Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Murray helps Dawgs relax

ATHENS, Ga. — With the rain picking up and No. 9 Georgia surprisingly in a tie game, Aaron Murray told his teammates to settle down.

"Hey, we're fine," the quarterback said in the huddle. "Just play ball and have fun."

Murray was right. Everything worked out fine for the Bulldogs.

The former Plant High standout threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score while leading the Bulldogs to a 45-21 victory over pesky North Texas on a dreary Saturday between the hedges.

Along the way, he became the second SEC quarterback with 100 career scoring passes. The three TDs pushed his total to 102, trailing only 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel of Florida (114).

"Anytime you have 100 touchdowns, you've obviously been very successful," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "I'm sure he's going to throw a few more for us this year."

Murray overcame an early interception in the end zone, hooking up with freshman Reggie Davis on a 98-yard TD, the longest pass play in school history. The previous record was Buck Belue's short pass to Lindsay Scott that turned into a 93-yard TD and stunned the Gators in the final minute of a 1980 game. That play was immortalized by Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson's call of "Run Lindsay, run!''

Arthur Lynch and Chris Conley also had touchdown catches for the Bulldogs.

The Mean Green went in as a 33-point underdog, but big plays on special teams helped make a game of it. Brelan Chancellor returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, and Zac Whitfield fell on a blocked punt in the end zone early in the second half to tie the score at 21.

Murray made sure the Bulldogs avoided the upset. He scored on a 1-yard sneak and went to Conley on a 4-yard TD.

Georgia outgained North Texas by 641-245, the fourth-most yards in school history. Yet it was a more difficult game than most expected.

"We knew we would have a fight on our hands," Murray said. "We came out with the right mentality. No one was slacking. They just made some plays."

Though there wasn't much time to reflect, not with an SEC showdown against No. 6 LSU looming next weekend, Murray conceded he didn't envision putting up such lofty numbers with the Bulldogs.

"That was never a goal of mine. I just wanted to win games and put myself in the best possible situation," he said. Then he paused and smiled before adding, "It has been fun."

NO. 1 ALABAMA 31, COLO. ST. 6: AJ McCarron passed for 258 yards and threw a 30-yard touchdown to DeAndrew White in the fourth quarter to lift the host Crimson Tide in a sputtering, inconsistent and rather mundane performance.

Two fourth-quarter touchdowns, one on special teams and another on fourth down, helped keep the final score from being close.

"I felt like as a whole, we didn't really execute to our full abilities," Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "That's not an SEC opponent that we just played, and the win really wasn't what it should have been. So I felt like we kind of got away with a win. We didn't dominate that win."

NO. 6 LSU 35, AUBURN 21: Jeremy Hill rushed for a career-high 184 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns as host LSU handed Auburn its first loss of the season.

Hill scored touchdowns of 49, 10 and 6 yards and set up another score with a 54-yard run in which he was shoved out of bounds at the 1. Fullback J.C. Copeland scored from there.

Tre Mason rushed for 132 yards and had two short touchdown runs in the third quarter for Auburn, the second cutting LSU's lead to 28-14.

NO. 10 TEXAS A&M 42, SMU 13: Johnny Manziel accounted for 346 yards with three touchdowns in just more than a half to help the host Aggies cruise.

Texas A&M was up 32-6 at halftime, and Manziel led the Aggies to a touchdown on their first drive of the third quarter before the Heisman Trophy winner went to the bench.

It was a nice bounceback game for Texas A&M after it fell to Alabama 49-42 last week.

VANDY 24, UMASS 7: The Commodores wore down the host Minutemen for 45 minutes then scored two touchdowns in the fourth, holding Massachusetts to 17 yards of offense in the quarter. Austyn Carta-Samuels threw for two touchdowns.

MISS. ST. 62, TROY 7: Sophomore Dak Prescott threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 36-yard touchdown in his third career start to lead the host Bulldogs.

MISSOURI 45, INDIANA 28: James Franklin threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns and defensive end Kony Ealy returned an interception 49 yards for a score for the Tigers, who won in Bloomington for the first time since 1953.

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