Georgia Uses Big 2nd Half to Slide Past North Texas, 45-21

Sep 21, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) throws a pass against the North Texas Mean Green during the second quarter at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The first half was highlighted by the longest play in UGA history, but the second half was the key in leading the Georgia Bulldogs to a 45-21 over North Texas on Saturday.

Georgia began the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run by the nation’s best running back, Todd Gurley, in the 1st quarter. However, the offensive highlight of the game was certainly the 98-yard touchdown hookup between Aaron Murray and Reggie Davis early in the 2nd frame. This play gave UGA a 14-point advantage, but the significance is (obviously) the length of the touchdown being the longest in the history of the Georgia football program. Any time you can set a record for a program with this type of lengthy history, it is an accomplishment in itself.

However, it wasn’t all roses for UGA on this day, as they allowed North Texas to creep back into the game with some inexplicable special teams play. The Mean Green did grab an offensive touchdown to cut the lead to 14-7, but it was back-to-back special teams touchdowns that allowed North Texas to actually tie this game in the 2nd half. The two scores came on account of a kickoff return and a blocked punt, so there is no reason for real alarm, but you can bet that the Bulldogs will spend a few extra moments on the kicking game in preparation for LSU.

The second half was dominated by the Bulldogs, as they scored 24 unanswered points to finish the game after the game was tied at 21-21. In total, UGA put up 641 yards of total offense, and that unit was led by Aaron Murray’s 408-yard, 3-touchdown performance. On a relatively “slow” day for Todd Gurley (91 yards and a touchdown is a slow day for him at this stage), Murray carried the torch, putting up the numbers necessary to keep him within a stone’s throw of the Heisman trophy race as the calendar nears October.

Defensively, the Bulldogs were stellar against a quality offense. The 21 points on the scoreboard are misleading (as we mentioned), and the defense held the Mean Green to just 6 yards rushing on 25 carries throughout the game. NTU had more success through the air (239 yards and the lone TD), but it was an unquestionably positive showing from the embattled defense and Todd Grantham.

All in all, this was exactly what we expected it to be. The better team cruised to a 24-point victory, and the margin would have been significantly larger without the two “fluke” touchdowns for North Texas. Now, the focus shifts to one of the biggest games remaining on the UGA schedule, as they square off with #6 LSU next Saturday.

Stay tuned.

 

Topics: Georgia Bulldogs, North Texas Mean Green

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