Athens, GA – Todd Gurley struck for 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns, adding a 100-yard kickoff return for another score, as the No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs topped the Buffalo Bulls, 45-23, in the first-ever meeting between the schools at Sanford Stadium.
"There's no such thing as a bad victory. We are thankful for the win," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "I want to congratulate Buffalo for the effort. They played extremely well. 1-0 is a great thing. We've got some things to clean up, there's no doubt about that.
Aaron Murray totaled 258 yards and three TDs on 15-of-26 passing for the Bulldogs (1-0), looking to improve on a 10-4 mark in 2011 which included an Eastern Division SEC title and a loss in the Outback Bowl to Michigan State.
Tavarres King led all receivers with 117 yards and a score on six receptions, while Michael Bennett and Rantavious Wooten added TD grabs for the hosts.
Alex Zordich threw for 148 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-24 efficiency for the Bulls (0-1), coming off a 3-9 campaign a year ago.
"There are no moral victories. We line up, we play and we want to win," said Buffalo head coach Jeff Quinn. "That being said, there are things that we can take away from this game. We play these games for national exposure, to be able to play against a great team. I'm proud that these players fought hard and make some plays."
Zordich added 83 yards and one rushing score on 14 carries, complementing a 112-yard, one-TD performance from Branden Oliver. Alex Neutz added 52 yards and a score on five catches in defeat.
Woods dove in the end zone to haul in a 38-yard pass from Murray on the first series of the second half and Georgia led 31-16. It capped an 82-yard drive completed in six plays.
Murray hit Bennett in the back of the end zone early in the fourth to make it 38-16, then Gurley put the game away on Georgia's next touch with a 55-yard touchdown scamper.
Zordich took it himself for a 2-yard score with 4:08 remaining, and the Bulldogs killed the clock on their final possession to lock up the victory.
Gurley's 10-yard TD run capped Georgia's opening drive, but Buffalo countered on its ensuing possession with a 16-yard connection from Zordich to Neutz. The extra point failed and it was 7-6 for the hosts.
On the kickoff, Gurley shook several tacklers up the middle and danced his way down the left sideline for a 100-yard return and 14-6 edge.
"That electrified the fans and it electrified me, too. That was fun to watch," Richt added.
Georgia kicker Marshall Morgan pushed a 45-yarder wide right with 90 seconds left in the first quarter, but he connected from 35 yards early in the second for a 17-6 game.
Murray then connected for a 63-yard score with King for an 18-point spread, but the Bulls countered with 2:12 remaining in the half on a 2-yard TD run from Oliver.
After holding the hosts to a 3-and-out, Cordero Dixon's 33-yard return set Buffalo up near midfield and Patrick Clarke connected from 18 yards out to send the visitors to the break down 24-16.
Georgia posted 485 yards of total offense to 347 for Buffalo ... Bennett picked up 76 yards on five grabs, and Wooten ended with 45 yards on two catches ... Jimmy Gordon totaled 63 yards on three receptions for the Bulls ... Both programs are in action next Saturday, as Georgia heads to Missouri and Buffalo hosts Morgan State.