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Friday, November 16, 2012
Key stats: Georgia Southern vs. Georgia

By David Ching

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.

NO. 5 GEORGIA VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET
Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

1: Pass-first Murray: For opposing defenses facing Georgia’s offense, watch out for quarterback Aaron Murray’s passing on first downs. Murray has 10 touchdown passes on first down and hit 75.2 percent of his first-down throws.

Of his 96 completions, 26 (27.7 percent) have resulted in a gain of 20 or more yards.

Another note on Murray, he will probably rank second in SEC history in touchdown passes by the end of the season. With four games remaining in the 2012 campaign, Murray sits alone in fifth place with 83. But he’s only six TD passes behind Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, who is second behind Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (114).

SEC CAREER TD PASS LEADERS
1. 114, Danny Wuerffel (Florida, 1993-96)
2. 89, Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1994-97)
3. 88, Chris Leak (Florida, 2003-06)
3. 88, Tim Tebow (Florida, 2006-09)
5. 83, Aaron Murray (Georgia, 2010-12)
6. 81, Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2000-03)

2. Big-play Bulldogs: After notching three plays that covered 30-plus yards last week against Auburn -- a 49-yard Todd Gurley run, a 55-yard pass from Murray to Tavarres King and a 62-yard touchdown run by Keith Marshall -- the Bulldogs now have 34 plays that went for at least 30 yards, the third most in the FBS. Georgia had just 23 such plays in 14 games last season.

The only game where Georgia didn’t have at least one play of 30-plus yards was in its one loss of the season at South Carolina.

3: First-down efficiency: Murray’s first-down passing prowess leads the way, but Georgia’s offense in general has been successful on first down.

The Bulldogs average 8.2 yards per play on first down, which ties with Oklahoma State for the best in the FBS this season. And the Bulldogs have had plenty of opportunities on first down, ranking fourth in the SEC in first downs (21.4 per game) and leading the league in overall yards per play (7.0).