Bulldogs look again at Florida game plan

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NEW ORLEANS --- Georgia wouldn't mind a carbon copy showing in tonight's Sugar Bowl against Hawaii of what worked so well in its biggest win of the season: Control the ball on offense and turn those sustained drives into points.

"That's kind of how we were against Florida," Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We knew they could put up points and we were trying to hold the ball and make sure we got seven points."

The Bulldogs entered the game Oct. 27 in Jacksonville, Fla., shooting for a 40-40 game: 40 points and 40 minutes in time of possession.

Georgia notched a 42-30 victory and held onto the ball for more than 32 of 60 minutes.

Hawaii can score points, too. Its run-and-shoot offense leads the nation in scoring at 46.2 points per game.

"If we sustain drives and don't score points, we're not doing anything for the defense," Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "We want to control the game and keep them off the field, but we've got to get points when we have the opportunity."

He said controlling the ball doesn't mean running it every play.

BELIEVING THEY BELONG: The unbeaten Warriors are anxious to see how they match up against one of the elite teams in the SEC.

"We have a chip on our shoulder and are pretty much ready to prove to the world that we're capable of playing this type of caliber (team)," Hawaii receiver Davone Bess said.

Said receiver Jason Rivers: "Georgia's a different kind of team. The conference they play in, they've got a lot of big dudes. There's a lot of running, not as much passing as we do."

The last time Hawaii played an SEC team -- last season against Alabama -- it fell behind 22-3 and lost 25-17.

"We were too jacked up last year when we went to Tuscaloosa," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "We can not afford to do that against Georgia. We have to play like we belong."

DEFENSE MAKES STRIDES: Hawaii's defense doesn't get the attention of its offense, but its slow improvement continued to develop under first-year defensive coordinator Greg McMackin .

The Warriors are 33rd in the nation in total defense at 348.92 yards per game. Hawaii was 93rd in 2006 under former Falcons coach Jerry Glanville .

BLACKOUT: Georgia players took their team picture in the Louisiana Superdome wearing the black jerseys they will don tonight for the second time this season.

Reach Marc Weiszer at marc.weiszer@onlineathens.com.


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