ATHENS, Ga. -- For the first time this season, there is a new leader in DawgNation’s weekly Georgia power rankings.
After outside linebacker Jarvis Jones missed Saturday night’s 29-24 win against Kentucky with a sprained ankle -- following several games where he was slowed by a groin injury -- Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray jumps past his All-American teammate in this week’s rankings.
Murray set a couple of career highs and broke David Greene’s school record for career touchdown passes -- Murray now has 75 -- so he enters this Saturday’s crucial showdown with No. 2 Florida on a bit of a roll.
Here is the full list after seven games (last week’s rank in parentheses):
1. Aaron Murray (2): Murray kept a sometimes-struggling Georgia offense afloat against Kentucky, setting career highs for completions (30) and passing yards (427) as he finished 30-for-38 for 427 yards and four touchdowns against the Wildcats. His 78.95-percent completion rate also set a new single-game school record for a quarterback with at least 30 completions. The 427 yards were the sixth-best single-game total for a Georgia quarterback and rank second in the SEC this season behind Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel’s 453 against Arkansas.
2. Jarvis Jones (1): Jones’ upside is as high as anyone’s in the SEC, but he has not been himself for several weeks because of nagging injuries. Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday he thinks Jones will be able to play against Florida, but he would not make any guarantees. The Bulldogs desperately need the pass rush they can get from a healthy Jones, who notched four sacks against Florida a season ago.
3. Todd Gurley (3): After consecutive disappointing outings, Gurley is in jeopardy of falling on this list. He still leads the team with 622 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, with his rushing total placing him sixth in the SEC, but the Bulldogs need more than the 12 carries for 47 yards that he posted against Kentucky when they square off with Florida.
4. Alec Ogletree (7): Ogletree is back to being a highly active presence on Georgia’s defense. With 11 tackles against Kentucky, he led the Bulldogs for the seventh time in his last eight games played. He also made a key third-down stop in the second half, blowing up a reverse for a 6-yard loss.
5. Tavarres King (8): King rebounded from a series of relatively quiet games with an explosive night against Kentucky. He scored the Bulldogs’ first two touchdowns -- on catches of 66 and 1 yards and finished with a career-high nine catches for 188 yards.
6. John Jenkins (4): Jenkins and Georgia’s defensive front were surprisingly ineffective against a Kentucky offense that had been punchless in SEC play. Jenkins finished with three tackles against the Wildcats.
7. Shawn Williams (6): The senior safety had an up-and-down night, although he tied for second on the team with 10 tackles and also broke up a pass. He leads the team and is tied for 16th in the SEC with an average of 7.3 tackles per game (51 in seven games).
8. Keith Marshall (5): Like fellow freshman tailback Gurley, Marshall had his second consecutive quiet outing. Marshall rushed six times for 23 yards with a long of just 8 -- far from the explosive playmaking skills he displayed in a couple of Georgia’s previous games.
9. Marlon Brown (9): Brown finished with a respectable four catches for 43 yards against Kentucky, although he was no doubt kicking himself for letting a wide-open deep ball slip through his hands. That cost him a probable touchdown.
10. Amarlo Herrera (10): Herrera lost the team tackles lead to Williams (he has 50 where Williams has 51) after recording just three stops against Kentucky. Herrera is 18th in the SEC with 7.1 tackles per game.