Murray spurs No. 5 Bulldogs to rout of Georgia Southern
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Aaron Murray threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 5 Georgia past Georgia Southern, 45-14, at Sanford Stadium on Saturday.
Murray completed 18-of-28 passes for Georgia (10-1), which earned its fifth straight win.
Chris Conley caught four balls for 76 yards and two scores, while Todd Gurley had 68 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the victory.
"The second half of the season has been pretty impressive. We're happy with the results," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think the guys are focused and they think we've got a chance to do something special. All of our goals are still ahead of us, and we're happy about that."
Jerick McKinnon went 1-for-4 through the air for 16 yards, but carried the ball 19 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (8-3), who lost two of three to close out their regular season.
Dominique Swope had 92 yards on 17 carries and Darreion Robinson had 12 carries for 54 yards in defeat.
"Games like this do show our guys that we can run the ball against a great defense and give them some confidence going into the playoffs," Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken said. "Hopefully we will see some things on film that gives our guys some confidence. I don't think it's ever good to lose. People say you learn a lot from a loss, but I can usually find a lot more things to learn from after win."
Georgia received the ball first and jumped out to the early lead as Arthur Lynch had receptions of 49 and 15 yards before Alexander Ogletree converted a 4th-and-1 at the Georgia Southern 5-yard line with a 4-yard rush.
Two plays later, Gurley capped the 10-play, 79-yard march by punching the ball across the goal line from a yard out.
Georgia Southern moved the ball as far as the Georgia 35 on its ensuing possession, but the Eagles opted to go for it on a 4th-and-3 at the Bulldogs' 34 and Swope was held to just a 1-yard gain, turning the ball over on downs.
Marshall Morgan missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt on the ensuing drive, but McKinnon fumbled the ball three plays later and Georgia recovered it at the Eagles 33.
Murray then completed a 20-yard pass to Rhett McGowan on a 2nd-and-18 at the Georgia 36, but McGowan fumbled on the play and Georgia Southern regained the ball at its own 45.
The Eagles were able to capitalize on the turnover with a 10-play trek that stretched into the second quarter and was capped by McKinnon's 1-yard touchdown run to knot the game at 7-7 with 11:53 left in the half.
But Georgia answered with an 11-play, 47-yard drive Morgan finished with a 37- yard field goal to retake the lead.
After Alex Hanks missed a 39-yard field goal on the Eagles' next touch, a roughing the passer penalty and a 21-yard catch by Jay Rome set up Malcolm Mitchell's 24-yard touchdown grab to give Georgia a 17-7 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs pulled away for good in the second half with 21 unanswered points.
Murray started the streak by capping a 12-play, 69-yard march that included three third-down conversions by hitting Conley for a 13-yard touchdown on the Bulldogs' first possession of the third quarter.
Georgia regained the ball at the Georgia Southern 47 following a three-and- out, and Murray connected with Tavarres King deep down the left sideline for a 43-yard score three plays later.
Alec Ogletree then recovered a Swope fumble at the Eagles' 46-yard line before Conley caught a wide receiver screen and raced 33 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown and a 38-7 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
McKinnon's 23-yard touchdown run with 6:41 left in the game put an end to Georgia's streak before Justin Scott-Wesley capped the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown grab over a defender from backup quarterback Parker Welch after the Eagles failed to recover an onsides kick.
Georgia leads the all-time series between the teams, 5-0 ... The Bulldogs have now reached 10 wins in a season for the 20th time in school history ... Georgia Southern finished with 302 rushing yards but was outgained by Georgia, 474-318 ... The Eagles went 6-for-13 on third downs and 1-for-3 on fourth downs ... Georgia was 10-for-14 on third downs and 1-for-1 on fourth downs ... Lynch finished with 68 yards on three receptions.
11/17 19:58:50 ET