No. 5 Georgia claims SEC East crown with rout of Auburn
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - The last time Georgia and Auburn met at Jordan- Hare Stadium, it was the Tigers who were targeting a championship.
Two years later, the Bulldogs are the only team thinking about any kind of title.
Aaron Murray threw three first-half touchdown passes and No. 5 Georgia clinched the SEC East and a spot in the conference championship game for a second straight year with a 38-0 rout of Auburn.
"I'm just very thankful to have the opportunity to go back to Atlanta," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "I'm very excited about winning the East. I'm very excited about going to Atlanta. There's no doubt about that. There's a lot of work to be done between now and then. We have a couple of games to be played."
Murray completed 18-of-24 passes for 208 yards for Georgia (9-1, 7-1 SEC), which jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead before cruising in the second half.
"We knew we had to come in here and try to get on them really early and try to put some points on the board. Trying to get their fans out of it is the biggest thing," Murray said.
The Bulldogs are tied atop the SEC East standings with Florida, but hold the tiebreaker over the Gators following their 17-9 win on Oct. 27.
Todd Gurley carried the ball 11 times for 116 yards and a score, Keith Marshall added 105 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes, while Tavarres King, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Conley each had a touchdown reception in the win.
What a difference two years has made for Auburn.
At this time two seasons ago, the Cam Newton-led Tigers were bearing down on their first national championship since 1957 when they downed the Bulldogs 49-31.
Now, Auburn is just searching for an SEC win.
It will have one final chance to avoid its first winless record in SEC play since 1980 when it travels to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 24 to take on Alabama in the Iron Bowl.
Freshman Jonathan Wallace made his second career start and finished 15-of-22 for 181 yards with an interception for the Tigers (2-8, 0-7), who snapped a five-game skid last Saturday with a victory over New Mexico State.
"Georgia is a very good football team, and we didn't play very well tonight in any phase of the game," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said.
Georgia tallied touchdowns on each of its first four possessions of the contest.
Gurley broke off a 49-yard run on Georgia's opening trek before Murray flipped a 6-yard score to Conley four plays later to conclude the 6-play, 76-yard drive.
Murray, who was 9-of-9 for 70 yards over the Bulldogs' first two offensive treks, moved the chains on a 3rd-and-2 with a 15-yard scramble before finding Mitchell for a 5-yard touchdown on the very next play.
On a 3rd-and-7 on Georgia's third offensive series, Murray rolled right before firing into the right part of the end zone for King, who tapped his right toe inbounds for a 17-yard score.
After Murray floated a 55-yard pass to King on a stop-and-go seam pattern, Gurley ran in untouched a play later from six yards out, which made it 28-0 with 5:09 left in the half.
Marshall Morgan nailed a 20-yard field goal on Georgia's initial drive of the second half and Marshall scampered in from 62 yards out on the visitors' next touch, which extended the margin to 38-0 with 4:35 left in the third.
Georgia is heading to its fifth SEC title game overall -- all under the Richt era ... Georgia tied the series between the teams, 54-54-8 ... The Bulldogs outgained the Tigers, 493-236 ... Murray started the game 10-for-10.
11/11 00:12:22 ET
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