GAME COVERAGE -
Georgia came still a little chapped it didn’t get a shot to play for the national title, and the Bulldogs kept coming and coming and coming.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW...
Fourth-ranked Georgia beat the No. 10 Warriors 41-10 by battering Hawaii’s Colt Brennan and brutalizing the nation’s No. 1 scoring offense.
Led by senior defensive end Marcus Howard, the Bulldogs sacked Brennan a school bowl-record eight times while holding the Warriors to 36 points below their season scoring average. Howard tied the BCS bowl record with three sacks and then helped dump ice water on head coach Mark Richt when the outcome was sealed.
A Louisiana Superdome crowd of 74,383, more than 50,000 of whom were Georgia fans, watched the Warriors suffer their first loss of the season. Brennan, a Heisman Trophy finalist, finished 22-of-38 passing for a career-worst 169 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions and two lost fumbles. He left the game after being sacked by Geno Atkins early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs (11-2) set a new school record for points in a bowl game and won their seventh straight this season, giving the seniors the 40th win of their careers. The Warriors (12-1), who had minus-5 yards rushing, became the first of three non-BCS teams to make a BCS bowl game to lose.
Fittingly, Georgia put the game away on defense when Howard sacked Brennan, forcing a fumble that Howard recovered in the end zone to give the Bulldogs as 31-3 lead with 8:57 left in the third quarter. Howard later tipped a Brennan pass that led to a Dannell Ellerbe interception.
Hawaii’s mostly overlooked defense held up better than its offense but only because the offense looked so bad. Georgia punted twice in the game’s first three quarters and finished with 336 yards of total offense.
Senior running back Thomas Brown led the way with 73 yards on 19 carries but almost everybody got in on the act eventually. Freshman running back Knowshon Moreno gained 61 yards on nine carries to give him 1,334 for the season, the most by any Georgia back since Mark Richt became head coach in 2001. Moreno also had two touchdowns.
Hawaii coach June Jones worried all week that his team would be shell-shocked by the atmosphere of this game, and his concern proved prophetic. The Warriors got the ball to start the game and had committed two penalties, a delay of game and an illegal motion, before they snapped the ball the first time.
The Warriors trailed 41-3 at the start of the fourth quarter and didn’t get any offense going until after Brennan had been replaced by back Tyler Graunke. Graunke threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen in the fourth quarter.
Georgia set a new BCS bowl game record for interceptions (four) and turnovers forced (six) when Asher Allen picked off a Graunke pass with 7:39 left in the game.