Bulldogs pound last unbeaten

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Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno fends off a Hawaii defender on his way to a 17-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Moreno rushed for two touchdowns in the first half of the game.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno fends off a Hawaii defender on his way to a 17-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Moreno rushed for two touchdowns in the first half of the game.

NEW ORLEANS - There was no repeat of the Boise State Miracle. The Georgia Bulldogs were simply too big, too fast and too strong for the team from paradise.


Hawaii's bid at perfection ended with a thud in the Sugar Bowl, where the black-clad Bulldogs took out their frustration at getting passed over for a shot at the BCS championship with a 41-10 rout of Colt Brennan and the overmatched Warriors on Tuesday night.


Getting a headstart on next season on the first day of the new year, No. 4 Georgia (11-2) established itself as a leading contender in 2008 with a total whippin' of the 10th-ranked Warriors (12-1), who cracked the BCS with an unbeaten run through the Western Athletic Conference.


They are perfect no more. This night was nothing but a four-hour-plus rendition of "Glory, Glory To Ol' Georgia."


Knowshon Moreno ran for a pair of touchdowns in the opening quarter and the Bulldogs' defense made life miserable for Brennan, a Heisman Trophy finalist and catalyst for the nation's highest-scoring team. He was sacked eight times, threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, one of them recovered for a Georgia touchdown.


After getting slammed to the Superdome turf one last time by Geno Atkins, Brennan staggered to the sideline, his night mercifully done. The junior had the worst showing of his career in a game played to the finish, going 22-of-38 for just 169 yards - less than half of his 348-yard average this season.


The Bulldogs led 24-3 by halftime and quickly snuffed out any chance that Brennan might lead an improbable comeback, as he did in bringing Hawaii back from a 21-point deficit in their regular-season finale against Washington.


On Hawaii's first possession after the break, Brennan was sacked by Roderick Battle, then picked off by Asher Allen. The Warriors held, getting an interception of their own on a tipped ball, but that merely set up Brennan for more misery.


Marcus Howard, who spent as much time in the Hawaii backfield as the guys wearing white, sped by tackle Keoni Steinhoff like he wasn't even there and crashed into Brennan. The ball rolled loose in the end zone and Howard recovered, giving him as many touchdowns as the vaunted run-and-shoot offense that was averaging 46.2 points a game.


As it was, Georgia set a school record with the highest-scoring bowl game of its long, proud history, eclipsing a 40-26 win over TCU in the 1942 Orange Bowl.


Howard, who had to wait until his senior year to start, sure went out with a bang in this final college game: three sacks, two forced fumbles and a tipped ball that was intercepted by teammate Dannell Ellerbe. Allen picked off two Hawaii throws. Freshman Rennie Curran chipped in with two sacks.


After Ellerbe's pick, defensive coordinator Willie Martinez leaped into his player's arms along the sideline, giddy at the way his unit shut down a team that had eight 40-point games this season.


Georgia lobbied for a spot in the title game after the top two teams in the BCS rankings lost on the final day of the regular season. But the Bulldogs, who didn't even make the SEC championship game, failed to move up and had to settle for their third Sugar Bowl appearance in five years.


With their title hopes dashed, coach Mark Richt urged his players to get a good start on 2008, knowing an impressive win over the Warriors would surely set up the Dawgs for a top-five ranking at the start of next season - and better positioning for a run at No. 1.


Consider it done.


Hawaii hoped to follow the lead set by WAC rival Boise State, which capped last year's perfect season with a stunning overtime win against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. In the locker room before the game, coach June Jones urged his team to "play with confidence, like you belong."


They didn't.


Brennan ran up against a swarming Georgia defense that was in no mood to give the little guys another day in the sun. In the first half alone, he was sacked five times and turned it over twice, losing a fumble and throwing an interception.


Hawaii finally got to the end zone with 10½ minutes to go and backup quarterback Tyler Graunke running the offense. He tossed a meaningless 16-yard TD pass to Ryan Grice-Mullen while Brennan watched from the sideline.


In all fairness to the Hawaii star, this wasn't really a fair fight.


Georgia was dominant in the trenches, on both sides of the line. Brennan rarely had time to throw, while Moreno and Thomas Brown, the Bulldogs' 1-2 backfield punch, found plenty of room to do their thing, especially in the tone-setting first half.


Moreno, a dynamic redshirt freshman whose emergence at midseason ignited the Georgia offense, didn't start and carried the ball just nine times because of a gimpy ankle. He sure made the most of his chances, though.


On his team's first possession, Moreno capped a 61-yard drive by taking off around left end, getting a crushing block from fullback Brannan Southerland and finding nothing but open space. He wasn't hit until get got to the end zone, tumbling in for a 17-yard touchdown, then popping right back up to blow a kiss to the Georgia fans.


Moreno made it 14-3 in the final minute of the first quarter This time, he burst through a huge hole up the middle and went in standing for an 11-yard touchdown.


Brandon Coutu knocked through a 52-yard field goal and Matthew Stafford blew it open by flipping an 11-yard scoring pass to Sean Bailey in the corner of the end zone midway through the second quarter.


Georgia ditched its traditional red jerseys in favor of black for the second time this season. But, unlike the emotional boost the Bulldogs seemed to get in a win over Auburn, it didn't matter what color they were wearing for this one.


After Brown leaped into the end zone for a 1-yard TD late in the third quarter, the Bulldog faithful serenaded Hawaii with chants of "Overrrated! Overrated!"


No argument there.

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hobo
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hobo 01/02/08 - 09:09 am
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We should have been playing

We should have been playing for the national championship BCS needs to look at how they do things- I am sick of ESPN' bias toward Ohio State and USC- I guess the rankings did not mean anything this year

justputtin
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justputtin 01/02/08 - 09:44 am
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It's odd how the SEC has the

It's odd how the SEC has the most depth and top teams but get looked over by the names of Ohio State and USC. It used to be Nebraska and Oklahoma, Penn State, etc. SEC flexes it's muscles and UGA is a top 2 team. Congrats GA!

malachi72
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malachi72 01/02/08 - 10:13 am
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The SEC did not get

The SEC did not get overlooked. LSU is playing for the title. If you can't get to your own title game then you shouldn't be in the title hunt. Maybe next year UGA will show up against Tenn and not get trampled on. GO VOLS!!!

IenjoyFishing
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IenjoyFishing 01/02/08 - 11:04 am
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The SEC will be represented

The SEC will be represented just how it should be in the NC game. UGA was completely humiliated in knoxville and also defeated at home by Steve Spurrier's squad. A win over a (should-be) non BCS conference team says little to nothing. GA will have a good preseason ranking and should be a legitimate NC contender next season.

NotyourDadsBuick
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NotyourDadsBuick 01/02/08 - 11:16 am
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Who couldn't predict the

Who couldn't predict the Dawgs would win this one? No matter what, it was a bad deal for Georgia: if they won, they were expected to, if they lost they'd be humiliated. UGA doesn't belong in the title game. Most interesting comment I heard during the game: Hawaii's recruiting budget is $50,000 per year and the coach hasn't visited CONUS to recruit in three years. Based on that, it's like UGA bragging about beating U of Delaware or Rhode Island. Finally, based on the conduct of Georgia's players, I was reminded of the taunting nature of Miami's smack-talking powerhouse teams of the past. I just though Georgia was better than that. Smack isn't as effective when you're already favored to win by double digits.

WAG
287
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WAG 01/02/08 - 11:19 am
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You only thnk you know

You only thnk you know everythng. Georgia should have never been put against the undermatched Warriors. It was not fair to Hawaii or Georgia. I actually felt sorry for Hawaii...buuuuut I love my "Sweet Sugar Dawgsssss." and as for spurrier we were his bowl game.....

gonefishin
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gonefishin 01/02/08 - 11:54 am
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I thought Georgia's players

I thought Georgia's players played how your supposed to play. They played with more passion and excitement than any time all season. They were tired of all the Hawaii hype. And as for Hawaii's recruiting, did you hear the announcers say they recruited one of their players straight from a Youth Detention Center!?!? I'm glad the SEC is dominating Bowl Games (AGAIN). And thanks Florida, because of you we'll have to hear how the Big Ten can beat the SEC. I hope LSU crushes OSU, but even after that, the Big Ten will probably still get more coverage on ESPN. Surprise, Surprise. GO DAWGS!!

dani
12
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dani 01/02/08 - 12:10 pm
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I am a Dawg fan and I am

I am a Dawg fan and I am embarassed. This game was so one-sided there is no way Ga has any bragging rights.
Sorry fans, This game did nothing.

IenjoyFishing
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IenjoyFishing 01/02/08 - 01:14 pm
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Spurrier should be convicted

Spurrier should be convicted right there with Michael Vick... How long has he been abusing dawgs???? Hey Hey I know ,since 1990.

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 01:14 pm
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wow! where are the posters on

wow! where are the posters on here that predicted Hawii would run and gun and score 60+ points on us?

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 01:20 pm
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We went in against a team

We went in against a team that scored 36 ppg average, with a Heisman trophy candidate QB. Mark Richt had to come uo with a game plan to win. He saw that The QB was the life-blood of the team, and geared up to pressure and pound him into submission, just as they did to Teebow. Unlike the Fl. fans, the Hawaii fans kept their dignity rather than make excuses like "his shoulder hurted". Can't wait to see them DAWGS go undefeated and win the national championship next year!

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 01:35 pm
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By the way, you can't spell

By the way, you can't spell "Sugar" without UGA!!!!!

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 01/02/08 - 01:35 pm
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Luckily for Dawgs fans GA did

Luckily for Dawgs fans GA did not have to play a team like USC. USC would have made GA look like Hawaii, a wannabe that could not quite cut it against the real teams.

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 01:41 pm
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USC is another team that

USC is another team that didn't play any big time opponants. If they had to play the uga schedule, they would be so beat up by the end of the season that they would have been lucky to escape the Illinois game. USC is perhaps the most overrated team on the planet. Hollywood media darlings. I'd love to see them play UGA. Even in the regular season. Pete Carrol would have none of that competition stuff for his team though.

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 01:44 pm
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Real teams? Florida, Auburn,

Real teams? Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Etc.. What Real teams does usc play? Stanford beat them!

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 01/02/08 - 01:59 pm
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scoobasteve, not being a

scoobasteve, not being a worshipper of professional sports (even college level professional sports) I can objectively say that the USC team playing in the Rose Bowl was a much better team than the GA team playing in the Sugar Bowl.

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 02:07 pm
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We must have watched

We must have watched differant games. UGA's defense was NFL like. Whatever, I am sure that Georgia's athletic department would have loved to play usc rather than hawaii, but I doubt that usc's athletic department would want to take the risk of getting exposed for the mediocre team that they really are. Oh well.

NotyourDadsBuick
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NotyourDadsBuick 01/02/08 - 02:14 pm
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I'm no fan of the Dawgs, but

I'm no fan of the Dawgs, but I can't agree that USC is a better team than UGA. Too bad we won't get to see them play each other any time soon. Maybe next year in the BCS? The Dawgs SEC regular season schedule was more challenging this season than the Trojans PAC 10 schedule.

coco rubio
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coco rubio 01/02/08 - 02:19 pm
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until there is a playoff,

until there is a playoff, college football rankings & bowl games don't really matter........but, dang if UGA didn't kick it into high gear once moreno become the 1st string running back.......coach richt also did some things that boosted team morale and made 2007 so memorable....looking forward to a powerhouse national championship contender next year, fer sure........bow wow wow.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/02/08 - 03:06 pm
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USC and Hawaii should have

USC and Hawaii should have changed opponents yesterday. They both ( Georgia and USC) outclassed the 'competition'. It would have been interesting to see them go head to head. Michigan looked good yesterday and the Clemson / Auburn game was one of the best I've ever seen. College ball puts pro to shame.

Dedicated
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Dedicated 01/02/08 - 05:16 pm
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16-12.....Enough Said

16-12.....Enough Said

oldenuff2nobetter
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oldenuff2nobetter 01/02/08 - 05:24 pm
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I watched the Sugar Bowl last

I watched the Sugar Bowl last night and was amused at the announcers trying to build up Hawaii. It was evident from the start that Georgia outclassed them. I would much rather watched Georgia play USC or Oklahoma. I guess it will take another blowout win by an SEC school against Ohio State to convince the BCS of the strength of the SEC.

oldenuff2nobetter
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oldenuff2nobetter 01/02/08 - 05:26 pm
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I wonder how the $17.5

I wonder how the $17.5 million was split between Georgia and Hawaii.

KSL
126321
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KSL 01/02/08 - 06:15 pm
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You know the announcers were

You know the announcers were trying to build up Hawaii so as not to lose the national audience. Otherwise, people who don't give a rat's behind about those two teams may have chosen more interesting viewing instead of watching a one sided bowl game.

sneaky pete
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sneaky pete 01/02/08 - 06:26 pm
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All you Spurrier lovers

All you Spurrier lovers consider this. What bowl game did y'all go to? Get em scooba.

KSL
126321
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KSL 01/02/08 - 06:30 pm
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pete, stop stepping on my

pete, stop stepping on my toes!

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 06:35 pm
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Spurrier will leave south

Spurrier will leave south carolina at the first chance to coach a big "program team" When there was speculation that les miles was leaving lsu for michiigan, spurrier's name was all over the place as the next lsu coach.

scoobasteve
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scoobasteve 01/02/08 - 06:40 pm
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I can name one team that

I can name one team that spurrier need not apply for ever...As far as his coaching ability goes, I don't think he can hold a candle to Mark Richt, or Urban Myers, who has made Florida a real championship threat since day 1. Richt's Dawgs will eclipse even the great Dawg teams of the early 80's and Vince Dooley in the years to come.

class1
299
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class1 01/02/08 - 07:32 pm
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SEC is good football, however

SEC is good football, however Michigan State is 7-3 against SEC teams.

sneaky pete
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sneaky pete 01/02/08 - 07:55 pm
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and what bowl game did

and what bowl game did michigan state go to? Yep, they played spurrier gameclucks in the toilet bowl.

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