NCAA Game Summary - Georgia Southern at Georgia|
(Saturday, August 30th)
Final Score: (1) Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 21
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Knowshon Moreno rushed for three touchdowns and
Matthew Stafford passed for two scores, as top-ranked Georgia opened its
season with a 45-21 triumph over Georgia Southern.
Starting the season No. 1 for the first time in school history, the Bulldogs
(1-0) showed plenty of firepower continuing from a spectacular finish to the
2007 campaign. Georgia went 11-2, including a 41-10 thrashing of Hawaii in the
Sugar Bowl last season.
Stafford completed 13-of-21 passes for a career-high 275 yards, and Moreno,
coming off a season in which he scored 14 times on 1,334 rushing yards, ran
for 59 yards on Saturday.
"I thought we played pretty well, but we had penalties and turned the ball
over," said Stafford. "We weren't perfect with our execution, and I missed a
couple of reads. Other than that, I thought we played well. It was good to
finally get out here and play in front of our fans. It got loud when they
called out that we were No. 1."
Antonio Henton connected on 10-of-18 passes for 102 yards with a TD and an
interception for Georgia Southern (0-1). Lee Chapple went 9-of-18 for 86 yards
through the air, and also ran for a score.
Moreno scored on a two-yard run just 2:40 into the game, and a 53-yard field
goal by Blair Walsh extended the lead to 10-0 less than four minutes later.
Jesse Hartley missed a 56-yard field goal for the Eagles later in the first,
and Georgia Southern squandered another scoring opportunity early in the
second. The Eagles took over in Georgia territory after a fumble, but Dannell
Ellerbe intercepted Henton in the end zone in the opening minute of the
Stafford then found Kris Durham over the middle for a 61-yard TD pass with
12:38 left before the half. Moreno punched in a three-yard run for a 24-0
margin, just 24 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
It took Georgia just two plays to score to open the third with Moreno rumbling
24 yards to the end zone. Stafford hit Demiko Goodman with a five-yard TD pass
later in the quarter, before Chapple broke the shutout with a one-yard scoring
run with 4:27 left in the same stanza.
"Once in the red zone, we have to put the ball into the end zone for
touchdowns," said Chapple. "We were happy how we played against the No. 1
team, but a loss is a loss. It was a thrill to score a touchdown. Growing up
in Georgia, it was a dream of mine to score a touchdown in this stadium."
Samair Baker scored on a two-yard run for Georgia Southern early in the fourth
before Georgia's Joe Cox passed three yards to A.J. Green for a score with
Henton's 34-yard TD connection to Leander Barney with 1:45 left capped the
Freshman tailback Caleb King led Georgia with 12 carries for 95
yards...Georgia's new mascot, Uga VII, made his debut for the Bulldogs...Uga
VI posted the most wins of any bulldog in school history with a record of
87-27 from 1999-2007...The Bulldogs own an all-time Sanford Stadium record of
302-103-1 including 64-15-1 in home openers. Georgia has won its home opener
12 consecutive years...Under head coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs are 31-2
against non-conference foes including 21-0 in Sanford Stadium. The last time
Georgia lost a non-conference game at home was during the 2000
season to Georgia Tech...Georgia is 4-0 all-time against the Eagles...Georgia
hosts Central Michigan next Saturday, while Georgia Southern is at home versus
Austin Peay...Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens left the game in the opening
quarter with a right knee injury...Georgia has now won its last 12 season
08/30 17:58:01 ET