Athens, GA - The Georgia football earned a 45-21 win over the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, Sept. 21 in front of 92,746 fans and a SEC TV audience. The Bulldogs are now 2-1 on the season, while North Texas falls to 2-2 on the year.
Aaron Murray finished with 408 yards, and three touchdowns on 22-of-30 passing to lead the Bulldogs through the air. Chris Conley was Murray's top receiving target, grabbing five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Arthur Lynch finished with four catches, 85 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Davis was also on the receiving end of a touchdown grab and finished with 134 yards on two catches. Todd Gurley led Georgia's ground game with 91 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Keith Marshall finished with 16 yards on eight carries.
Ramik Wilson led the Bulldog defense with nine tackles, including six solo stops and two tackles for a loss. Josh Harvey-Clemons finished with seven tackles, four solo tackles and one tackle for a loss. Leonard Floyd recorded two sacks. As a unit, the Bulldogs recorded 57 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, two sacks and an interception. The Georgia defense allowed the Mean Green 236 total yards, including just seven yards on the ground.
The Georgia offense marched 69 yards in 2:01 to get on the board on its third possession of the game to get on the board first. Marshall got the drive started, catching a 12-yard pass from Murray that gave Georgia 1st-and-10 at its own 43-yard line. A 27-yard completion to Jay Rome put Georgia in North Texas territory before a pass interference call on the Mean Green brought Georgia to the 15-yard line. Two plays later, Gurley rushed 12 yards into the end zone to put Georgia up 7-0, following the Marshall Morgan extra point.
On the first play of the second quarter, Murray found Reggie Davis for 98 yards, the longest offensive play in Georgia football history, for a touchdown that made it a 14-0 game after the Morgan PAT. The catch was the first for Davis and marked the 100th touchdown pass of Murray's career.
The Mean Green got on the board with just under 10 minutes left in the first half. Derek Thompson led North Texas 86 yards in 10 plays that took 4:47 off the clock. North Texas orchestrated the touchdown drive through the air, completing six passes to four different receivers for 84 yards, including a 20 yard touchdown pass to Darnell Smith that made it a 14-7 game after the Zach Paul extra point.
Georgia answered with a touchdown of its own on the ensuing drive. Rantavious Wooten found Lynch over the middle for a gain of 42 yards on the first play of the drive. Lynch reached the end zone five plays later on a 16-yard pass from Murray that helped put the Bulldogs up 21-7 with 7:27 left in the first half.
A 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by North Texas' Brelan Chancellor followed Georgia's touchdown that cut the Georgia lead to 21-14.
At the start of the second half, North Texas tied the game at 21 after blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone for a touchdown.
An eight-play, 63-yard drive by Georgia broke the tie with 7:11 left to play in the third quarter. Michael Bennett recorded back-to-back grabs for 17 yards that put the Bulldogs at the North Texas 28 yard line. After a trio of rushes by Gurley, Lynch picked up 24 yards through the air that set Georgia up at the one. Murray scored the touchdown with a one-yard rush that gave Georgia a 28-21 lead, following the Morgan point after.
The Mean Green looked poised to tie the game again, going 48 yards to the Georgia 27-yard line, but an interception by Tray Matthews at the five prevented the score and allowed the Murray and the Georgia offense to retake the field.
Following the pick, Murray led the Bulldogs 95 yards in 4:41 and became Georgia's all-time leader in total yardage, passing David Greene on the list. Murray completed a 32-yard pass to Justin Scott-Wesley that moved Georgia into North Texas territory before running for 14 yard and a first down. Conley caught a four-yard pass from Murray off a deflection for the score that gave Georgia a 14-point lead at 35-21, following the PAT.
With just under 10 minutes left in the game, Murray took 6:07 off the clock in an 11-play drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Morgan.
Following a stalled North Texas drive, Hutson Mason came in at quarterback for the Bulldogs with two minutes left in the game. On the first play of the drive, J.J. Green ran 39 yards to the North Texas one-yard line before punching the ball into the end zone on the next play to put Georgia up 45-21, following the Morgan extra point.
North Texas got the ball back with 1:52 left on the clock, but would not score, sealing the Georgia win.
Georgia returns to action next Saturday, Sept. 28 at 3:30 p.m., when it welcomes No. 6/7 LSU to Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS.