Editor’s note: Each week, the good folks at ESPN Stats and Information will help us take a look inside the numbers that matter prior to Georgia’s games. We’ll share some of their data here on the blog every Friday this fall.
BUFFALO AT GEORGIA
Saturday, 12:21 p.m.
Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
* Georgia begins the season ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll for the 11th consecutive year -- the longest such streak in school history. At No. 6, Georgia has its highest preseason ranking since opening the 2008 season at No. 1.
* Georgia is 30-1 in non-conference home games under Coach Mark Richt with the lone loss coming in 2008 against No. 22 Georgia Tech.
* Georgia is the highest-ranked opponent Buffalo has faced since 2008, when it visited No. 5 Missouri -- the team Georgia will visit next weekend. Missouri won that game 42-21. Buffalo has beaten just one BCS conference school: Rutgers in 2002.
* Buffalo and Georgia have never faced one another. Buffalo is 0-3 against SEC schools and Georgia is 2-1 against members of the MAC. The Bulldogs’ loss came in 1974 against Miami (Ohio).
* Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray is the SEC’s active leader in career completions (447), passing yards (6,198) and touchdown passes (59). He set a new school record with 35 touchdown passes last season.
* Georgia was not terribly effective inside opponents’ 20-yard line last season -- the Bulldogs tied for 60th nationally in red-zone offense by scoring 82 percent of the time -- but Murray is a particularly efficient passer inside the red zone.
He has thrown 83 straight red-zone passes without an interception dating back to Week 5 of 2010. During that span, Murray has 28 red-zone touchdowns and is averaging a touchdown every 2.9 passes.
* Conversely, Murray became a less effective deep passer last season after superstar A.J. Green departed for the NFL. Murray completed 48.4 percent of his passes that traveled 20-plus yards in 2010, but that percentage dropped substantially to 28.8 last season without Green.
* Georgia’s defense was effective by most any measure in 2011, but one of its most eye-opening statistics was its ability to force three-and-out possessions. Georgia forced 60 three-and-outs last season, second only to BCS champion Alabama. The Bulldogs forced at least six three-and-outs in five different games, a total that tied for first among FBS programs.