- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
Editor’s note: Each week, the good folks at ESPN Stats and Information will help us take a look inside the numbers that matter prior to Georgia’s games. We’ll share some of their data here on the blog every Friday this fall.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT NO. 7 GEORGIA
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sanford Stadium/Athens, Ga.
• Georgia is aiming to score 40-plus points in each of its first three games for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs scored 45 points in Week 1 against Buffalo and scored 41 last Saturday against Missouri.
• Although this is the first meeting between Georgia and Florida Atlantic, history is heavily on the Bulldogs’ side. Georgia is 30-1 at home against non-conference opponents under coach Mark Richt and FAU is 0-6 all-time against SEC programs.
• Saturday marks the five-year anniversary of the last time FAU beat a team from a BCS-AQ conference. It has lost its last 14 games against teams from BCS conferences since beating Minnesota of the Big Ten 42-39 on Sept. 15, 2007.
• The Georgia defense’s success forcing three-and-outs continued with four more last week against Missouri. The Bulldogs have forced 12 three-and-outs this season, which is tied for fourth most in the FBS and is tied for the most against FBS opponents. The Bulldogs have forced 72 three-and-outs since the start of the 2011 season, which is also the most in the FBS.
• Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray threw his only interception of the season last week after carrying out a play-action fake, but he has been exceptional against non-AQ opponents when passing off of play action. Since the start of last season, he has six touchdowns, no interceptions and averages 11 yards per attempt when throwing after a play-action fake versus five touchdowns and nine interceptions against AQ opponents.
Murray was 8-for-14 for 169 yards and three touchdowns off play action against Buffalo.
• After gaining a total of 97 yards after the catch in his first 13 games of 2011, Tavarres King has gained a combined 216 yards after the catch in his last three games dating to the Outback Bowl. King caught a screen pass at the line of scrimmage in the second quarter against Missouri and ran 34 yards to the Tigers’ 2-yard line, setting up Georgia’s first touchdown of the night.
• To improve player safety -- and increase the number of touchbacks -- the NCAA changed its rules this season to where kickoffs originate at the 35-yard line instead of the 30. It appears as though the new kickoff rules are having the intended effect.
After two weeks, 39.7 percent of all kickoffs (148 of 548) have resulted in a touchback. Through the first two weeks of the 2011 season, only 17.1 percent (143 of 232) kickoffs resulted in a touchback.
7hSam Khan Jr. and Derek Tyson