Georgia’s 37-10 win over Ole Miss Saturday did not come without costs.
Marlon Brown got Georgia’s offense on the board Saturday with his 66-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Murray, but his day was cut short by an injury.
In the third quarter, Brown caught a pass for 30-yard gain before Mississippi’s Trae Elston made the tackle. Elston’s helmet appeared to catch Brown’s knee, and Brown was treated by Georgia’s medical staff before limping off the field.
He never returned to the game and finished the day with three catches and 113 yards for his fourth career 100-yard game.
Brown was not Georgia’s only casualty of the day.
In the first half, junior right guard Chris Burnette suffered a left shoulder contusion and did not return. After the game, Burnette had his left arm in a sling.
Head coach Mark Richt could not immediately comment on the status of Burnette or Brown.
“I don’t know (how they are),” said Richt. “We just don’t know yet.”
In Burnette’s absence, Georgia shifted left guard Dallas Lee to right guard and left tackle Kenarious Gates to left guard. Mark Beard slid in at left tackle.
“Burnette has really played well for us all year,” said Bobo. “Hopefully it’s nothing serious. It was good to get (Beard) some quality reps that will help him next week if Burnette’s out.”
King gets one catch, one score against Ole Miss
Tavarres King caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Murray with three seconds left in the first half to give Georgia a 14-10 halftime lead over Ole Miss.
Murray pump-faked to his right, scrambled away from pressure—first to his left, then back to his right—and threw on the run to King, who was streaking down the right sideline.
“(Mississippi) blew the coverage,” said King, a senior. “The cornerback thought he had safety help. I ran by the corner, and he didn’t have safety help. So I threw my hand up to let Aaron know I was wide open. He did a great job of rolling out of the pressure and hit me right on the money—one of the most beautiful balls I’ve seen him throw. Only I could catch it.”
After going without a catch against Florida last week, the touchdown catch Saturday was King’s first since the third quarter of the Kentucky game. Georgia’s leading receiver, King saw limited action in the first half Saturday, despite catching six passes for 205 yards and a score last season against the Rebels. On a day when Murray connected with 11 different receivers, King’s touchdown was his only catch of the day.
“We’d like to get (King) more involved early in the game,” said Bobo. “But he’s had a great attitude and worked extremely hard. He’s going to have a game when he’s going to have to come up big with a number of catches. He’s just gotta keep a good attitude and keep working.”
Barber booms career-long punt
In the first quarter, Georgia freshman Collin Barber blasted a 60-yard punt, the longest of the freshman’s young career.
“He bombed a 60-yarder, which was beautiful,” said Richt. “We’ve seen it in practice. We haven’t seen it a lot in games. He’s very capable of kicking it high and having a great hang time.”
Barber’s punt was the first 60-yarder since Drew Butler’s 62-yard punt against LSU in the 2011 SEC Championship game.
“Barber is getting better,” said Richt. “...He’s done a good job punting inside the 20.”
Barber finished with five punts for a 48.2 yard average and had two kicks downed inside the Ole Miss 20-yard line, including a third quarter punt downed at the Mississippi 3-yard line.
Wideout McGowan ‘dependable’ in one-on-one situations
Wide receiver Rhett McGowan caught two passes for first downs against Ole Miss Saturday and, once again, provided Murray with a safety valve.
“Rhett is awesome,” said Murray. “When he gets out there, defensive backs are like ‘Oh, who is this guy?’ Every game he makes catches and makes plays.”
McGowan matched his season-high of two catches for a total of 26 yards. He now has five catches for 62 yards this season, and all five catches have given Georgia a first down.
“He’s lights-out,” said Murray. “When I look out there and see him one-on-one, I’m throwing it to Rhett. He makes plays for us.”
Added Bobo: “Rhett is a very good route runner. He has extreme quickness, does a good job against press coverage and has reliable hands. He’s a dependable guy, and every time we’ve called his number, he’s made a play.”
Sophomore strong safety Corey Moore received the first start of his career. Instead of safety, Moore was lined up at wide receiver for Georgia’s first offensive play, during which he went in motion before throwing a block on Mississippi’s defensive end to create space for running back Todd Gurley. “He’s physically a tough guy,” said Richt of the use of Moore on offense. “When you come in motion, you can seal the defensive end on an outside play...He likes contact. That (play) takes a guy who is physical and enjoys that kind of thing.”
Junior defensive end Garrison Smith notched the first sack of his career. Senior safety Shawn Williams was also credited with his first career sack. Georgia finished with four sacks on the day, giving the Bulldogs nine sacks in the last eight quarters...
Alec Ogletree’s safety late in the third quarter was the first Georgia safety since Brandon Boykin’s in the 2012 Outback Bowl versus Michigan State...
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was sacked five times by Ole Miss, the most of any game this season...
Gurley ran for his sixth 100-yard game, collecting 117 yards on 18 carries...
With the win, Georgia improved to 72-17-2 in Homecoming games...
The Bulldogs have now won 10 straight over the Rebels and leads the series 32-12-1...