Murray, Georgia too much for LSU

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Aaron Murray and Georgia had a lot to celebrate about in the Bulldogs' 44-41 win over LSU Saturday.If the South Carolina win three weeks ago didn’t quiet the critics who said Aaron Murray couldn’t win big games they’re certainly silent now.

Led by another big performance from Murray, the ninth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs rallied to beat sixth-ranked LSU Tigers in a 44-41 thriller Saturday. It was Georgia’s second win in three tries against a Top-10 team this season (No. 6 South Carolina on September 7).

This is the first time in Georgia history it has defeated two AP-ranked teams in a season before October 1st. Georgia is the fifth team in the last 15 years to defeat two Top-10 teams prior to October, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The last, prior to Georgia, was Alabama in 2008.

Murray comes up big

After winning only one of his first seven games against Top-10 teams, Murray has now won two straight.

The senior QB had a hand in all five of Georgia’s touchdowns Saturday, throwing for four and adding another on the ground. His five TD responsible for ties his career high.

It was a big improvement over his 2011 performance against LSU, in which he completed only 16 of 40 passes for 163 yards with one TD and two interceptions.

Aaron Murray Career vs Top-10

The key for Murray Saturday was his accuracy down the field. He completed 7-of-11 passes thrown 15 yards or longer, including three touchdowns. It is the most completions (7) and touchdowns (3) LSU has allowed on such throws over the last 3 seasons. In 2011 against LSU, Murray was only 1-of-11 on throws 15+ yards downfield.

Murray now has eight TD passes in his last two games against Top-10 teams, matching his total for his first seven such games combined.

He also passed Eric Zeier, Peyton Manning and Chris Leak on the SEC career passing yardage list, now trailing only fellow Georgia QB David Greene by 99 yards.

Mettenberger’s homecoming

On the other side, LSU QB Zach Mettenberger didn’t disappoint in his Georgia homecoming. Mettenberger is from Watkinsville, GA (15 minute drive south of Athens) and originally enrolled at Georgia before being dismissed.

He threw for a career-high 372 yards and three TD, showing continued improvement from his junior season. After posting a 39.3 Total QBR last season, which ranked 98th out of 122 qualified FBS quarterbacks, Mettenberger has a 87.6 Total QBR this season (86.0 on Saturday). No FBS quarterback entered Saturday with a bigger increase in Total QBR from 2012 to 2013.

Rare defensive letdown for LSU

LSU allowed 44 points in defeat Saturday after going 63 straight games without allowing 40 points in a game. That was by far the longest active streak in FBS.

Entering Saturday, LSU was one of only eight FBS teams which hadn’t trailed this season but that ended with Georgia’s first TD.