Big pass plays turned momentum to UGA

This 40-yard touchdown reception by Tavarres King 3 seconds before halftime proved to be a real momentun turner for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

This 40-yard touchdown reception by Tavarres King 3 seconds before halftime proved to be a real momentun turner for the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS — Georgia had 73 offensive plays in Saturday’s victory over Ole Miss, but two stood out.

The first, notable for quarterback Aaron Murray’s convincing acting job, went for a 66-yard touchdown pass. The second, notable for its timing, went for a 40-yard touchdown pass.

Both came in the second quarter, enabling Georgia to turn a 10-0 deficit into a 14-10 halftime lead and establish the momentum that fueled a second-half rout.

To recap the improbable plays:

  • On third-and-1 from the Georgia 34 with about 10 minutes left in the half, Murray faked a handoff to tailback Todd Gurley and casually took a couple of steps seemingly away from the play, concealing from the defense that he still had the ball. Ole Miss bit on the fake as badly as can be bitten. By the time Murray turned back around and threw the ball, receiver Marlon Brown was wide open downfield. Touchdown.
  • On third-and-25 from the Ole Miss 40 with time running out in the half, Murray — having been sacked on the two preceding plays — scrambled out of the pocket. He scrambled long enough for wide receiver Tavarres King to get open behind a defender downfield. Murray found him and hit him. Touchdown.

Murray said he knew the trick play to Brown was going to be called when he looked to the sideline and saw “our signal guy had a big smile on his face. So I was, like, ‘Yes!’ … We got to the huddle, and I said, ‘Marlon, get ready.’ We were all pumped up going into the play, and it worked out perfectly.”

The acting performance that the play requires is a test of nerves.

“It’s very scary,” Murray said. “There’s a lot of praying, saying, ‘Please don’t get hit, please don’t get hit.’ But you’ve got to trust that the play is going to work. … The play is about five, six seconds to protect; that’s a long time for any offensive line to protect.”

As for the other play — the scramble/touchdown with three seconds left in the half — King offered this description: “They really blew coverage. I just threw my hand up to let Aaron know I was wide open. He did a great job of rolling out from the pressure, and he just hit me on the money. One of the most beautiful balls I’ve seen him throw.”

King, though, did not consider his catch the momentum turner in Georgia’s 37-10 win.

“I think that play to Marlon was the game-changer,” King said. “It got everybody amped up and refocused.”

– Tim Tucker, AJC

AJC’S FULL COVERAGE OF GEORGIA-OLE MISS GAME:

23 comments Add your comment

gofortwo

November 3rd, 2012
9:38 pm

gofortwo

November 3rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Had a chance to be first before but thought it was a childish thing to do.

ZinoDawg

November 3rd, 2012
9:58 pm

Great game today! Nice not to be stressed out!

[...] Trick play turned momentum to UGA [...]

Classic

November 3rd, 2012
10:20 pm

Great, now the opponents will know who the signal caller is…

Diamond Dawg

November 3rd, 2012
10:26 pm

Nice Game Dawgs!

[...] Trick play turned momentum to UGA [...]

Just Asking?

November 4th, 2012
10:30 am

King was half right. The first changed the momentum and the second just shifted us back into gear. We were slipping into neutral and the play to King changed all that in a hurry! I just hated that we needed trick plays to beat an inferior team. Right?

AJ

November 4th, 2012
10:30 am

UGA was favored by 14, and won by 27. Exceeded expectations by 200%.

The defense is is in the top 25 in the nation, only giving up 20 pts per game, which is better than lasdt year’s 22 per game average.

the offense is also in the top 25 in the nation, scoring 37 a game, and racking up 470 yards of offense a game.

UGA is probably one of a trio of teams that could beat Alabama (Florida, LSU, UGA).

Looking forward to beating Bama in a few weeks and winning Richt’s first BCS Championship.

AJ

November 4th, 2012
10:33 am

UGA defense is only giving up 4 pts per game in the 4th quarter (ranked 13th in the nation)

And only giving up 7 pts per second half (ranked 7th in the nation in 2nd half defense).

AJ

November 4th, 2012
10:36 am

Bama beat Ole Miss 33 to 14.

UGA beat Ole Miss 37 to 10.

UGA is better than Bama.

The Dawg Consultant

November 4th, 2012
11:03 am

It never ceases to amaze me how some dawg fans will always find something to whine about. Really Classic; the signal caller?

This game was not even close. Last time I check football games are 60 minutes long. Being behind by 10 points, then scoring 37 unanswered is pretty damn good.

Great win. Now Auburn. After that I will take my chances with Bama. I rather have a shot than sit at home wondering what if.

South Ga Dawg

November 4th, 2012
11:58 am

@ Just Asking – Well this was a week of Trick or Treating and we got a little of both. I believe if Ole Miss had did that to us, we would have stayed flat the rest of the game and may have squeaked a win.

Brewmaster

November 4th, 2012
12:16 pm

Where are all the “Murray is too short” loser comments, or ” Hutson Mason should be starting” folks this morning ?

OrlandoDawg

November 4th, 2012
12:21 pm

Marlon, please be ok! We need you! Bama exposed by LSU! Murray pics them apart! Go Dawgs!

Fair n Balanced

November 4th, 2012
12:25 pm

Ga started out slow, but once in gear, we dominated….in a serious way. For 2 1/2 qtrs the defense shut Miss down completely while the offense ran all over them. Domination! One game away from Atlanta baby!

GB's Hamburgers

November 4th, 2012
12:32 pm

Great game. Murray was the best I’ve ever seen him. No it wasn’t as “big” as the LSU/Bama game but important non the less and against a team with a winning record. What the UGA fans have been looking for is for is for Murray to play big in big games … like both quarterbacks for Bama and LSU did last night. I don’t think that can be taught, but not one of Murray’s critics can say that he didn’t, in fact, put the team on his back last night. Again, it was the best I’ve seen him. He showed a big arm too.

GB's Hamburgers

November 4th, 2012
12:55 pm

Brewmaster, You had to wait a long, long time to be able to make that post because it has been a long time since Murray played well against a winning team. He was, indeed, excellent Sat. but why throw that in other people’s faces? There is nothing wrong with bloggers who believe that all positions on a football team should be open to competition. Just look at Zander. After just two games, he is clearly the most productive fullback we’ve had in years. It took two players going down to get him in the game. You never know what the other guy can do unless you give him a try.

SC is all done for

November 4th, 2012
1:03 pm

Clowney, Lattimore, Steve, and it has led to absolutely nothing.

SC is finding that winning the division is quite a trick. SC will never be a true contender for the SEC title.

[...] Trick play turned momentum to UGA [...]

Brewmaster

November 4th, 2012
1:51 pm

GB, I agree that there is nothing wrong with competition. Its just the way these armchair bloggers seem to think that Murray can’t win because of his height ( doesn’t seem to effect Drew Brees or Russell Wilson). Nevermind all the records he has set at UGA. Maybe Mason has potential, but I think the coaches are far more qualified to assess talent than any blogger. If these bloggers were so good at coaching then they’d be coaching. My sentiments also apply to all the Fire Richt/Bobo/Grantham moron posts on here.

Brewmaster

November 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

AJ McCarron was only 14 for 27 for 165 yards and 1 td, hardly plying “big” in a big game. He will never play in the NFL. Murray will.

Lonnie

November 6th, 2012
11:24 am

GB. Good point! Brew u are right and your post was not to guys who have legitimate questions but to bloggers who just nitpick everything!!! It was a great game and the passes in first showed why he is our QB. A confident non rattled Murray is our key to winning out this year!