|Georgia bullies Hawaii and grabs 38-3 third-quarter lead in Sugar Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 01 January 2008 19:40|
Knowshon Moreno ran for touchdowns on Georgia's first two possessions and the Bulldogs sacked Colt Brennan seven times, to take a 38-3 lead on Hawaii into the fourth quarter of the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night.
Georgia (10-2) came into the Sugar Bowl on a six-game winning streak, playing about as well as any team in the country. The Bulldogs were also a little miffed about being jumped by LSU in the final Bowl Championship Series standings and losing out on a spot in the national championship game against Ohio State right here in the Superdome next week.
Decked out in its lucky black jerseys, Georgia played like a team with something to prove, pushing around Hawaii's defense and shutting down a run-and-shoot attack that was averaging 46 points per game.
Marcus Howard led the charge defensively for the Bulldogs, notching three sacks, tipping a pass that was intercepted and recovering a fumble in the end zone.
Brennan was 21-of-32 for 163 yards, intercepted three times and lost two fumbles. He was battered and bruised after seven sacks and countless hits.
Hawaii also had something to prove in its first BCS appearance. The only undefeated team in major college football wanted to show the doubters its 12-0 record wasn't just a byproduct of playing a soft schedule.
Things didn't start well for the Warriors, and got worse from there.
Hawaii's Malcolm Lane gave Brennan, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and the Warriors great field position for their first drive with a 36-yard kickoff return to the Hawaii 45.
Hawaii then went backward, its offensive line drawing consecutive false start penalties with the Georgia fans making the dome sound like Sanford Stadium, only louder. Brennan misfired on his first two pass attempts and didn't gain nearly enough on a screen to David Farmer to make up for the two 5-yard penalties.
Tim Grasso's punt went only 29 yards and Hawaii's Keenan Jones drew a 15-yard penalty for plowing into Georgia returner Mikey Henderson. The result: First-and-10 Bulldogs from their 39.
Nine plays later, Moreno was slicing through a big hole on the left side and dashing into the end zone from 17 yards out. The first Georgia freshman since Herschel Walker to run for 1,000 yards, Moreno blew a kiss to the Bulldogs' fans and it was 7-0 less than six minutes into the game.
Brennan got the Warriors moving on their second possession, completing all seven of his throws. But a holding penalty and a 15-yard personal foul on receiver Jason Rivers for a late hit forced Hawaii to settle for Dan Kelly's 41-yard field goal with 4:20 left in the first.
Georgia got rolling again behind Moreno's senior running mate Thomas Brown, who popped through tacklers at the line for 20 yards.
Moreno finished off another long drive bursting through the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.
The quarter ended with Brennan on his back after a sack by Marcus Howard.
It got worse for major college football's career leader in touchdown passes in the second quarter.
With pressure coming, Brennan was picked off by Prince Miller at the Hawaii 39 with 9:36 left in the half. The Bulldogs turned that into a touchdown, with Matthew Stafford flipping an 11-yard pass to Sean Bailey in the corner of the end zone to make it 24-3.
Brandon Coutu also kicked a 52-yard field goal in the quarter for Georgia.
It was more of the same in the second half. Asher Allen's interception at the Hawaii 37 had Brennan looking flustered. The quarterback pointed to where he thought his receiver should have been and ended up talking it over with coach June Jones on the sideline.
Georgia was poised to put another touchdown on the board, when Stafford's pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by Jacob Patek at the 4.
The turnover only delayed the inevitable and allowed Georgia's defense to do some scoring.
On a third-and-10 at the Hawaii 14, Howard flashed in off the edge and wiped out Brennan. The ball popped loose and bounced into Howard's arms in the end zone for a 31-3 lead with 8:57 left in the third quarter.
Dannell Ellerbee's interception of a tipped pass set up Brown's 1-yard touchdown run with 1:40 left in the third quarter.