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NCAA Game Summary - Georgia at South Carolina



(Saturday, September 13th)

Final Score: (2) Georgia 14, South Carolina 7

Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Knowshon Moreno scored the game-winning touchdown as the second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs held on to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks, 14-7, in SEC action.

Moreno finished the game with 79 yards on 20 carries while Matt Stafford went 15-for-25 with 146 yards along with 15 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs (3-0, 1-0 SEC), who avenged last year's 16-12 loss at the hands of South Carolina.

"I can say with all honesty, my gut has churched more in this series, and on this field, than any other times since I have been at Georgia," said Georgia coach Mark Richt. "Our defense knew they would have to rise up. We found a way to win, and I am so thankful. We're 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference against an outstanding defense."

Chris Smelley finished 23-for-39 with 271 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Moe Brown hauled in seven balls for 130 yards and a score for the Gamecocks (1-2, 0-2), who have dropped their past two games.

"I'm proud of the effort of our guys, I told them it could have definitely been worse," said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. "And Moe Brown made some nice catches and made the only touchdown of the game."

After exchanging punts to start the second half, Georgia, trailing 7-6, took the lead. The Bulldogs got into Gamecocks territory on the first play of the drive thanks to a 21-yard catch by Demiko Goodman and a 15-yard personal foul penalty on South Carolina.

On a 2nd-and-10 play later in the march, Stafford took the ball on a quarterback keeper and rushed 30 yards down to the South Carolina four-yard line. On the next play, Moreno rushed the ball to the left side, cut sharply to make one defender miss and the fought through two other tacklers to get into the end zone. Stafford connected with Kris Durham for the two-point conversion and a 14-7 lead with 5:12 left in the third.

"We had to score," said Richt. "Thankfully, we got the two. That could have made all the difference in the game."

On its first touch of the fourth quarter, South Carolina put together an impressive drive as the team drove the length of the field and earned a 1st- and-goal. However, Mike Davis took a pitchout to the left and attempted to dive over the pile from a yard out, but he was hit in mid-air and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by Georgia in the end zone to give the Bulldogs the ball at their 20-yard line.

"We tried once to get the ball in along the goal line but just couldn't get it in," said Spurrier.

The Gamecocks held the Bulldogs, though, and forced a punt. Brian Mimbs punted a beauty as it hit the ground and rolled several more yards for a 77-yard boot to force South Carolina back to its own 11-yard line with 6:23 to play.

On the first play of the drive, a blown coverage resulted in Jared Cook being wide open and Smelley connected with him for 34 yards. Then at the Georgia 40 on 1st-and-10, Smelley and Freddie Brown hooked up for nine yards, but the next three passes went incomplete and the ball was turned over on downs.

After again stopping Georgia, South Carolina had one last chance to tie the game and drove all the way down to the Georgia 17, but Reshad Jones picked off a Smelley pass to seal the victory.

After a sloppy first quarter that saw several penalties and little offense between the two teams, Georgia got on the scoreboard early in the second quarter.

After getting the ball back with under two minutes to play in the first, the Bulldogs faced a 3rd-and-12 at their own 15, but a pass interference call on South Carolina moved the chains. Later in the drive on 3rd-and-7 in Gamecocks territory, Moreno contributed an 11-yard rush for a first down. The drive stalled and, after Durham dropped a pass in the end zone, Blair Walsh pushed through a 42-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

South Carolina quickly answered to take the lead. On 3rd-and-7, Smelley hit Moe Brown over the middle for 19 yards to get the ball into Georgia territory. Two plays later, Smelley again connected with Brown, this time on a bomb down the left sideline that Brown hauled in and took into the end zone on a 34-yard score. After Ryan Succop's extra point, the Gamecocks had a 7-3 lead with 8:42 left in the second.

On the ensuing possession, Georgia controlled the ball for the remainder of the half, but was unable to take the lead. Georgia faced a 3rd-and-21 after a sack and a holding call, but Stafford found A.J. Green down the right sideline and put the ball into the receiver's hands between two defenders for a 39-yard play. Facing a 1st-and-goal at the five-yard line, Georgia was unable to get the ball into the end zone as Stafford was stopped on a third down play at the one-yard line and the team had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Walsh to make it a 7-6 game heading into the locker room.

Game Notes

It was Moreno's seventh touchdown of the season...The Bulldogs are 45-14-2 in the series with South Carolina...Cook finished the game with three catches for 68 yards...Georgia limited South Carolina to just 18 rushing yards on 16 carries...Georgia controlled the ball for over 11 minutes more than South Carolina.

09/13 22:00:36 ET

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