published Monday, November 19th, 2012

UGA offense ascends

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has guided the Bulldogs offense to one of the best seasons in school history.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has guided the Bulldogs offense to one of the best seasons in school history.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was a redshirt freshman quarterback for the Bulldogs in 1994, and he was responsible for calling the plays for last season's Bulldogs.

Those were two of the most prolific offenses in Georgia football history until this year's team started racking up the yards and points. The No. 3 Bulldogs already have set the school's single-season touchdown mark at 56 with three games remaining, but Bobo is not quite ready to anoint this year's version as the best he's witnessed.

"It's got a chance to be," Bobo said after Saturday's 45-14 dismantling of Georgia Southern. "I think we've got to wait until the season is over to say that. At the beginning of the year, we said we wanted to win every game and to try be the best that's ever played here as an offensive unit."

The Bulldogs set a single-game school record by amassing 713 yards in a 56-20 thumping of Florida Atlantic on Sept. 15, and they are on pace to set single-season standards for yardage and points. Georgia is averaging 37.64 points per game entering this week's game against visiting Georgia Tech, topping the 37.2-point average compiled by the 1942 Bulldogs.

Georgia also is averaging 471.36 yards a game, topping the 466.82 produced by the '94 team.

"We're pretty good, and the crazy thing is that we can be better," senior receiver Tavarres King said. "This offense is very explosive, and we usually make plays when the opportunities present themselves."

King, already in Georgia's record books with his 205-yard receiving performance in last season's Outback Bowl, has the highest yards per catch career average (18.55) among all active Bowl Subdivision players. He is the leading target for quarterback Aaron Murray, who now sits atop the Bowl Subdivision in passing efficiency for the first time.

Murray has completed 199 of 303 passes this season for 2,986 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and he is convinced this offense is superior to the past two. The Bulldogs set a record two years ago by scoring 30 or more points in seven consecutive games, and last season's team compiled the most total yards (5,719) in program history.

"This is the definitely the best, and we're missing two of our best receivers right now," Murray said. "If we had Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett healthy right now, it would be an unbelievable offense, but other guys have stepped up and are making the plays."

Said junior tight end Arthur Lynch: "Aaron has been playing lights out for the past six or seven weeks, with the exception of that first half against Florida. He's been the best in the country, and in my opinion, he is the best in the country."

The addition of freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who have combined for 1,695 rushing yards, have complemented Murray's passing and provided a balanced attack. Georgia has 5,185 yards this season, and its average of 7.0 yards per play tops the 6.8 clip in '94.

Georgia has scored more than 29 points in every game, with the exception of the 17-9 win over Florida on Oct. 27 and that humbling 35-7 loss at South Carolina on Oct. 6. The Bulldogs got on track offensively against the Gators after Murray threw three first-half interceptions, but they fell behind the Gamecocks 21-0 within the first 10 minutes and never recovered.

"We didn't play well that night, and you've got to give their defense and their crowd a lot of credit," Bobo said. "They were sky high. We started a little slow, and I felt like I got out of the game plan too early when we got down three scores. I should have stuck with the game plan and what we do."

Odds and ends

Senior safety Bacarri Rambo (shin bruise) should be fine this week, head coach Mark Richt said Sunday. ... Richt on the Bulldogs receiving one first-place vote in the USA Today coaches' poll: "I am not the person who voted for us."

about David Paschall...

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 ...

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