Murray’s Career Day, Defensive Struggles and Christian LeMay’s Lost Job: the FAU Game Remembered
This is the third of 14 Post-Season Game Recaps.
On September 15th the Owls of Florida Atlantic came to beautiful Athens, GA for a game against the highly-favored Bulldogs. Aaron Murray had a career day and the owls kept things a little too close for comfort during the first half.
What We Saw:
- Murray threw for a then-career high 342 yards on just 19 attempts.
- Georgia gave up a 43-yard TD run early as FAU tied the game 7-7.
- Michael Bennett had a 100-yard day.
- The Dawgs allowed 20 points.
- Gurshall became a “thing” as both Todd Gurley and Keith Marshal accounted for over 100 yards on 10 carries each.
What We Learned:
This game cemented Georgia’s offense as a threat. The season as a whole was in many ways defined as “elite,” but this game exposed all of Georgia’s playmakers for the first time. Murray was efficient (save for 1 INT), the backs we explosive (both averaged over 10.4 yards per carry) and six different receivers (Bennett, Arthur Lynch, Tavarres King, Malcolm Mitchell, Marlon Brown Justin Scott-Wesley) accounted for more than 40 yards worth of catches.
What We Should Have Learned:
The defense was going to be spotty. After a lackluster opener against Buffalo was followed by a heroic effort by Jarvis Jones, the defense settled into complacency and allowed FAU to hang around. The Owls tied the game 7-7 on the first quarter, tied the game 14-14 in the second and also scored early in the fourth (although it was off of an interception return).
Christian LeMay was not entrenched as the backup. LeMay threw a 43 yard pass to Scott-Wesley on one of his two pass attempts and he ran for a touchdown. Unfortunately his other pass attempt was a 42-yard INT returned for a TD and his other six rushing attempts accounted for just eight yards.
Murray was going to continue to set records. And boy did he.
This out-of-conference win with a poor defensive showing may have played a part in the defense’s near-shutout against Vanderbilt the following week. Or that may have just been Todd Grantham hating James Franklin.
That’s all I got/