ATHENS, Ga. -- As it turned out, Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett just needed his players to be more like Bulldogs.
Georgia had too much Aaron Murray, too much Isaiah Crowell and too much defense in a 59-0 crushing of the Chanticleers on a splendid Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium. The margin of victory was the largest of the Mark Richt era and the largest for Georgia since a 70-6 mauling of Northeast Louisiana in 1994.
"It's nice to get a win under our belt," Murray said after the Bulldogs improved to 1-2. "It's been since last November since we've had a win, so it's been a while."
Murray typified the easy day by completing 18 of 26 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns, and his one rush was a 1-yard touchdown. He played only six possessions before turning things over to backups Hutson Mason and Parker Welch, and the Bulldogs scored five touchdowns and a field goal in his six possessions.
The Bulldogs had a 179-9 advantage in yards after the first quarter, when Crowell had eight carries for 53 yards and a touchdown, and extended that to 424-73 through three periods.
"They did about as good as I could have asked them to do," Richt said of his players. "I thought they showed up ready for business and took care of business."
Bennett, whose Chanticleers fell to 2-1, became a YouTube hit more than a week ago when he pleaded for his players to be more like dogs than cats. He toned it down this past week, pointing out he meant no disrespect to cats, and was hoping to salvage something from Saturday's slaughter.
"I'm trying to teach this team to turn a negative into a positive," Bennett said. "It could have been 90-0, but it wasn't. Our kids kept playing and didn't let that happen."
Despite the resounding win, Georgia had its consecutive streak of 64 sellouts come to an end. The official attendance was listed at 91,946, which was just short of the facility's 92,746-seat capacity.
The last previous non-sellout at Sanford was Nov. 25, 2000, when Georgia Tech defeated the Bulldogs 27-15 in Jim Donnan's final home game as coach.
"Our opponent yesterday dumped 500 or so tickets back to us, so there wasn't a long time to get those sold," Richt said. "I don't think it's any big deal."
Coastal Carolina was flagged for an illegal block on the opening kickoff and was down 21-0 before notching its initial first down early in the second quarter. The Chanticleers ran one play all afternoon in Georgia territory, losing 2 yards, before a false-start penalty moved the ball back on their side of the field.
Georgia's shutout was its first since last year's 43-0 humbling of Vanderbilt.
"I feel like we've gotten off to a quick start in all three ballgames, and the big emphasis at halftime was to finish the game," Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "It was pretty much in hand at halftime, but this game was more about us and how we played and how we executed."
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...