Crippled Dawgs survive Rocky Top

Rob Saye

The sixth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in beating the Tennessee Volunteers 34-31 in overtime at Neyland Stadium on a 42-yard game-winning field goal by kicker Marshall Morgan. This was the first over time game for the Dawgs since the 2012 Outback Bowl when Georgia lost to Michigan St. 33-30.


With 1:54 remaining in regulation and down by seven, quarterback Aaron Murray led the Bulldogs on a 10-play, 75-yard drive, capping it off with a two-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Rantavious Wooten that tied the game up at 31-31. Wooten led the team in receiving with six catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns, which doubled his season total in catches. Murray finished the game completing 19 of 35 for 196 yards and three TDs.


Richt was pleased with Murray’s gritty performance and made that clear in the post-game press conference.


“I’m so proud of him. When you come back for your senior year after having a chance to go pro, you come back for games like this, you come back for your teammates, and you come back to try to win a championship. He’s done everything he could do at this point. I’m really proud of him, he just played like a champion today.”


Murray surpassed fellow UGA quarterback David Greene for most passing yards in SEC history with 11,528.


In overtime the Volunteers appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown when Pig Howard extended his arms for the endzone. However, he fumbled the ball just short of the pylon, which resulted in a costly touchback. Three plays later, Morgan was the hero with his game-winning 42-yarder. The field goal was the first game winning kick for the Bulldogs since Blair Walsh nailed a 32-yarder for the win against Arizona State in 2009. Morgan also bested his career-long 55-yard field goal last weekend against LSU with a 56-yarder in the second quarter against Tennessee.


The win came at a price, considering the Bulldogs suffered multiple injuries including losing tailback Keith Marshall to an apparent right knee injury. Wide receivers Justin Scott-Wesley and Michael Bennett also suffered knee injuries and left the game. Murray had to become resourceful with guys that weren’t normally in the lineup and the senior showed poise by delivering the Dawgs the win.


Filling in for Marshall were freshmen tailbacks J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas, who combined for 157 yards on 27 carries.


Special teams has become a sore spot for the Bulldogs so far this season. From botched snaps to mishandled snaps to blocked punts, the Georgia special teams unit has had its fair share of blemishes including a blocked punt by the Volunteers that resulted in a touchdown. Punter Colin Barber left the game with a concussion after the punt was blocked and didn’t return.

The Bulldogs will return to play the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium next weekend at 12:00 p.m.

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