A Tough Day for star QB

David Greene

ATLANTA - A year ago, David Greene was the MVP of the SEC Championship Game.

While it would be an exaggeration to say David Greene was the goat of Georgia's 34-13 loss to LSU Saturday night, his subpar performance was a major factor in the defeat.

Greene finished the game 17-for-41 for 199 yards, but more importantly, threw three interceptions, including two that would prove critical to the Bulldogs' undoing.

"We had great field position a lot of times," Greene said. "We just made a lot of mistakes."

The first pick came during the first quarter, stifling what could have been a gigantic momentum boost for the Bulldogs.

With 9:34 left in the quarter, Sean Jones blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by LSU's Chris Jackson, which Tony Taylor scooped up and returned all the way to the Tigers' 31-yard line.

But on the very first play from scrimmage, Greene tried to throw it into the end zone, but was short. LSU's LaRon Landry picked it off at the 8 to keep the game scoreless.

"That hurt the momentum, definitely," Greene said. "Coach (Mark Richt) wanted a different play than was called. I read it, saw the two safeties. I should have hit (the receiver) earlier."

Said Richt: "I don't know for sure what happened. But it definitely hurt."

Greene's struggles continued in the third quarter. With the Bulldogs starting on the LSU 43, a run for no yards and two straight incompletions by Greene forced Georgia to settle for Billy Bennett's 49-yard field goal, cutting LSU's lead to 17-6 with 7:46 left in the period.

After forcing the Tigers to punt, Georgia took over at its 11. After a 6-yard pass to Fred Gibson, Greene threw the ball right into the arms of LSU linebacker Lionel Turner, who returned it 18 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 24-6, effectively ending any comeback hopes by the Dogs.

"The guy made a great play," Greene said. "It was a slant play. Nine out of 10 times, I'd still try to make that play. The guy tipped it up and caught it."

Greene struggled during the first meeting with LSU as the Tigers threw constant blitzes at him. Though Greene faced less pressure, he threw far less than the season-high 314 yards he had during the first matchup.

Greene added a third interception with 3:35 left in the game, when LSU's Jack Hunt picked him off at the Georgia 44.

"It hurts," Greene said. "We tried to go out and play the best we can. Obviously, you hope to make a few plays. But I feel I left it all on the field."

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