Bulldogs Defeat Auburn 45-20 In Blackout Game
ATHENS, Ga. The blackout worked.
With Georgia’s players wearing black jerseys and most of the Sanford Stadium crowd donning black, the 10th-ranked Bulldogs dispatched No. 18 Auburn 45-20 on Saturday.
The blackout was the idea of the Georgia seniors, who approached Coach Mark Richt about it on Monday. Rumors were rampant all week that the team would wear black jerseys, and that was confirmed when the Bulldogs ran onto the field. Predictably, the team’s entrance brought the crowd to a fever pitch.
"I want to say thanks to Bulldog Nation,” Richt said. “It was unbelievable to look into the stands and see what I saw. I came out for warm-ups and the student section was jam packed. By the time we kicked off the whole stands were blacked out. It was truly a tribute to Bulldog Nation. It was a great sign of unity and I want to thank everyone for that.
"The players have wanted to have black jerseys for years now and I always resisted. This summer I pulled the trigger and spoke with Nike and they made the jerseys and we targeted them for a game later in the year. I didn't want to do it early in the year. It just so happened to be this game we chose before the season started. I'm glad we're still playing for something significant. I knew it would give us a boost and at least get us a jump start."
The Bulldogs ended the game with some gusto as well, scoring 28 unanswered points to turn a 20-17 deficit into the 45-20 victory. Tailback Knowshon Moreno scored twice, while fullback Brannan Southerland and tailback Thomas Brown each had a touchdown in the final 20 minutes.
Moreno finished with 101 yards on 22 carries, and he now has 11 touchdowns the most for a Bulldog since Robert Edwards scored 12 in 1997. Moreno is also the first Bulldog since Verron Haynes in 2001 to have four straight 100-yard games.
Brown, returning from a shoulder injury, had 81 yards, including a 53-yarder to set up Southerland’s score. Overall, the Bulldogs had 180 yards rushing on 43 carries.
Georgia has now scored 40-plus points in three straight games. The last time that happened was in the national championship season of 1942.
Feeding off the energy generated by the blackout, the Bulldogs opened a 17-3 lead in the first half. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had touchdown passes to receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Sean Bailey, and kicker Brandon Coutu added a field goal and both extra points.
But Auburn rallied, scoring 17 straight to pull ahead 20-17. Georgia, however, closed with its flurry of points to improve to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the SEC.
Stafford finished 11-of-19 for 237 yards and the two touchdowns.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe recorded eight tackles to lead the Bulldogs. Georgia also had four interceptions, two by safety Kelin Johnson and one each by cornerbacks Bryan Evans and Thomas Flowers. The Bulldogs entered the game with four interceptions this season.
Georgia will entertain Kentucky next Saturday in the final home game of the season.
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