BATON ROUGE, La. - After serving a three-game suspension to open the season, Georgia running back and former Oconee County standout Tyson Browning returned to action against Louisiana State on Saturday.
And the 5-foot-8, 167 pound sophomore from Watkinsville came back in a big way.
After a relatively quiet second half, Browning was in the backfield as Georgia, trailing 10-3 with 4:25 to play in the game, faced a first-and-17 from the Bulldog 7 yard line. Instead of throwing deep to one of Georgia's receivers, quarterback David Greene turned to his left and threw a simple screen pass to Browning.
What looked like a short pass play quickly turned into something big as Browning eluded a couple of tackles and got some great blocking from his teammates. As he ran down the sideline, teammate Damien Gary delivered the final block near the 30 that cleared the runway, allowing Browning to take off for the 93-yard touchdown.
"Once I saw Damien Gary make that key block, I knew I was gone after that," Browning said. "Everybody did their job and that made my job easy.
"Everybody that comes to college to play football lives to make a play like that."
After entering the game on the third play of Georgia's opening drive, Browning wound up carrying the ball three times for 20 yards - highlighted by a 13-yard burst up the middle for a first down. He finished with 104 receiving yards on two catches - the 93-yarder late and an 11-yard reception in the first quarter that gave the Bulldogs a first down on its first scoring drive.
In the first half, Browning saw about as much action as Cooper, while Kregg Lumpkin had one carry for no gain and Powell never took the field.
With the offense struggling to move the ball in the second half, the Bulldogs opted to pass much more than run, and starter Michael Cooper got all of the carries that were available.
Browning didn't touch the ball until he scored the game-tying touchdown.
"I'm kind of categorized as a scat-back, and (the offense) tried to use me where they could today," Browning said. "We had a good plan coming in, we just didn't execute it very well."
At least not until the end. When, after having to sit and watch for three weeks, he got a chance to perhaps make amends for his poor judgment in the spring.
"It killed me to have to sit and watch for three weeks, knowing that I could contribute to this team," Browning said. "I feel like I played a good game today, but it doesn't really matter with the loss."
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