Murray, Georgia handle South Carolina

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has certainly had his critics after previous performances against top-10 teams.
But Murray was nearly flawless on Saturday, completing 16 of 22 passes for 286 yards and four touchdowns to lead the 11th-ranked Bulldogs to a 41-30 win over No. 6 South Carolina.
"I've never worried about that," Murray said. "With me, you always lose as a team and you win as a team. This wasn't about me. It was about the team, and this was a huge win."
There's no doubt about that.
Not only did Georgia (1-1, 1-0) snap a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks, but the Bulldogs moved into the early lead in the SEC East.
"The team that loses this game is waiting for the other team's bus to break down," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "We've been chasing them for three years. We haven't been 1-0 in the league for a while. Today, we got them, so I'm thankful."
Tied 24-24 at the half, South Carolina (1-1, 0-1) was driving for the go-ahead touchdown when Connor Shaw fumbled near the Georgia 25-yard line.
Georgia responded by scoring the next 10 points, including an 8-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Todd Gurley, who also rushed 30 times for 132 yards and one TD.
"The game was tied then. It's frustrating," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "Who knows what would have happened if he had held onto the ball. Maybe we would have scored. Who knows? He did fumble, though."
But the game was far from over.
A 75-yard run by South Carolina's Mike Davis, who led all rushers with 15 carries for 149 yards, set up his 2-yard run. However, Elliott Fry's extra-point attempt was wide left, making the score at 34-30.
Murray stepped up again.
On a third-and-13 play from the Georgia 15, Murray -- now 2-9 against top-10 teams -- found a wide-open Justin Scott-Wesley, who ran 85 yards untouched for the touchdown that turned out to be the final score.
"We've got a lot of playmakers," Scott-Wesley said. "I feel like its hard for the coaches to put guys in positions to make plays because we're so deep and diverse. At any point in time, any one of us can make a play."
The first half offered a little bit of everything, with the exception of defense, as the teams went into the half tied at 24.
Georgia started the game quickly enough.
After spotting South Carolina a 3-0 lead on its opening drive courtesy of Fry's 36-yard field goal, the Bulldogs scored the next 17 points, including touchdown passes of 3 and 7 yards to Arthur Lynch and Keith Marshall.
It appeared at that point as though the Bulldogs were about to run away with the game.
Not quite.
South Carolina retaliated with a 12-play, 84-yard drive that Brandon Wilds capped with a 7-yard run to draw the Gamecocks to 17-10 with 5:10 in the second quarter.
Moments later, a Bulldogs mistake put the Gamecocks in position to tie the score.
After holding Georgia on third down, punter Collin Barber dropped an easy snap, with South Carolina recovering on the Georgia 18.
On the next play, Shaw connected with Nick Jones on an 18-yard pass to tie the score.
Georgia answered with a 2-yard touchdown run by Gurley before Shaw came back to hit Jones with a pass for a 30-yard score with 18 seconds left in the half.
"This one stinks a little bit," said Shaw, who along with completing 16 of 25 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns also rushed for 75 yards. "It's frustrating because the past two years we've beat them and they've gone on to play in Atlanta. This year, we'll see what happens, but we just have to bounce back after this one."
NOTES: Georgia played without redshirt sophomore tight end Jay Rome, who sat out with a sprained ankle. ... South Carolina announced before the game that starting cornerback Victor Hampton would be suspended for the first half. ... The Gamecocks played without starting center Cody Waldrop. He was replaced by fellow freshman Clayton Stadnik.

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