The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

July 18, 2013

Georgia readies for early-season gauntlet

Hoover — HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Georgia is widely considered one of the favorites to challenge Alabama's dominance in the Southeastern Conference.

Whether that is realistic could be decided by the end of September.

Georgia was picked to win the Eastern Division in a media poll released Thursday, but the Bulldogs have a brutal early-season schedule, including games against potential top 10 teams Clemson, South Carolina and LSU.

"I told the team we're in a race, and that is to try to be at midseason form by day one," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "The race started back in January."

Georgia is trying to break through with an SEC championship one year after coming close to the title. The Bulldogs lost to eventual national champion Alabama 32-28 in the league title game.

Georgia is led by senior quarterback Aaron Murray, who is the first in SEC history to have at least 3,000 yards passing in three straight seasons. He already has the school record with 95 career touchdown passes and could threaten several SEC career records by the end of this season.

But the 6-foot-1, 208-pound senior is largely overshadowed in a league that has very good quarterbacks. Murray was named All-SEC third team on Thursday, behind Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Alabama's AJ McCarron.

"There are some very talented quarterbacks up and down — not just the ones (who made the All-SEC team)," Murray said. "We've got a ton of guys ... Usually you think of the SEC as great running games and great defenses, not great quarterbacks, but we're pretty loaded right now."

Murray completed 64.5 percent of his passes last season for 3,893 yards, 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

He will have plenty of experienced help in his quest for the elusive SEC title. The entire starting offensive line returns and so does Todd Gurley, who ran for 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.

Text Only
Sports
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee