Bulldogs clinch ticket in SEC championship
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
November 11, 2012 01:21 AM | 1799 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Todd Gurley beats Auburn’s Jermaine Whitehead (9) and Cassanova McKinzy into the end zone for one of Georgia’s five touchdowns Saturday. The Bulldogs trounced the hapless Tigers and clinched a berth into the SEC championship game in three weeks at the Georgia Dome.
<BR>Associated Press photo
Todd Gurley beats Auburn’s Jermaine Whitehead (9) and Cassanova McKinzy into the end zone for one of Georgia’s five touchdowns Saturday. The Bulldogs trounced the hapless Tigers and clinched a berth into the SEC championship game in three weeks at the Georgia Dome.
Associated Press photo
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AUBURN, Ala. — Aaron Murray passed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for more than 100 yards and No. 5 Georgia overwhelmed Auburn 38-0 on Saturday night, sending the Bulldogs back to the SEC championship game.

Georgia (9-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) was methodical in its dominating win. It scored the first shutout for either team in the series since the Bulldogs’ 28-0 win in 1976.

Auburn (2-8, 0-7 SEC) was held to 238 yards, including 57 yards rushing, as its disappointing season with embattled coach Gene Chizik suffered another embarrassing low.

Georgia, the Eastern Division champion, earned its second straight trip to the Dec. 1 SEC championship game in Atlanta. Top-ranked Alabama, beaten by No. 15 Texas A&M 29-24 on Saturday, can win the Western Division title by beating Auburn on Nov. 24.

By the start of the fourth quarter, Bulldogs fans were the majority in Jordan-Hare Stadium. After the game, Georgia players rushed to corner of the end zone to celebrate with the fans, who chanted “SEC! SEC!”

Gurley had 11 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Marshall had eight carries for 105 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Murray completed 18 of 24 passes with no interceptions and touchdown passes to Chris Conley, Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King. Murray, who completed his first 10 passes, was rested in the fourth quarter as backups Parker Welch and Christian LeMay finished the game.

Freshman Jonathan Wallace, making his second start for Auburn, completed 15 of 22 passes for 181 yards with one interception. Emory Blake had six catches for 104 yards.

Tre Mason was Auburn’s leading rusher with 11 carries for only 33 yards.

For the Tigers, the lopsided defeat was similar to a 63-21 home loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 27. In each game, many Auburn fans left in the third quarter.

The biggest cheer from Auburn fans came early in the game during a break after Georgia’s first touchdown when the score of rival Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M was posted on the video board.

Georgia’s only punt of the first half came with only 45 seconds remaining.

Murray devastated the Auburn defense with his efficiency in Georgia’s no-huddle offense, directing quick-strike touchdown drives on his first four possessions.

Each of the four first-half touchdown drives lasted less than 4 minutes. A 49-yard run by Gurley set up Murray’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Conley.

Following a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell, Georgia had a scare on its third drive when a hit from linebacker Cassanova McKinzy knocked Murray out of the game. Murray’s helmet hit the ground hard following McKinzy’s helmet-to-chest hit, but Murray missed only one play and returned to complete an 18-yard touchdown pass to King.

A 56-yard pass from Murray to King set up Gurley’s 6-yard touchdown run.

King, who usually wears No. 12, switched to Marlon Brown’s No. 15. Brown, a senior, suffered a left knee injury last week to end his college career.

Auburn’s first turnover spoiled a scoring opportunity late in the third quarter. Emory Blake gained 13 yards on a reception before he fumbled when hit by Bacarri Rambo. Georgia linebacker Michael Gilliard recovered at the Bulldogs’ 11.

Rambo intercepted a pass from Wallace on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Georgia’s win in the game called the South’s oldest rivalry tied the series at 54-54-8. Georgia has won six of the last seven meetings.
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