By Craig Fields
Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as he led his Bulldogs past the spirited North Texas Mean Green 45-21.
Even though the end score shows a blowout, believe me, the game was closer than the score suggests. There was heart on display Saturday afternoon as the Mean Green, for majority of the game, played toe to toe with the SEC powerhouse. Even though the end result did go somewhat lacking, Head Coach Dan McCarney will definitely be able to take a moral victory from the game.
The game was highly competitive in the first half and much of the 3rd quarter. Senior North Texas Quarterback Derek Thompson had a pretty decent game. Thompson completed 21 of his 36 attempts for 202 yards, one interception and one touchdown. However passing is not where this team struggled the most. This team who has been so adept at running the ball this season really struggled on the ground.
As a team the Mean Green managed just seven rushing yards. Seven. Let that marinate for a minute. A team that had averaged about 175 yards on the ground a game had only 7 yards in this one. Rushing for the Mean Green is a must for them to have success. They do not have the luxury of explosive play-maker in the passing game to not be able to run the ball. They just don’t. Senior Wide Receiver, Brelan Chancellor is a deep threat, but this offense does not have enough big play potential to not be able to rush the ball.
I believe that if the Mean Green had been able to run that football the way they had been able to do in the previous three games, we might be talking about a massive upset. That being said, Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt knew that for his team to win this game they would need to slow down, if not stop the run game. Not only did they stop the run game, but they made it a non-factor.
Even after all of that the score was still 21-14 at halftime. The Mean Green could smell upset. You could see the fearlessness of the team. In the third quarter when the Mean Green blocked a punt and fell on top of the ball in the endzone for a touchdown, you could tell that the tide had changed. Sanford Stadium was quiet. The thousands of fans there to cheer on their Georgia Bulldogs suddenly felt a bit of a panic.
Could a mid-major college team actually knock off SEC powerhouse #9 Georgia?
Well… no. No they couldn’t.
Georgia promptly went on to score 24 straight points behind a Murray qb sneak and a four yard touchdown pass. Georgia outgained the Mean Green by an astounding 641-245. Almost 400 yards! They were not able to put the fiesty North Texas team away until the fourth quarter however.
In this game Aaron Murray became only the second SEC quarterback to throw over 100 touchdowns in his career. He trails 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel who has 114.
So after four games this season, the Mean Green are 2-2 with a chance to reach that targeted six games to become bowl eligible. With this team being led the way it is by all of the juniors and seniors on this team, I really like their chances.