Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

Tricky Georgia in control

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ATHENS, Ga. — One of Mark Richt's oldest trick plays gave Georgia the lift it needed to remain on track for a shot at the SEC title.

Aaron Murray threw four touchdowns and No. 7 Georgia overcame a slow start to beat Mississippi 37-10 on Saturday and move one win away from a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

A Bulldogs loss would have given the SEC East title to Florida, which has finished conference play at 7-1.

Georgia trailed 10-0 before scoring 37 straight points. The Bulldogs will clinch the East and a second straight trip to the conference title game with a win next week at Auburn.

"We know now it's down to one game to win the right to go back to Atlanta," Richt said.

Murray pulled off a fake handoff on a 66-yard touchdown to Marlon Brown for the Bulldogs' first points. Richt, in his 12th season at Georgia, said he brought the play from Florida State, where he was offensive coordinator under Bobby Bowden.

Murray executed a convincing fake to Todd Gurley, who was swarmed by defenders as Murray hid the ball with his back to the line. The former Plant High standout then threw to Brown, who was standing alone near the 40 when he made the catch.

Murray said he prepared for the play by watching film of former Georgia quarterback David Greene have success with his version of the fake.

"I was going to text him this morning and tell him we were going to use it," Murray said of Greene. "I didn't want to jinx us."

Richt said the play provided a lift for Georgia's players and the crowd of 92,746.

"I think there's no question about it," said Richt, who added he could tell fans "were getting kind of antsy" with Ole Miss leading 10-0.

"You could tell they were concerned about what was going on," Richt said.

Ole Miss used blitzes to record five sacks in the first half. The gambles left opportunities for Murray, who completed 21 of 28 passes for 384 yards with no interceptions and TD passes of 66, 40, 42 and 28 yards.

NO. 16 TEXAS A&M 38, NO. 17 MISSISSIPPI ST. 13: Johnny Manziel and the Aggies shredded another SEC defense.

The redshirt freshman picked apart Mississippi State by completing 30 of 36 passes for 311 yards and danced around the host Bulldogs for 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

A relative unknown before the season, Manziel is posting consistently terrific performances that are starting to generate whispers of Heisman Trophy consideration. He has certainly been the unquestioned star for the upstart Aggies.

"He has a green light to make plays, some improvised, some called," Texas A&M first-year coach Kevin Sumlin said.

He made those plays in bunches against the Bulldogs. Maybe the most impressive was a 37-yard TD run in the second quarter that gave the Aggies a 21-0 lead. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Manziel rolled right, didn't see an open receiver and weaved around multiple defenders on his way to the end zone.

TENNESSEE 55, TROY 48: Marlin Lane rushed for a tiebreaking 9-yard touchdown with 1:25 left as the host Vols came from behind in the final three minutes in a game that featured 1,439 combined yards in total offense, the most ever in a Tennessee game. Tennessee set a school record with 718 total yards yet was outgained by the Trojans, who had 721 yards, the most ever by a Tennessee opponent.

VANDERBILT 40, KENTUCKY 0: The visiting Commodores shut out an SEC foe for the first time since 1968, dominating in every phase, as Jordan Rodgers passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns. It was Vanderbilt's biggest margin of victory in league play since a 48-7 win over LSU in 1948.

ARKANSAS 19, TULSA 15: Dennis Johnson rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns and Cobi Hamilton set Arkansas' single-season receptions record for the host Razorbacks. Hamilton has 69 catches for 1,077 yards, breaking Jarius Wright's mark of 66 catches set last season.

AUBURN 42, NEW MEX. ST. 7: Tre Mason rushed for a career-high 152 yards, Onterio McCalebb added 113 and two scores and linebacker Daren Bates returned a fumble for a 62-yard TD as the host Tigers ended a five-game skid.

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