Georgia vs South Carolina: Ball Security A Key For The Bulldogs

By Freddie Vickers

The Georgia Bulldogs will roll into Palmetto State Saturday night as they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia.  SEC East supremacy is on the line, along with BCS implications.

Georgia comes in ranked eighth in the nation in scoring, averaging just over 48 points per game.  A huge key for the Bulldogs through five games this season has been the play of their freshman running back duo, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

Gurley currently ranks first in the SEC, averaging over 107 yards per game, while Marshall is averaging a bit over 85.

As good as the running backs have been, quarterback Aaron Murray has been even better.  Through five games, Murray is completing 68% of his passes.  On the year he has thrown for 1,370 yards with 12 touchdowns.  The most telling stat is that Murray has only thrown three interceptions.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo has stressed ball security to Murray, who in 2011, threw for over 3100 yards, but had 14 interceptions.

In the Bulldogs’ last outing, Murray’s interception versus Tennessee turned the tide and the Bulldogs lost first half momentum after Tennessee returned it for a touchdown.  He also had a fumble in the second quarter, which resulted in a Tennessee touchdown.

Protecting the football will be key for the Bulldogs, versus a Gamecock defense that has seven interceptions on the year.  The Gamecocks also rank 13th in total defense and have only given up five touchdowns on the year.

History shows that when Murray doesn’t turn the ball over, he wins ball games.  In his 21 wins as a starter, he has 51 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions.

The Bulldogs did get some bad news this week, on Wednesday they learned that they would be without the services of starting wide receiver Michael Bennett.  Bennett tore his anterior cruciate ligament near the end of Tuesday’s practice.  He was the teams leading receiver with 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns.


Freddie Vickers covers the SEC for Rant Sports

Follow Freddie on Twitter:  @fredvic9

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