Senior quarterback Aaron Murray became the SEC’s all time leader in touchdown passes when he connected with Michael Bennett on a 23 yard score early in the second quarter of the Bulldogs 45-6 win over Appalachian State before a homecoming crowd in Athens Saturday. Murray had tied Danny Wuerffel with TD number 114 when he rolled right and found Rantavious Wooten open on a post route with 4:53 remaining in the opening quarter.
It was all the offense the Dawgs could muster in the first half and the Mountaineers had flashbacks of their upset of #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor to open the 2007 season………..31 unanswered second half points by the Bulldogs ended the dream.
Todd Gurley, Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green all rushed for touchdowns and backup quarterback Hutson Mason completed his first nine passes including a three yard strike to redshirt freshman walk-on Kenneth Towns. The catch by Towns was the first reception and TD of his career.
Murray finished the day 19 of 26 for 281 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception, Mason recorded career highs of 11 for 16 for 160 yards and 1 TD. Gurley was the leading rusher with 75 yards on 13 carries while Wooten led all receivers with 104 yards on 4 receptions, Jonathan Rumph caught his first pass as a Dawg and ended the day with 4 catches for 98 yards.
Marshall Morgan continued to have a good sophomore season, he kicked a 42 yard field goal to go with his six extra points.
Ramik Wilson entered the game as the SEC’s leading tackler and added another 12 to his total, junior safety Cory Moore became the second Bulldog ejected from a game when he drew a targeting flag in the second quarter.
Senior Brandon Martin of Decatur, a Marketing major, and senior Calli McRae of Snellville, a Human Development and Family Science major, were the 2013 Homecoming king and queen.
The Dawgs now turn their attention to the South’s Oldest Rivalry and prepare to travel over to Auburn next Saturday for a crucial SEC battle.
Post Game Quotes:
Coach Mark Richt
On the win…
“Appalachian State played great, in the first half especially. They had a great plan. They had four field goal attempts and it could have been 14-12. The defense did a good job of forcing field goals instead of touchdowns. That was the best thing we did. In the second half, we played a whole lot better. We created some turnovers and played so many young guys, so that was great.”
On Appalachian State’s offense…
“Appalachian State did a very good job with the short passing game. The QB didn’t hold it long, so it was hard to get a sack, and his guys caught the ball and moved the chains. Once the field got squeezed, they had to settle for the field goal attempts. But they had a good plan.”
On Aaron Murray’s SEC touchdown record pass to Michael Bennett…
“It’s great for Aaron, and it’s great for Michael to be on the receiving end of it. A record like that reflects the blocking, the catching, the schemes drawn up by the coaches – everything. It’s a feather in everybody’s cap right now.”
On Hutson Mason…
“It was nice to see Hutson get in and operate the offense. He did a lot of good things. I know he hated that last pick, but it’s good to experience that too. He’ll make those corrections. … It was good to see (Jonathon) Rumph take off, (Kenny) Towns had a catch or two, (Blake) Tibbs got one and (Michael) Erdman got one. A lot of good things happened.”
Quarterback Aaron Murray
On setting the SEC record for career touchdown passes…
“I’m more glad that it’s over and we can move on and I don’t have to worry about that question anymore, not just from [the media] but also others. It is a huge honor to be out there and be lucky enough to play four years here and that’s the biggest thing. You have to be able to go somewhere and play for a significant amount of time, and I’ve had that opportunity here. I get to play in a great offense that really allows me to move the ball around and make plays with great [players] around me.”
Quarterback Hutson Mason
On the game…
“It felt great. Getting back out there after not really doing that for two years was a great feeling. The process that I’ve had to go through made it that much sweeter. It’s not just the playing part, but to come and wear the ‘G’ for all of these fans at home was awesome. I haven’t really been able to prepare on a week-to-week basis how I would if I was the starter, so I was really happy with how I played.”
Defensive End Ray Drew
On the play of the defense in the redzone…
“Any time that the other team doesn’t score a touchdown in the redzone, it’s a good thing. If my team is scoring touchdowns and they’re kicking field goals, we’re going to win ten times out of ten. I thought we did a pretty good job down there all day There are certainly some things that we need to work on though (in other parts of the game).”
Tailback Todd Gurley
On today’s game…
“I was feeling pretty good – really much better than I thought I would. I knew that [the injury] was there, but it didn’t really bother me too much. I would have liked to have been able to play a little more, but I wanted to be cautious. It was a good day.”
Splitend Rantavious Wooten
On notching over 100 yards receiving in a game for the first time of his career …
“It feels pretty good. For me, this game is all about fun, and today was that. It’s also all about seeing preparation and opportunity turn into results. I was glad to make some big plays today and help us get the win.”
On Aaron Murray setting the record for career touchdown passes…
“It’s a testament to him as a quarterback. It’s great to have a quarterback of that stature throwing is the ball. He’s done some really great things while at Georgia and I’m happy to have gotten to play with him.”