Sandwiched between a resounding victory over South Carolina and an upcoming SEC showdown with the LSU Tigers, Georgia’s matchup with North Texas on Saturday had all the concerning characteristics of a trap game. For one half, it seemed those concerns were quite legitimate. Despite outgaining the Mean Green by a total of 641 to 245 yards for the game, the Bulldogs found themselves tied with heavily outgunned North Texas, 21-21, early in the third quarter.
It was shortly after that the same Bulldogs who shut down Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks in the second half a couple weeks ago decided to pour on the gas against the Mean Green. A long drive culminating with a rushing TD for Aaron Murray, followed a few minutes later by a quick strike to Chris Conley, put the game out of reach for North Texas.
It was a 98-yard touchdown to Reggie Davis in the first half, however, that pushed Aaron Murray to the century mark in passing touchdowns as a Bulldog. It was fitting that the long TD pass was a record in of itself, going down as the longest passing play in the history of Georgia football.
But on a day that Murray made history, the real story was the continued resurgence of a Georgia team that suffered a truly demoralizing loss to Clemson a few short weeks ago. Two convincing victories have the Bulldogs riding high going into a defining matchup with Les Miles’ Tigers. Ranked 6th in the nation and with an offense that hasn’t scored less than 35 points in four games thus far, the Tigers perhaps represent Georgia’s toughest test on their quest to reach the SEC Championship game for a second straight year.
With Florida’s star quarterback Jeff Driskel lost for the season, it would appear LSU is the only team left that perhaps outclasses the Bulldogs on paper. It will be up to the Bulldogs unquestioned leader Aaron Murray and a defense that seems to improve with each game to prove their worth against another veteran quarterback in Zach Mettenberger and a similar two-headed rushing attack in Jeremy Hill and Terrence Magee.
The resilience Murray and Co. have showed in their past two games certainly bodes well for a team that has somewhat underperformed in recent years. If they play with the same fire and focus that has put them back on track against LSU, the Bulldogs may bring themselves one step closer to reaching the SEC Championship game on December 7th.