When Aaron Murray steps to the line, he’s got weapons all around.
There are speedy receivers and sure-handed receivers. There’s a big tight end and no shortage of talented running backs. The guys up front are an experienced bunch, giving Georgia’s quarterback plenty of confidence when he drops into the pocket.
No wonder the ninth-ranked Bulldogs (2-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) have been really clicking with the ball in their hands.
Georgia goes into Saturday’s big home game against No. 6 LSU (4-0, 1-0) with one of the country’s top offenses, averaging more than 40 points and 574 yards per game.
While Murray, a fifth-year senior, plays a huge role in the team’s success, the biggest thing is balance. The Bulldogs have depth at every position, giving their experienced quarterback plenty of options.
‘‘It’s a fun offense to be involved in,’’ Murray said.
Georgia has always been a program built around the ground game and nothing has really changed there. Sophomore Todd Gurley is a bruising runner who already has a pair of 100-yard games. Keith Marshall provides a slashing change of pace off the bench. Even 257-pound fullback Quayvon Hicks has shown he’s more than just an extra blocker.
Of course, the Bulldogs also have one of the most prolific passers in SEC history, a quarterback who seems like he’s been around Athens forever. It’s only natural that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo would keep opening things up for Murray, allowing him to do everything from working out of the no-huddle to calling plays with four and five receivers.
Murray is averaging more than 346 yards a game through the air, and seven touchdown passes have pushed him to 102 in his career, second in SEC history.
Georgia certainly isn’t intimidated by an LSU program team that has long had one of the nation’s top defenses.
‘‘We feel like once we get the ball rolling,’’ receiver Justin Scott-Wesley said, ‘‘it’s hard for any defense to stop us.’’
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If Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff has any jitters about his first start on the road, he sure isn’t showing it.
Goff was cool about playing No. 2 Oregon in what is sure to be a raucous atmosphere at Autzen Stadium on Saturday night. ‘‘Just a regular game in front of a bunch of crazy people,’’ he said.
Goff is having a sensational start to his career, steering first-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes’s ‘‘Bear Raid’’ offense. He leads the nation and the Pac-12 with an average of 435.3 yards passing. In his last game, a 52-34 loss to No. 4 Ohio State on Sept. 14, Goff passed for 371 yards with three touchdowns.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, only a sophomore himself, is a seasoned veteran compared to Goff. Mariota is ranked fifth nationally with an average of 383.7 total offensive yards per game. He’s averaging 296.3 yards passing for an offense that’s scoring 61.3 points per game.
Mariota has been getting ever-increasing Heisman Trophy buzz. But he calls such talk ‘‘outside noise . . . That’s something that around here, we don’t really talk about.’’