39 left to push the home team's lead to 38-7 - marking the school-record setting 55th Georgia touchdown of the season.
GSU added their second touchdown of the day as McKinnon ran in it 23 yards with 6:41 remaining in the game, making it 38-14, but the Bulldogs weren't finished, as Welch capped a solid drive with the touchdown pass to Scott-Wesley with 3:13 remaining - increasing the school-record season touchdown total to 56 and giving both players their first career scores on the play as Georgia wrapped up the victory, 45-14.
Georgia moves to 5-0 all-time vs. the Eagles, all of those meetings coming in Athens. GSU dropped to 8-3 on the season with today's loss.
The Bulldogs will conclude the 2012 regular season and home slate next Saturday, Nov. 24 vs. Georgia Tech at 12 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.