Florida vs. Georgia 2012: Gators have to stop Aaron Murray early

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Georgia sports the nation's top "standard downs" offense, which means Florida's defense will need to focus early.

In last week's close-call victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 427 yards and four touchdowns on 30-38 passing. The passing display gave Murray the school's record for passing touchdowns.

This is just one factor in why the numbers from Bill Connelly, SB Nation's college football stats master, say that the Florida Gators must stop Murray and the Bulldogs on early downs to claim the win on Saturday.

Connelly writes, "If Georgia is to defeat Florida, it will likely be with a 'pass to set up the run' approach. That puts a lot of pressure on Murray, but it is probably the only way Georgia can pull off the upset."

Georgia's offense is the No. 1 offense nationally on standard downs, which are downs in which either a pass or a run are acceptable play calls.

But Murray's passing has been especially potent on early, standard downs. As Connelly points out, Georgia receivers Marlon Brown, Tavarres King, and Malcolm Mitchell have caught 47 passes on 59 targets (an 80 percent catch rate) for 787 yards on early downs.

If the Gators can limit damage on early downs, their advantage seems clear on passing downs. Florida's defense ranks sixth nationally on passing downs, while Georgia's offense ranks 52nd.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Tampa Bay

You must be a member of SB Nation Tampa Bay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Tampa Bay. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.