ATHENS, Ga. — After quarterback Aaron Murray threw incomplete to Tavarres King on the first play from scrimmage and Todd Gurley gained a yard on the second play, Georgia turned to players who weren't figuring into the offense much at the start of the season.
The Bulldogs on their third play used a 49-pass from Murray to tight end Arthur Lynch to set up the first of six touchdowns in their 45-14 pasting of Georgia Southern. Lynch and backup tight end Jay Rome combined for five receptions for 97 yards, which was a season high for the tandem, topping a four-catch, 96-yard game against Tennessee on Sept. 29.
"They've done a nice job of being patient," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "Everybody says we need to throw to the tight end more or do this or that, but we're basically going to do our offense and what we think gives us our best chance to win. If it means being tight-end oriented, then we'll focus on that.
"Aaron just does a really nice job of getting the ball to who is open, because that long one to Artie was actually a square-in to Malcolm Mitchell, but he went to his check-down."
Lynch caught a 15-yarder that was designed for him on the ensuing play after the 49-yarder and finished with three receptions for 68 yards. Rome had a 21-yard catch that set up a 24-yard touchdown from Murray to Mitchell just before halftime, and he finished with two receptions for 29 yards.
Saturday was the fourth game in which both Lynch and Rome had catches -- and the third straight.
"I don't think the game plan has changed much, but the opportunities for us have increased and I think we've capitalized," Lynch said. "We've shut some naysayers up who said there would be a drop in the tight-end production."
Said Rome: "We got balls here and there early in the year, but this is exciting. We're really happy that we're getting involved in the offense and making plays."
A wacky play
Georgia was leading 7-0 and chasing more points with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter when Marshall Morgan came up short on a 51-yard field-goal attempt.
Darreion Robinson was waiting in the back of the end zone and caught Morgan's kick, and he decided to run the ball out. Robinson cut up the right sideline and produced a 59-yard return to Georgia's 41-yard line before Morgan made the tackle.
"I saw the guy catch it, but I guess no one else saw, because they started walking off," Morgan said. "Right away, I took an angle and had to push a guy out of the way. I grabbed on to his leg and did not let go."
Odds and ends
Bulldogs senior receiver Tavarres King made his 20th career touchdown reception in the third quarter, tying him with Fred Gibson (2001-04) for third all time. ... Junior receiver Rhett McGowan lost a fumble after a reception late in the first quarter and recovered his own fumble on a punt return early in the fourth. ... Freshman punter Collin Barber wasn't needed until 13 minutes remained, but his lone kick traveled 51 yards. ... A tough-luck year for Watts Dantzler continued when the sophomore lineman from Dalton entered in the fourth quarter only to be helped off the field with 4:14 remaining.
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 ...