Hawaii
Georgia
10 - 41 Final
  for this game

Moreno, Georgia outclass Hawaii in convincing win

Jan 2, 2008 - 7:47 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Hawaii came from the Western Athletic Conference to crash the BCS party, and Georgia showed them exactly why they didn't belong.

Knowshon Moreno rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, and the defense terrorized Colt Brennan all night as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs cruised to a 41-10 victory over 10th-ranked Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, who led the Southeastern Conference with 34 sacks during the regular season, sacked Brennan eight times and forced him into two fumbles and three interceptions.

The senior quarterback, who holds NCAA career records in touchdown passes and completion percentage, failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his collegiate career when attempting more than two passes.

"I'm sure this (game) opens it up for all the analysts to take their shots at me, and that's life," said Brennan, who was 22-of-38 for 169 yards. "We got blasted (by Georgia), and I'm sure that's what everybody wanted."

Matthew Stafford completed 14-of-23 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown for Georgia (11-2), which finishes the season with seven consecutive wins and is now 2-1 all-time in BCS Bowl games.

Moreno - a redshirt freshman - continued his stellar rookie campaign by rushing for 17- and 11-yard touchdowns on the Bulldogs' first two offensive possessions.

"We wanted to start fast," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We wanted to send a message that resonated the rest of the game."

Moreno, who was not even named as the starter until Georgia's seventh game, finishes the season ranked fourth in SEC history in yards by a freshman running back with 1,333 - behind Herschel Walker, Jamal Lewis and Emmitt Smith.

"The offensive line and the receivers should get all the credit," Moreno said. "They made big holes all day. They made it easy for me."

The Warriors (12-1), who went undefeated during the regular season against some questionable competition, were clearly inferior athletically to the Bulldogs, who dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Georgia's front four forced Brennan - a Heisman Trophy finalist the past two seasons - to throw mostly quick slants and swing passes with the defense rarely allowing him to set his feet. He averaged just 4.4 yards per attempt despite entering the contest with an 8.8 mark.

"Georgia was much faster than we expected," Brennan said. "They were very fast and very physical. The SEC is probably the fastest conference in all of college football. We got a taste of that.

"I'm sure some will say I got beat up, that I'm a waste of time (for NFL consideration). Luckily, the days will come for me to get some redemption. It just takes one NFL team to believe in me."

Hawaii, which averages over 450 yards per game through the air, managed 311 yards passing while totaling minus-5 yards on the ground.

Senior defensive end Marcus Howard highlighted the pressure on the Warriors when he broke through the line and sacked Brennan in the end zone, forcing a fumble which he then recovered for a touchdown to push the score to 31-3 and put the game out of reach with 8:57 remaining in the third quarter. It was Howard's third sack of the contest.

"We really got after Colt Brennan," said Howard, who was named MVP of the Sugar Bowl. "Our defensive backs knew their routes. The defensive line knew (Hawaii) was going to pass, so we just pinned our ears back."

Sophomore cornerback Asher Allen was the star of the Georgia secondary, pulling down a pair of interceptions.

"(Brennan) is a very good quarterback," Allen said. "If we don't get pressure on him, it would've been a nasty game. We were urged to get pressure on him and keep him out of his rhythm. We re-routed the receivers. All those things added up for us."

Bulldogs kicker Brandon Coutu got in on the rout as well, setting a BCS Bowl record in the second quarter when he nailed a 52-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 17-3 with 9:36 left in the half.

After Prince Miller intercepted Brennan on his first pass attempt of Hawaii's next possession, Stafford guided a 42-yard drive and capped it off with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Sean Bailey to make it 24-3 going into the break.

The Warriors finally got into the end zone behind backup quarterback Tyler Graunke, who completed 13-of-19 attempts for 142 yards, a touchdown and an interception in fourth-quarter relief of a banged-up Brennan.

"We couldn't get in any rhythm. We couldn't get it going," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "Georgia has a lot of good players, and when you have that, you've got to keep pace."