The Georgia Bulldogs earned a little between the hedges Saturday afternoon as they held on to tame the Tigers from Baton Rouge 44-41.
Aaron Murray showed the calm nature of a fifth year senior as he led the game winning drive and found Justin Scott-Wesley wide open along the sideline for a 25 yard touchdown with 1:47 on the clock. The entire DawgNation held their breath as the defensive pups were called on to either win it or let all their goals slip away. Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins and Ray Drew pinned their ears back and got enough pressure on Mettenberger to force the Tigers to give up the ball with 52 ticks remaining.
The entire state went nuts as the celebration erupted on the UGA bench.
Murray got off to a red hot start hitting the first 7 of his attempts for 95 yards and 2 TD’s, he finished the day 20 of 23 for 298 yards, 4 touchdown passes, 1 rushing TD and 1 interception. Murray moved into the No. 2 spot in school history with career passing yardage with 11,429. David Greene holds the school and SEC records at 11,528. In total offense, Murray has 11,659, which is No. 2 in SEC history.
Todd Gurley left the game with a sprained ankle late in the second quarter but did manage to gain 73 yards on 8 carries, Keith Marshall took over and got a career high 20 rushes for 96 yards. True freshman J.J. Green picked up a huge first down on an 18 yard burst with his only touch of the day. Chris Conley led the receiving corps with 5 catches for 112 yards and a TD, Scott-Wesley had 4 for 55 yards and a TD, Michael Bennett snagged 3 for 38 yards and 2 touchdowns. Murray spread the 20 completions among 9 different receivers with tight ends Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome, running backs Gurley and Marshall and receivers Reggie Davis and Rhett McGowan also making catches.
With X-box type numbers being put up by today’s offenses, it’s surprising that the young Bulldog defense held LSU to a season low total of 77 yards rushing on 36 carries, they entered the game averaging 221. The Dawgs only gave up 7 yards last week to North Texas on 25 carries. Drew and redshirt sophomore nose tackle Chris Mays both picked up the first sacks of their careers while Jenkins and Floyd also got one each, Josh Harvey-Clemons made a game high 15 tackles, Floyd had 8.
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger completed 23 of 37 passes for 372 yards, 3 TD’s and no interceptions in an emotional return to Sanford Stadium. Mark Richt sought out his secretary’s son after the game, gave him a big hug and told him how proud he was of what he has accomplished in the years since being dismissed from the Dawgs. Richt was brought to tears by the performance of former roommates Murray and Mettenberger as he struggled to complete his post game TV interview. The Bulldogs will face the same situation later this year with Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall.