Homecoming bittersweet for North grad Uzomah

ATHENS -- To those who don't know C.J. Uzomah, it might seem a bit strange that the first time Auburn receiver contributed to a touchdown in his college career would be by throwing a pass.

But as any North Gwinnett fan could point out, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound true freshman, who has seen action primarily on special teams throughout the Tigers' first nine games, was quite adept at it in high school, throwing 17 of them while splitting time between quarterback and receiver during his career with the Bulldogs.

The 4-yard touchdown pass Uzomah threw to another Georgia native -- Marietta's Philip Lutzenkirchen -- briefly tied the game in the first quarter of the Tigers' 45-7 loss to Georgia on Saturday at Sanford Stadium wasn't his first pass attempt of his brief career at Auburn.

But it was his first completion, and while the rest of the game didn't go quite the way he or his teammates had hoped, the play made his first visit home as a college player memorable.

"It was surreal, really," said Uzomah, who came into the game 0 of 2 with an interception in his previous two pass attempts. "It was really a great feeling (with the touchdown coming) in my home state. Obviously, it wasn't the result we were looking for, but we're looking to build off this and come back next week with a positive attitude."

Another one for the books

A week after writing his name in the Georgia record books with five touchdown passes against New Mexico State, quarterback Aaron Murray added another chapter early in the second quarter of Saturday's game.

His second TD toss of the game, a 15-yard swing pass to fullback Bruce Figgins, was his 26th of the season, giving him the school's single-season mark in that category by breaking the old mark of 25 set by Matthew Stafford in 2008.

Murray entered the game having already matched his career high set last season, a mark that now stands tied with Joe Cox, D.J. Shockley ands Eric Zeier for third on the all-time list.

Not so happy homecoming

Saturday's game was not only a return to Georgia for Uzomah, Lutzenkirchen and nine other Georgia players, it was also a homecoming for Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

A 1982 Central Gwinnett grad and former All-ACC linebacker at Georgia Tech, Roof is in his second season on Gene Chizik's staff.

As happy as he always is to return to Georgia, Saturday wasn't exactly the type of homecoming he was hoping for or expecting.

"You've got to drive through Lawrenceville to get here," said Roof, who helped Tech to a 2-2 record against Georgia in his playing days, and is 4-2 against the Bulldogs as an assistant coach at Tech and Auburn. "I've coached and played against (Georgia) for a long time now. But it's the South's oldest rivalry, and we didn't do a very good job (Saturday). It's just very disappointing."


After sitting out last week's win over New Mexico State on suspension -- and the media frenzy surrounding it -- this Saturday was considerably better for running backs Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas.

The duo combined for 259 of Georgia's 304 rushing yards, and gave the Bulldogs two 100-yard rushers in a game since two other troubled running backs now no longer with the program -- GAC grad Caleb King and Washaun Ealey -- did it against Georgia Tech two years ago.

As happy as coach Mark Richt was about both players' performance, he is even more pleased with they way he believes both have learn from the suspension.

"I like the way they played, no doubt," Richt said. "But I liked the way they handled their discipline. They really worked hard that week (of the suspension). ... Instead of sitting there watching practice with their arms folded, they were working, and it might have helped them (Saturday) being in better physical condition. But ... you could tell they wanted to make up for their mistakes."

zBogotay gets his kicks

Mark Richt continued the alternating placekicking rotation between Blair Walsh and Brandon Bogotay he started last week, with the two, for the most part, handling every other extra points on Georgia's six touchdowns.

But Bogotay experienced a first when he booted a 26-yard field goal late just past the midway point of the third quarter.

It was the first of the senior's career after he missed on his only previous attempt last year.