Georgia scores 37 unanswered to blow out Ole Miss

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATHENS, Ga. -- Coming off an emotional victory against rival Florida, the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs did more than just avoid a homecoming let down Saturday by rallying early to blow out the Mississippi Rebels 37-10 at Sanford Stadium.
Georgia (8-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) stumbled out of the gate but scored 37 unanswered points to distance itself from the Rebels (5-4, 2-3), who were looking to gain bowl eligibility for the first time since 2009.
"I don't think we were ready to play; Ole Miss just did an excellent job of executing," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "As time went on, as the game settled down, the defense tightened the screws pretty quick."
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray led the Bulldogs' offense by completing 21 of 28 passes for 384 yards and four scores. Freshman Todd Gurley paced Georgia's running backs with 117 yards on 18 carries.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace completed 16 of 25 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Ole Miss took an early 10-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Bryson Rose and a 13-yard pass play from Wallace to tight end Jamal Mosley.
After that, it was all Georgia.
The Bulldogs wasted no time responding to Mississippi's score. Three plays after the touchdown, Murray faked a handoff and connected with receiver Marlon Brown down the middle of the field for a 66-yard touchdown.
"We had a lot of confidence in that play," Murray said. "We practiced it all week. When you're third-and-1 in that formation a lot of people are thinking run, and I just found an open guy. It couldn't have worked more perfectly."
After a bizarre series of possessions in which the two teams combined to turn the ball over four times in five plays (on three fumbles and a Wallace interception), Georgia slowed the game tempo.
On the final possession of the half, the Bulldogs ticked off 3:29 of the game clock by marching 84 yards on nine plays. Following back-to-back sacks, and with time dwindling in the frame, Murray rolled to his right to evade the pass rush and hit receiver Tavarres King between two defenders for a 40-yard score to go ahead 14-10.
"It was a pretty sickening feeling," Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said of the touchdown, which came just three seconds before halftime.
Six plays into the second half, Murray found receiver Malcolm Mitchell in single coverage down the Georgia sideline and connected for a 42-yard score.
The Bulldogs later padded their lead on an 8-yard run by fullback Alex Ogletree, a safety by linebacker Alec Ogletree and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Murray to receiver Rantavious Wooten.
While Georgia racked up 533 yards, the Rebels were held to 234, with just 46 coming on the ground.
Mississippi junior running back Jeff Scott, who was among the SEC's leaders averaging 87.4 rushing yards per game, was held to just 21 yards on 13 carries.
Georgia buckled down and really limited Mississippi's offense in the second half.
"We knew exactly what they were going to do," Freeze said, "but we couldn't block their inside guys. If you can't run the ball on those guys, people like Jarvis Jones and 83 (Cornelius Washington) they're going to tee off on you and make your passing game very difficult.
"They were able to stop our run playing Cover 2, and if you can't run the ball against that, it's going to be very hard to throw the football. We just never felt like we could get the running game going."
NOTES: Brown injured his left knee during the third quarter and left the game. ... The Bulldogs are 72-17-2 in homecoming games. ... Ole Miss has not won in Athens since 1996. ... Murray had been sacked 12 times prior to Saturday, but the Rebels got to Georgia's quarterback five times.