Georgia Postgame Notes - SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Dec. 3, 2011
Bulldogs in SEC Championship Game: With tonight's loss to #1 LSU, Georgia (10-3) fell to 2-2 in SEC Championship games and saw its 10-game winning streak end. In school history, the Bulldogs are 1-4 when facing the top-ranked team. LSU leads the all-time series 16-12-1 including 2-1 in SEC Championship contests. Up next, the Bulldogs will learn their bowl destination on Sunday.
Early Defensive Stand: The Bulldog defense held LSU scoreless in the first quarter and without a first down. LSU's seven points in the first half came on a punt return. Georgia has now outscored its opponents 105-27 in the opening period this season. In fact, Georgia has outscored its SEC opponents 63-20 in the first quarter in 2011. The last time Georgia held an opponent to just seven points in a half was versus #24 Auburn. The Bulldogs held LSU to 11 total yards in the first two quarters. In the first half, the Tigers went 0-for-7 in third down conversions. LSU had never trailed at halftime this season and was only tied at the half with #2 Alabama 3-3. LSU's only touchdown of the first half came on a 62-yard punt return by Tyrann Mathieu. This was the second punt return for a TD by a Georgia opponent this year (Ole Miss, 81 yards). Of LSU's six scoring drives, only two on offense covered more than 26 yards, both in the second half (a 70-yard, 10-play drive in the third quarter; a 4-play, 93-yard drive in 1:51). LSU scored one TD on special teams and one on defense and a total of 21 points came off turnovers. LSU finished with 237 yards of total offense on 48 plays while the Bulldogs ran 85 plays for 296 yards.
Murray Throws Career-High 40 Times: Redshirt sophomore QB Aaron Murray (16-of-40 for 163 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) connected with senior TE Aron White for a 12-yard TD at the 0:42 mark in the first quarter to put Georgia up 10-0. This improved Murray's school record mark to 33 touchdown passes in a season while White hauled in his fourth of the year. Freshman Malcolm Mitchell and junior Orson Charles led the way with 4 catches apiece. Freshman TB Ken Malcome had his first career reception (17 yards). Sophomore QB Hutson Mason finished the game, going 4-for-11, 55 yards. Malcome finished as the leading Bulldog rusher with 37 yards on five carries.
NCAA Record For Walsh: Senior PK Blair Walsh booted a 40-yard field goal at the 11:45 mark in the opening period to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 edge. Walsh set an NCAA record with the connection giving him 44 games in his career with at least one field goal. Former Bulldog Billy Bennett held the record with 43. Walsh is now 19-for-31 this season. Currently, he has 404 career points, second in SEC history to Bennett's record 409. Walsh's field goal was set up by Murray connected with Tavarres King for a 44-yard reception to the LSU 21-yard line.
Bulldog Trickery: The Bulldogs had their first successful onside kick since 2008 after the opening score. With Walsh also on the field, senior PK Brandon Bogotay popped the kickoff in air and sophomore ILB Alec Ogletree soared above the crowd to recover the kick. The Bulldogs then missed a 45-yard field goal to end their possession. This marked the first time Georgia has recovered an onside kick since Jamie Lindley kicked off and CJ Byrd recovered the ball versus #8 Alabama in 2008.
Turnovers: Murray fumbled on the Georgia 26-yard line early in the third quarter. LSU then scored a touchdown to make it 14-10. Midway through the third quarter, Murray threw an interception in LSU territory. The Tigers then drove down and scored a touchdown to make it 28-10 and added a pick six late in the fourth quarter. Opponents have scored 63 points off 22 Bulldog miscues. LSU came in leading the nation at +19 in turnovers; Georgia was +10.
Tackles: Sophomore Alec Olgetree had six tackles, including a sack, while OLB Cornelius Washington recorded three tackles, also including a sack.
Injury Report: Junior ILB Mike Gilliard left the game in the second quarter with a right ankle injury and did not return. Junior TB Carlton Thomas injured his left knee in the third quarter and did not return.