ATHENS, Ga. — Mike Bobo isn’t ready to call this Georgia passing offense the best he’s seen with the Bulldogs, but it’s getting close.
Aaron Murray and company shredded Football Championship Subdivision Georgia Southern for 354 yards and five touchdowns by two quarterbacks as the Bulldogs rolled to a 45-14 win on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
“It’s got a chance to be the best offense we’ve had, but we’ve got to wait until the season’s over,” Bobo said. “I think we’re playing extremely well. We’ve got experience at receiver and quarterback. We’ve got who have played in big games and we’ve got guys who have seen everything you can possibly see on the back end and we’ve got guys who know how to make the necessary adjustments.”
Murray led Georgia’s charge, completing 18 of 28 passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Backup quarterback Parker Welch came in for mop-up duty and threw another touchdown. Georgia spread the wealth too as eight players caught passes and four caught touchdowns.
“We threw well,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’ve been throwing and catching the ball all year long so this wasn’t too different.”
“It’s awesome to have this many receivers,” Murray said. “I wish we could have Marlon (Brown) and Michael (Bennett) back. But it’s awesome to see guys step up in practice and especially in games. (Chris) Conley had a touchdown (Saturday). Justin (Scott-Wesley) had a touchdown (Saturday). It’s great. Those guys have worked extremely hard all week and they knew they had an opportunity to step in and took advantage.”
Bennett and Brown were two of Georgia’s most experienced returning receivers from last year and both have been lost for the season with knee injuries. Chris Conley responded with his best game of the season, making a team-high four catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
“It really speaks to the talent that we’ve got here,” Conley said. “We’ve got a whole bunch of guys who work really hard to make those plays and capitalize on those opportunities. We’ve got tons of talent so Aaron can throw it to anyone and he’s always spot-on with his throws.”
Conley and Rantavious Wooten teamed up on one of Georgia’s most exciting plays of the day. Late in the third quarter, Murray hit Conley for a short sideline completion at about the Georgia Southern 30-yard line. Conley turned and sprinted up the sideline, Wooten sealed a lane with a block on a Georgia Southern defensive back and Conley was able to score a 33-yard touchdown that put Georgia on top 38-7.
“Woo (Wooten) made a perfect block,” Conley said. “Aaron saw there was blitz pressure coming up the field and he was able to throw the ball. All I had to do was run.”
About the only drawback on Saturday was a pair of first-half sacks and a couple of drops by the normally sticky-fingered Tavarres King. But King finished with three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.
“I think it’s cool that Aaron can spread things around like that,” King said. “It’s kind of scary when you think about it, we’ve got a lot of guys he can throw to and he’ll throw to a lot of guys so you can’t concentrate on any one guy. He could have had more yards if I could have caught better (Saturday).”