ATHENS — Aaron Murray loves to flash his athleticism. Georgia coach Mark Richt just wants his quarterback to stay healthy.
"A couple of times when he was out of the pocket he could've just simply thrown the ball out of bounds," Richt said. "When he decides to turn it upfield and try to dodge people, he's going to get splattered if he does that over and over."
Murray passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in leading No. 23 Georgia to a 55-7 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
Despite the absence of top receiver A.J. Green, Murray completed 16 of 24 passes for 194 yards in his first college game. Kris Durham caught two TD passes.
Murray ran four times for 41 yards. On a 16-yard scramble down the right sideline near the end of the first half, he reached out to hold the ball inside the front pylon for a 31-7 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs had 8 seconds left when Murray took the snap and saw his receivers covered. Instead of throwing the ball away and giving Georgia a chance for almost certain points with a short field goal, he decided to aim for the goal line.
"I need to work on making decisions," Murray said, "that will always get us points at the end of the half."
Cornerback Jakar Hamilton, who had one of three interceptions, returned a fourth-quarter pick for a 17-yard touchdown that made it 55-7.
Georgia (1-0) visits South Carolina next week.
Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) scored on Chris Masson's 60-yard pass to Ladarius Green late in the second quarter.
Green, a junior All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection last year, watched the game from the sidelines as Georgia awaits an NCAA ruling to clarify his playing status.
The Bulldogs did not announce that Green would miss the game until a few hours before kickoff. The NCAA is investigating if he was one of several players from different schools to attend a party hosted by a sports agent in Miami. Green said he has never been to Miami.
Starting tailback Washaun Ealey, one of nine Georgia players arrested this year, missed the game, too. Richt held him out following police charges of hit and run and driving with a suspended license last week.
Richt indicated after the game that Ealey will play at South Carolina, but the coach declined to comment on Green.
Carlton Thomas rushed 12 times for 61 yards. Caleb King's 20-yard run made it 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Blair Walsh kicked two field goals. His 52-yarder early in the second quarter gave the Bulldogs a 17-0 lead.
Georgia unveiled its 3-4 setup under new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and had three sacks for minus-18 yards and nine tackles for minus-26 yards.
Louisiana-Lafayette finished with 14 yards rushing on 29 attempts.
"We left our defense out there for too long," Cajuns coach Rickey Bustle said. "There's no consistency in the way we played."