for this game

Stafford, Moreno lead top-ranked Georgia over Georgia Southern

Aug 30, 2008 - 9:15 PM ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- For the first time in school history, Georgia opened the season as the top program in the country. After the first lap in its quest for the first national championship in 28 years, the Bulldogs looked just the part.

Heisman Trophy hopefuls Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno shined as Georgia won its 12th straight home opener by toppling Georgia Southern, 45-21, on Saturday.

"We got the victory, and that's a great thing for Georgia," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "If you had told me before the game what the outcome would be, regardless of what the score would be, I would have taken it. I was pleased with the victory.

"I am happy to win, even though we made some mistakes. But there were a lot of good things that happened, too. As coaches, when things don't go the way we want, we get bent out of shape, but the victory is good."

Stafford, one of the most decorated quarterbacks in the nation, threw for 275 yards and two scores in under three quarters of action, and was supported by Moreno's three rushing touchdowns.

Moreno was an All-Southeastern Conference selection last year after rushing for 1,396 yards and 14 touchdowns, the best season by a Georgia freshman since Herschel Walker in 1980 - the Bulldogs' last championship season.

Moreno put up less than stellar numbers in this one, collecting 58 yards on eight carries and catching two passes for 53 yards.

"It was fun to finally get out there and make some plays," Moreno said. "We have to go back and look at the tape and learn from our mistakes.

"Mainly, it felt good to be back on the field. We ran the ball hard and made some plays. We have confidence knowing that we have three people who can run the ball and make plays."

Stafford completed 13-of-22 attempts, and his 61-yard scoring strike to Kris Durham with 12:38 left in the second gave the Bulldogs (1-0) a 17-0 lead.

"I thought we played pretty well, but we had penalties and turned the ball over," Stafford said. "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."

The junior gun-slinger passed for 2,523 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season, when the Bulldogs just missed a shot at the national title and eventually took out their frustrations on Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl, sending a message about 2008.

The Bulldogs handed the Warriors a 41-10 drubbing to finish the season with an 11-2 record.

After Moreno ran for two straight scores, Stafford connected with Demiko Goodman for a 5-yard touchdown, ballooning the Bulldogs' advantage to 38-0 with 6:07 left in the third.

"I'll tell you what," Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher said. "You hate to get beat 45-21. Their team speed is phenomenal. Their receivers are bigger than some of our linemen. We had a lot of questions at the beginning of the season. You could tell that our nerves got to us in the red zone."

The offensive outburst welcomed Uga VII, a white English bulldog and son of Uga VI, Georgia's former mascot who died this summer.

The school's new rally leader drew a standing ovation, and university president Michael Adams and athletic director Damon Evans slipped a red collar over the bulldog's head in a pregame ceremony.

Georgia Southern quarterback Antonio Henton, an Ohio State transfer, was 10-for-18 for 102 yards with one touchdown and one interception while running back Darrell Norman finished with 60 rushing yards.

Reserve quarterback Lee Chapple and running back Samair Baker each had rushing touchdowns to cut the Eagles' deficit to 38-14 with 11:33 remaining.

"Our offense moved the ball well," Chapple said. "Once in the red zone, we have to put the ball into the end zone for touchdowns. We were happy how we played against the No. 1 team, but a loss is a loss."

Georgia suffered a potentially serious loss, as starting defensive tackle Jeff Owens left with a right knee injury in the opening quarter. He did not return.

"He hurt his knee and he won't be back anytime soon," Richt said. "We need to take the MRI and the X-rays that we need to take and have certainty later on."








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GA SOUTHERN 0 0 7 14 21
    GEORGIA (1) 10 14 14 7 45 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK), 2:40.
    GEORGIA 7-0
    GEORGIA - FG, BLAIR WALSH 52 YD, 6:35.
    GEORGIA 10-0
    2ND QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KRIS DURHAM 61 YD PASS FROM
    MATTHEW S

    Aug 30 3:48 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GA SOUTHERN
    LEANDER BARNEY 34 YD PASS FROM LEE CHAPPLE
    (JESSE HARTLEY KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 21
    GEORGIA (1) 45 1:45 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Georgia Southern 21, Georgia(1) 45  4th - 1:45Aug 30 3:43 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GEORGIA
    A.J. GREEN 3 YD PASS FROM JOE COX
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 14
    GEORGIA (1) 45 7:46 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Georgia Southern 14, Georgia(1) 45  4th - 7:46Aug 30 3:25 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GA SOUTHERN
    SAMAIR BAKER 2 YD RUN
    (JESSE HARTLEY KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 14
    GEORGIA (1) 38 11:33 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Georgia Southern 14, Georgia(1) 38  4th - 11:33Aug 30 3:15 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GA SOUTHERN 0 0 7 7
    GEORGIA (1) 10 14 14 38 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK), 2:40.
    GEORGIA 7-0
    GEORGIA - FG, BLAIR WALSH 52 YD, 6:35.
    GEORGIA 10-0
    2ND QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KRIS DURHAM 61 YD PASS

    Aug 30 3:05 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GA SOUTHERN
    LEE CHAPPLE 1 YD RUN
    (JESSE HARTLEY KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 7
    GEORGIA (1) 38 4:27 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Georgia Southern 7, Georgia(1) 38  3rd - 4:27Aug 30 2:54 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GEORGIA
    DEMIKO GOODMAN 4 YD PASS FROM MATTHEW STAFFORD
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 38 6:07 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 38  3rd - 6:07Aug 30 2:47 PM


  • NCAAF
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 31 7:15 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 31  3rd - 7:15Aug 30 2:43 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GA SOUTHERN 0 0 0
    GEORGIA (1) 10 14 24 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK), 2:40.
    GEORGIA 7-0
    GEORGIA - FG, BLAIR WALSH 52 YD, 6:35.
    GEORGIA 10-0
    2ND QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KRIS DURHAM 61 YD PASS FROM
    M

    Aug 30 2:03 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GEORGIA
    KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 24 0:24 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 24  2nd - 0:24Aug 30 1:59 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 17  2nd - 3:14Aug 30 1:51 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GEORGIA
    KRIS DURHAM 61 YD PASS FROM MATTHEW STAFFORD
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 17 12:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 17  2nd - 12:38Aug 30 1:22 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GA SOUTHERN 0 0
    GEORGIA (1) 10 10 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GEORGIA - TD, KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK), 2:40.
    GEORGIA 7-0
    GEORGIA - FG, BLAIR WALSH 52 YD, 6:35.
    GEORGIA 10-0

    Aug 30 1:14 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG GEORGIA
    BLAIR WALSH 52 YD
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 10 8:25 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 10  1st - 8:25Aug 30 12:56 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD GEORGIA
    KNOWSHON MORENO 3 YD RUN
    (BLAIR WALSH KICK)
    GA SOUTHERN 0
    GEORGIA (1) 7 12:20 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Georgia Southern 0, Georgia(1) 7  1st - 12:20Aug 30 12:49 PM
  • 5
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Georgia Southern vs. Georgia(1)Aug 29 11:08 PM