Sanford roars for Dawgs in win

Reporter
Posted Oct 3, 2004


ATHENS — On the same day Georgia quarterback set a school record for touchdown passes, the No. 3 Bulldogs actually rushed for more yards than they threw for in a 45-16 win over LSU.

The Bulldogs had 49 carries for 221 yards, and freshman Danny Ware became the first player to rush for more than 100 yards against LSU since ArkansasCedric Cobbs had 169 last season. Cobbs was the only back to gain more than 100 against the Tigers last season.

“The thing I’m most pleased about looking back on it is being able to run the ball against a defense like that,” Coach Mark Richt said. “We did run the ball better than I thought we could.”

Freshman Thomas Brown had 81 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries for an average of 6.2 yards per carry. Overall, Georgia averaged 4.5 yards per rush, and most of its damage came off the left side.

Center Russ Tanner said the Tigers were slanting to the right to defend against the Bulldogs’ sprint draw so Georgia ran back against the grain.

“The line was just picking up everybody,” said Ware, who left the game for a short time to get stitches in his head, “and it looked good over there.”

Not only did Georgia’s offensive line open up holes for the running game. It also held LSU to just one sack after giving up 10 in two games last year.

JEAN-GILLES EXAMINED: All-SEC offensive guard Max Jean-Gilles injured his knee in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game. He was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for an MRI.

“We don’t think he has an ACL (tear) or anything that serious,” Richt said.

Tanner said Jean-Gilles didn’t appear to be hurt badly and walked away from the injury under his own power.

EXTRA MOTIVATION: In the week leading up to game, Georgia’s players said they weren’t too concerned about getting revenge for last season’s two wins by LSU. However, wide receiver Reggie Brown acknowledged after the game that it was a motivating factor during the week.

Someone with the team found a picture on the Internet that showed the Bulldogs’ captains walking to midfield before one of the two games. In place of the Georgia players’ names on the back of the jerseys, it read, "We are LSU’s bleep,” Brown said.

The picture was taped in the back of every locker this week, Brown said.

OOPS: LSU wide receiver Xavier Carter was one of the nation’s most sought-after freshmen last year. He was a consensus five-star player and a PARADE All-American. ESPN ranked him the No. 1 wide receiver in the country.

But he’s still a freshman, and he made a huge freshman mistake in the third quarter. After the Bulldogs went ahead 31-10, Carter caught a Brandon Coutu kickoff 7 yards deep in the end zone. Carter looked like he was trying to bluff a return, but he actually returned the ball to LSU’s 1-yard line before taking a knee.

LSU punted three plays later and Georgia scored again to make it 38-10. Junior Skyler Green replaced Carter on the ensuing kickoff.

“If that had been Coach Richt, wooo,” said Georgia’s Fred Gibson, who has experience returning kickoffs.

MORE RETURNS: Cornerback Tim Jennings won the Bulldogs’ starting punt return job. He didn’t have a great day. On the Tigers’ first punt of the second half, he made a fair catch on the Bulldogs’ 6-yard line, which goes against the traditional wisdom that players aren’t supposed to catch a punt inside the 10-yard line. He fumbled another kick, but it was recovered by Thomas Flowers.

Tyson Browning, who lost his punt return job after the Marshall game two weeks ago, returned kickoffs for the Bulldogs.

SHOCKLEY TIME: Richt opened himself for significant second-guessing when he put backup quarterback D.J. Shockley in on the game’s third series. Georgia had just scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Greene to Reggie Brown. It was the first time in the last three games that the Bulldogs scored a first-half touchdown against the Tigers.

Still, Richt, according to his pregame plan, inserted Shockley on the next series. The junior quarterback vindicated his coach’s decision by leading a 10-play, 66-yard drive that ended in a field goal.

Shockley didn’t return to the game until the first drive of the fourth quarter, when the Bulldogs led by 28 points.

“D.J. did a really nice job,” Richt said. "When he saw (LSU’s) looks, he did exactly what we coach him to do.”

CROWD NOISE: Richt and several Bulldog players mentioned how much they enjoyed Saturday’s raucous crowd.

“It’s the loudest I’ve ever heard it,” Richt said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

Offensive lineman Daniel Inman said, “I can’t put out enough thanks to the fans. This place was crazy.”

TIGER FOLLOWING: LSU brought a big crowd to Sanford Stadium. Tiger fans filled one lower corner of the stadium and the entire new addition, which seats more than 5,000.

BOWLING NEWS: Three of four BCS bowls — Orange, Fiesta and Sugar — were represented at Saturday’s game. The Peach Bowl and Capital One Bowl also were on hand as well.


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