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NCAA Game Summary - Georgia at Auburn



(Saturday, November 15th)

Final Score: (13) Georgia 17, Auburn 13

Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdown passes and Knowshon Moreno ran for 131 yards, but 13th-ranked Georgia needed a last-minute defensive stop to pull out a 17-13 victory over Auburn at Jordan- Hare Stadium.

Stafford completed 15-of-24 passes for 215 yards for the Bulldogs (9-2, 6-2 SEC), who have won two straight and will close the regular season on November 29 against Georgia Tech. Georgia's only two losses have come against Alabama and Florida -- two of the top three teams in the nation.

Mario Fannin ran for a score and caught a touchdown pass from Kodi Burns, who threw for 179 yards on 16-of-30 passing in defeat.

Auburn (5-6, 2-5), coming off last week's victory over Tennessee-Martin of the FCS, has lost five of its last six and needs a victory on November 29 at Alabama in the Iron Bowl to qualify for a bowl game. The Tigers last failed to reach a bowl game in 1999 -- Tommy Tuberville's first season as head coach.

"I thought it was a heck of an effort by both teams," said Tuberville. "We just didn't make a few opportunities work for us on offense. Just off the back of my head, four times in the red zone and we didn't come away with any points. That can't happen in a game like that. We knew it would come down to the wire."

Trailing by four thanks to a botched extra point snap in the first quarter, Auburn needed a touchdown to win the game and took possession for the last time with 1:52 remaining from its own 20.

Burns kept the drive alive early with a 14-yard run on 3rd-and-5 and added a 17-yard run on 3rd-and-4 moments later to give the Tigers a first down at the Georgia 38. After a pass interference penalty and a nine-yard pass, Burns threw incomplete into the end zone from the 14 on the next two plays and the Bulldogs escaped with the win.

"We are thankful for the victory," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "A bunch of guys didn't flinch in the end. Either team could have won, it was a close game; another SEC brawl."

Auburn trailed 10-6 late in the third quarter, but embarked on a 90-yard drive to take the lead. Faced with 4th-and-1 from his own 19, Burns converted the first down on a quarterback sneak to end the third. Burns then threw for 10 yards on 3rd-and-5 and added a 21-yard pass to Gabe McKenzie on the next play, setting up Fannin's 35-yard touchdown jaunt three plays later. The zig-zag run gave the Tigers a 13-10 advantage with 11:05 remaining.

Georgia took over on its own 40 after the kickoff went out of bounds and needed just six plays to reclaim the lead. After a pass interference penalty and a delay of game against Auburn set the march in motion, Stafford and Moreno hooked up for a seven-yard gain to convert 3rd-and-4. Two plays later, A.J. Green made a leaping catch in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown with 8:24 to play to give the Bulldogs a 17-13 edge.

"It was a play we have been working on," said Stafford of the go-ahead scoring pass. "Earlier in the season, we ran the exact same play and he was wide open in the end zone but the ball was dropped. I'm glad he got a chance to run it again. He made a great catch. I didn't make such a great throw, but he did a good job of going up and getting it."

The Tigers then drove to the Georgia 21, but Burns threw incomplete on 4th- and-3. The Bulldogs managed to trim more than three minutes off the clock before punting it back to Auburn, setting up the final frenetic moments.

"We really did a good job of moving the ball, but what killed us was that we couldn't finish," said Burns.

Georgia took the opening kickoff and marched from its own 17 to the Auburn 10 thanks to a pair of Moreno carries for 31 yards and two passes from Stafford to Green for 37. Moreno picked up eight yards on two more carries before Stafford threw incomplete on third down, but the Bulldogs came away empty when Blair Walsh had his 21-yard field goal attempt blocked.

"That first drive was really beautiful; it covered 75 to 80 yards," Richt said. "We got down in there and had a chance but Auburn, to their credit, kept us out."

After a punt pinned the Bulldogs at their own six, Moreno led another drive that crossed midfield and reached the Auburn 40. It stalled again, though, as an offensive pass interference penalty wiped out a 14-yard gain and forced a punt.

Auburn again went nowhere, but Prince Miller muffed the ensuing punt and the Tigers recovered at their own 48-yard line. It took just one play for the Auburn offense to capitalize.

Fannin caught a pass down the right sideline at the Georgia 35 and turned it into a 52-yard score as he weaved through the Bulldog defense and dove into the left front corner of the end zone. The Tigers botched the snap on the extra point and led 6-0 with 14 seconds to play in the first quarter.

Minus the scoring play, the Tigers were outgained 137-32 in the first period.

Auburn drove to the Georgia 14 early in the second quarter, but a holding penalty negated a Fannin nine-yard carry to the five and Burns simply had the ball slip out of his hand while trying to throw on the next play. Geno Atkins recovered the fumble for Georgia to end the threat.

A trade of punts left the Bulldogs with the ball at midfield and they quickly cashed in on the short field. After Stafford hit Green for 11 yards and Moreno ran for four, Stafford threw a screen pass to Moreno, who found room down the left sideline and took advantage of a few key blocks for a 35-yard score. The extra point gave Georgia a 7-6 lead with 3:08 to play in the half.

Auburn had time and a penalty on the kickoff allowed the Tigers to start from their own 40. A facemask penalty later tacked on 15 yards, but Auburn could not take advantage as a 42-yard field goal try by Wes Byrum with 23 seconds remaining missed wide right.

Georgia's first drive of the second half ended in a fourth-down incomplete pass at the Auburn 29-yard line. The Tigers went backward on their next series and the Bulldogs went back on offense from the Auburn 49 after a punt. A 25- yard pass from Stafford to Mohamed Massaquoi set up a 27-yard field goal by Walsh to give Georgia a 10-6 edge with 1:48 left in the third quarter.

Game Notes

The Bulldogs finished 5-0 on the road this year...Georgia outgained Auburn 351-303...Moreno, who carried 22 times, finished with four catches for 58 yards to account for 189 scrimmage yards...Fannin compiled 59 yards on eight carries and added four receptions for 48 yards...Burns ran for 28 yards on 14 carries...Auburn leads the Deep South's oldest rivalry, which dates back to 1892, 53-51-8...Auburn completed its home schedule with a record of 4-3.

11/15 18:20:50 ET


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