Murray's 342 yards lead Georgia past FAU 56-20

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm •  Published: September 15, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — For Aaron Murray, the individual records are just a bonus.

The Georgia quarterback has his sights on a title.

Murray passed for a career-best 342 yards and accounted for four touchdowns — two passing, two rushing — to lead the No. 7 Bulldogs back from another slow start for a 56-20 rout of Florida Atlantic on Saturday night.

The gaudy numbers are nice, but not essential.

"The best legacy you can leave is winning games and winning championships," Murray said. "I want to be known for that — not just for throwing touchdowns and having a good game here and there. I want to be known as a consistent quarterback and a quarterback who led Georgia to some championships."

Playing without Jarvis Jones and two other defensive starters, the Bulldogs (3-0) struggled in the first half to slow a Florida Atlantic team that scored a single touchdown against lower-division Wagner. The 44-point underdog Owls kept converting third downs and found themselves tied at 14 early in the second quarter.

But Georgia simply had too many weapons for Florida Atlantic (1-2), piling up a school-record 713 yards. Murray completed 14 of 19, including a 67-yard touchdown to Michael Bennett and a 36-yarder to Arthur Lynch. Murray scored himself on a pair of 1-yard sneaks.

Murray, a fourth-year junior, eclipsed his previous high passing game, a 326-yard effort last season against Vanderbilt. He now has 67 touchdown passes in his career, pulling even with Eric Zeier for second place in the school rankings and only five behind the leader, David Greene.

"Aaron was on fire," said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. "He was very sharp. He hit all his targets. He just threw the ball extremely well. ... It was good to see him start fast. We needed him to start fast."

Both of Georgia's freshmen running backs went over 100 yards on the ground. Todd Gurley ran for 111 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that finally turned the game into the expected rout. Keith Marshall had 104 yards and a TD.

"Opposing teams can't game-plan against one facet of our game," Marshall said. "They have to focus on everything."

Florida Atlantic matched Georgia score for score in the early going.

Damian Fortner broke off a 43-yard touchdown run and Nexon Dorvilus hauled in a 2-yard scoring pass from Graham Wilbert, tying the game for the final time early in the second period.

"We came out pretty sharp," said Wilbert, who finished 18 of 33 for 183 yards. "We really played well against a good SEC team."

It didn't last.

Marshall carried it five times for 57 yards on a 67-yard drive that put the Bulldogs ahead to stay. He nearly scored his second TD, but was tripped up about a half-yard from the end zone. Murray finished it off with a sneak.

Getting it back against with 2½ minutes left in the half, Georgia quickly struck for another score that provided some breathing room. Murray was sacked, but a slap to the face by Kayvon Sherrill resulted in a 15-yard penalty. After the Bulldogs were penalized for an illegal formation, Murray found Bennett streaking open down the middle of the field, hitting him in stride for the score that made it 28-14.

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