Georgia passing game vs. North Texas secondary
North Texas returned an experienced secondary from last season, but they’ve been vulnerable so far this season. They are 94th in the nation in pass defense and allowed Ball State to throw for 333 yards.
Georgia is averaging 316 yards per game through the air and Aaron Murray could have a field day in Sanford Stadium.
“One of the things you notice when you put on the film of North Texas is that they’re extremely athletic on the outside and they take a lot of chances,” Georgia junior wideout Chris Conley said. “They’re very aggressive. When a defense does that they have the opportunity to make a lot of plays or to leave themselves open.”
North Texas coach Dan McCarney was assistant head coach at Florida under Urban Meyer when the Gators targeted Murray out of Plant High School in Tampa.
“We wanted him badly because we knew what a sensational player he was,” McCarney said. “We happened to have (Tim) Tebow and Cam Newton at the same time at Florida. Whether that had a little bit to do it with it or a lot to do with it, I don’t know.”
The fifth-year senior is eighth in the nation in pass efficiency (194.8) and fourth in passing yards per completion (17.1). “You have to be sound,” McCarney said. “If you don’t play with confidence back there, he’ll slice and dice you and make you look silly. …We’re going to have to really bring out A game and anything less than that it could get ugly.”
Sophomore cornerback Kenny Buyers, who came to the program as a walk-on, was beaten deep last week and also was called for pass interference. Safety Marcus Trice is an Oklahoma transfer. North Texas has four interceptions, but has given up 11 pass plays of 23 or more yards this season, including three for 50 or more.
“They might have given up some big plays,” Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, “but bow their neck in the red zone.”
Opponents are converting 42.5 percent on third downs against the Mean Green, which ranks 88th in the nation in third down defense.
“Their defense in general you can tell they have a lot of guys that want it,” Georgia receiver Rantavious Wooten said. “They’re very simple in what they do. They just play football and they try to get after it and play hard and hope that they win.”