ATHENS, Ga. — Aaron Murray passed for three touchdowns and also ran for a score — all in the first half — and Georgia received a needed boost by overwhelming Coastal Carolina 59-0 on Saturday.
Georgia (1-2) regrouped after losses to Boise State and South Carolina which raised the pressure on coach Mark Richt. The Bulldogs led 35-0 at halftime.
Murray, who played only one series in the second half, completed 18 of 26 passes for 188 yards with no interceptions. Backup Hutson Mason added a touchdown pass.
Freshman Isaiah Crowell had 16 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown in his first start. Tavarres King had six catches for 65 yards, including two for touchdowns. Malcolm Mitchell had six catches for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Coastal Carolina (2-1) managed only seven first downs and 107 yards.
Backup tailback Carlton Thomas had 15 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia had a chance to score more than 60 points for the first time since a 62-17 win over Kentucky in 2004. Richt called a running play instead of attempting a field goal on a fourth-down play late in the game.
Georgia added more urgency to its no-huddle attack. Instead of looking back at the sideline for plays, Murray often worked in an up-tempo mode, quickly bringing the offense back to the line and calling the plays before the Chanticleers’ defense could send in substitutions.
The other notable change for Georgia was four new defensive starters. Shawn Williams moved from safety to start at inside linebacker, following injuries to starters Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson the last two weeks. Sanders Cummings moved from cornerback to take Williams’ spot at safety, and Branden Smith moved up to start at cornerback.
Also, John Jenkins moved from nose tackle, where he had been playing behind Kwame Geathers, to start at defensive end as DeAngelo Tyson was held out. Tyson was on the sideline but not in uniform. A Georgia spokesman said Richt would address Tyson’s status following the game.
Georgia’s only turnover came when safety Bacarri Rambo intercepted a pass from Aramis Hillary in the second quarter but fumbled at the end of his 38-yard return.
Murray played only one series in the second half, setting up Blair Walsh’s career-long 56-yard field goal.
Coastal Carolina lost two fumbles on kickoffs to set up third-quarter touchdowns. Mason had a 33-yard touchdown pass to Orson Charles and Thomas had a 17-yard scoring run. Mason also had a 1-yard touchdown run.
Third-string quarterback Parker Welch took over in the fourth quarter.
Coastal Carolina starting quarterback Aramis Hillary was 10-of-15 passing for 27 yards with an interception. Jeremy Height had five carries for 19 yards and three catches for 13 yards.
Georgia’s streak of 64 straight home sellouts ended. Official attendance was 91,946, below the capacity of 92,746. There were at least several thousand empty seats.
The last time Georgia did not have a sellout at Sanford Stadium was Nov. 25, 2000, in Jim Donnan’s last home game as coach against Georgia Tech.