'Dogs Win 11, Return to SEC Title Game; Win Capital One Bowl
With an 11-win season, the 'Dogs registered 11 or more wins in back to back seasons for the first time in history. Georgia earned its way back to the SEC title game, bowing to eventual natioinal champion LSU.
The 11-win performance was especially gratifying in a year that was supposed to be a rebuilding process--not to mention the high rate of injuries that sidelined a total of 44 players, including 24 starterrs, for a total of over 100 games.
But the 'Dogs defeated Tennessee for the fourth straight year, Tech for the third consecutive time, and Auburn for the second straight. And the over-achievers added an overtime Capital One Bowl victory over Purdue.
Georgia's defense led the way finishing second nationally in scoring defense and fourth in total defense.
Georgia's Attendance Average Ranks Fifth Nationally
Georgia's average home football attendance of 92,058 ranked fifth best in the country for the 2003 season according to NCAA statistics.
The 92,058 figure represents a sellout in all six Bulldog home games. The fifth-place finish marks the 17th time in the last 22 years that Georgia has ranked among the nation's top six teams in average home attendance. It's also the 21st time in the last 22 years the Bulldogs have finished among the top seven.
Running Back Lumpkin Scores Big in Overtime to Defeat Purdue in Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Fla. -- After scoring the game's first 24 points, Georgia needed a Kregg Lumpkin overtime touchdown run to hold off Purdue, 34-27, in front of a Capital One Bowl crowd of 64,565 and an ABC national television audience.
The Bulldogs opened the game with a nine-play, 68-yard drive culminating in a six-yard Fred Gibson touchdown reception from David Greene. The Bulldogs would use a Billy Bennett field goal and two more Greene TD passes--one each to Gibson and Reggie Brown--to open up a 24-0 lead with 4:47 left in the first half.
Purdue would answer with a touchdown and field goal in the second quarter's final three minutes to pull within 14, 24-10, at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Purdue scored the fourth quarter's first points on a Kyle Orton two-yard run with 9:11 left. Georgia then used up 4:44 on a 12-play, 57-yard drive ending in a 40-yard Bennett field goal.
Purdue was forced to punt on its next possession and after a three-and-out Georgia series, the Bulldogs punted, giving Purdue the ball with two minutes left. Purdue needed just three plays to go 66 yards and pull within three, 27-24, on a Kyle Orton three-yard touchdown pass.
Following an unsuccessful onside kick, it seemed Georgia had clinched the game. However, attempting to run out the clock, Lumpkin fumbled the ball, giving Purdue the ball at the Georgia 34-yard line with 1:19 left. After unsuccessful attempts to the end zone, Ben Jones nailed a 44-yard field goal with 49 seconds left to tie the game, 27-27.
On the first possession of overtime, Georgia used three plays to drive down to the one-yard line. After consecutive attempts up the middle by Jeremy Thomas and Lumpkin on second and third down failed, Lumpkin pushed his way into the end zone on fourth and goal to give the Bulldogs a 34-27 lead.
Purdue also drove inside the 10 yard line, but failed to convert. On fourth and goal from the four yard line, Tony Taylor intercepted the pass to clinch a Bulldogs victory.
GA- F. Gibson 4-yd pass from D. Greene (B. Bennett kick) 04:27, 1st Q
GA- B. Bennett 28-yd field goal 09:56, 2nd Q
GA- R. Brown 11-yd pass from D. Greene (B. Bennett kick) 04:47, 2nd Q
PUR- K. Orton 17-yd run (B. Jones kick) 03:01, 2nd Q
PUR- B. Jones 27-yd field goal 01:48, 2nd Q
PUR- K. Orton 2-yd run (B. Jones kick) 09:11, 4th Q
GA- B. Bennett 40-yd field goal 04:27, 4th Q
PUR- A. Chambers 3-yd pass from K. Orton (B. Jones kick) 01:34,4th Q
PUR- B. Jones 44-yd field goal 00:49, 4th Q
GA- K. Lumpkin 1-yd run (B. Bennett kick) 15:00, OT
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