Brown returning to role of starter

NEW ORLEANS --- Hawaii coach June Jones expects to see some new offensive wrinkles from Georgia in tonight's Sugar Bowl, but that won't change his team's top priority on defense.


"The thing we're going to have to do is tackle that running back," Jones said.

No. 4 Georgia's starting running back will be senior Thomas Brown, not first-team All-SEC selection Knowshon Moreno.

The SEC Freshman of the Year still hasn't fully recovered from a left ankle injury sustained Nov. 24 against Georgia Tech, coach Mark Richt said Monday.

Brown's practice performance and Moreno being "a little banged up," were the reasons for Brown making his first start since Oct. 6 against Tennessee.

"Thomas was our starter in the beginning of the year. He's our senior leader, and he's performed as well as anybody on our football team," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "Even if you were going game by game performances, who should start between Knowshon and Thomas, because they are so close in ability and productivity, you probably would have started Thomas anyway."

Moreno is the SEC's second-leading rusher with 1,273 yards on 239 carries and 12 touchdowns. His yards are the fourth-most ever by an SEC freshman.

Brown had 139 yards on 17 carries against Georgia Tech after Moreno was injured.

Brown rushed for 739 yards on 129 carries in nine games this season. He started the first six before breaking his collarbone against Tennessee.

Brown averages 5.5 yards per carry, while Moreno averages 5.3.

Richt said that Moreno hasn't practiced at full speed but looked pretty good recently.

"We'll see as he gets contact, how he's going to react to it," Richt said.



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