Murray leads Georgia past Gamecocks, 41-30
ATHENS, Ga. — Jadeveon Clowney smothered Aaron Murray for his first sack of the season.
Otherwise, the South Carolina star's name was barely called Saturday.
That's starting to sound familiar.
With Clowney turning in another rather quiet performance, Murray carved up the Gamecocks defense with 309 yards passing and four touchdowns, leading 11th-ranked Georgia to a 41-30 victory over No. 6 South Carolina in a game that established the early balance of power in the Southeastern Conference East.
Clowney was credited with three tackles and failed to chase down Murray on the biggest play of the game — an 85-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley with 13 minutes remaining.
"Aaron played a pretty good game," Clowney said. "He threw it quick and ran it away from me the whole game."
The teams combined for 990 yards — Georgia had 536 — in a game that sparked such passion, a couple of South Carolina coaches got into it with each other on the sideline early in the third quarter. They had to be pulled apart by another assistant.
"It was pretty obvious that Georgia was the stronger of the two teams out there," head coach Steve Spurrier said. "They kicked our tails up and down the field. We couldn't stop them."
Coming off a 38-35 loss at Clemson, Georgia (1-1, 1-0 SEC) could not afford another defeat if it wanted to remain a serious contender for a national title.
"It was a lot of fun," said Murray, who came in with a 1-6 record against Top 10 opponents. "It's definitely up there."
The beleaguered Georgia defense finally made a play, stuffing Mike Davis on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1. Murray and the offense took it from there, running off the remaining 8½ minutes after taking over at their own 1.
"That was by far my favorite part of the game," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
Davis led the Gamecocks
(1-1, 0-1) with 149 yards rushing. Connor Shaw passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 75 yards, but also lost a crucial fumble in the third quarter in Georgia territory.
Georgia snapped a threeyear losing streak against South Carolina, seizing control of the SEC East though the Gamecocks still have a chance to pull it out, thanks to a more favorable schedule. In fact, the Bulldogs won the division the last two years despite losing to their rival.
Todd Gurley had another huge day for the Bulldogs, rushing for 136 yards on 30 bruising carries and scoring two touchdowns. His first came on a 2-yard run in a wild first half, which ended with the teams tied at 24. Then, in the final seconds of the third quarter, he hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from Murray to give Georgia a 34-24 lead, running the wrong route but getting open when Murray motioned him where to go.