Trend in Richt, Murray's Favor

ATHENS – A second-year starting quarterback may be Mark Richt's top weapon coming into 2011.

If a trend continues Georgia will average the most points on offense since Richt arrived in 2001.

Georgia offenses in the Mark Richt era have seen point production jump in the second year of a multi-year starting quarterback by no less than 15% or at least 4.2 points a game.

PPG Since 2001



2001 - 27.9
*2002 - 32.1
2003 - 26.5
2004 - 27.9
2005 - 29.5
2006 - 25.7
*2007 - 32.6
2008 - 31.5
2009 - 28.9
2010 - 32.1

That's good news for Georgia fans because if the current trend continues the Bulldogs will end the season with an average of at least 37.9 points a contest – which would be the most points averaged per game in school history.

Georgia's production on offense flourished in the second year with both David Greene and Matthew Stafford under center. The 2002 Bulldogs scored 15% more than the 2001 Bulldogs did – 32.1 ppg in 2002 to 27.9 ppg in 2001. In 2007, Stafford and company racked up 32.6 ppg – an explosion of 27% better than the 25.7 ppg average in 2006.

If Georgia scored 27% more points in 2011 than in 2010 the Bulldogs would average a whopping 40.8 ppg – which would be one of the highest per game season averages in SEC history.

There could be a case made that a star running back – or at least significant production from the running back position - is the key to point production in Georgia's offense. The statistics back that notion up as well. But running back production does not necessarily lead to an increase in point production.

In 2002, Musa Smith powered the Bulldogs with 101.8 yards per game. In 2007, Knowshon Moreno had 102.6 yards per game. But Moreno's 107.7 yards per game in 2008 didn't lead to a spike in points scored. In fact, the Bulldogs went backwards in 2008 – scoring a point per game less than in 2007. Smith left for the NFL in 2003 – almost certainly one of the reasons the Dawgs limped to 26.5 ppg that year.

So the second-year quarterback appears to be a good thing for Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs. The higher scoring average also meant good things for Georgia's program. Both years the Bulldogs played with a second-year quarterback they won at least 11 games and finished in the top three in national rankings.


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