(Updated 12:45 a.m. )
ATHENS — By the time Aaron Murray threw his first incomplete pass Saturday night, Georgia had built a 27-0 lead over Vanderbilt.
Murray completed his first 12 passes –- the third most completions ever by a UGA quarterback to start a game – and did not misfire until less than three minutes remained in the first half.
He didn’t misfire much after that, either, as Georgia trounced Vanderbilt 48-3 in Sanford Stadium.
Murray, who called it a night after the third quarter, finished with 18 completions in 24 attempts for 250 yards and two touchdowns (no interceptions).
Murray’s stellar performance came one week after he threw for a career-high 342 yards against Florida Atlantic and two weeks after he tied his career high of 22 completions against Missouri.
In other words, his season is off to a fine start.
“I think this is the most consistent I’ve played,” Murray said late Saturday night in the Georgia locker room. “That’s my goal this year — to be consistent and really just focus on taking each play individually; not focus on the whole game but just break it down play by play by play.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my offensive line, and the weapons I have around me are making it a lot easier for me, too.”
Murray’s 12 consecutive completions to open the game were caught by seven different receivers –- Tavarres King, Marlon Brown, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Rhett McGowan and Rantavious Wooten. Four of the 12 were to King, two apiece to Brown and Marshall.
The only Georgia quarterbacks to complete more consecutive passes to open a game: Eric Zeier 15 vs. Georgia Tech in 1993 and Quincy Carter 15 vs. LSU in 1998.
Murray’s two touchdown passes Saturday –- a 22-yarder to King in the second quarter and a 6-yarder to Brown in the third –- give him 69 TD throws in his UGA career, passing Zeier for sole possession of second place on the school’s career list behind only David Greene (72 from 2001-04).
Coach Mark Richt said Murray’s success is a reflection of his preparation during the week.
“He does take it to another level in how he prepares for the game, and because of that we have a high comfort level to let him check out of any play that doesn’t look good,” Richt said. “… We rarely run bad plays because he studies so well, and he has certain keys that he can kind of anticipate what’s happening and get us out of bad situations.”
Georgia has scored more than 40 points in each of its four games this season –- the first time in the program’s history that the Bulldogs have scored 40-plus in four consecutive games.
“We want to keep doing it,” Murray said. “We’ve just got to keep working hard and stay hungry.”
– Tim Tucker
COMPLETE COVERAGE OF GEORGIA-VANDERBILT GAME: