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September 6, 2008
Georgia's 56-17 win over Central Michigan gave the Bulldogs a 32-2 non-conference record, including a 22-0 record at home, during the Mark Richt era which began in 2001. Georgia is now 1-0 against CMU in school history and 6-1 all-time versus schools from the MAC.
Points To Ponder: Georgia tallied 56 points today, the second most under Mark Richt, trailing only a 6217 win over Kentucky in Lexington in 2004. It was the most points scored at home under Richt. Georgia rolled up 552 yards of total offense on 69 plays today. Georgia is averaging 50.5 points a game this year.
Dobbs To The House: Sophomore defensive end Demarcus Dobbs snagged a pass that teammate Prince Miller tipped and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown with 1:10 left in the first half. This was the longest interception return for a TD since 2003 (Odell Thurman, Auburn, 99 yards) and the 10th-longest in school history. Dobbs' INT for a TD was the first for Georgia since 2006 (Tra Battle, Auburn).
Moreno Goes For 100+: Sophomore Knowshon Moreno finished with 168 yards and three TDs on 18 carries including one dash sure to make the highlight reel where he hurdled a would-be tackler. This was Moreno's seventh 100-yard game and he now has 1,561 yards in his career. Moreno also tied his career high with three catches (30 yards).
Curran Around the Ball: Sophomore linebacker Rennie Curran led the team with 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, two tackles for a loss and one sack. It was this second 10+ tackle game of his career. He had a career-high 13 against Kentucky last year.
2 TDs For Massaquoi: Senior Mohamed Massaquoi had his first two TD game of his career. He hauled in five catches for 79 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown grab from Matthew Stafford (18-for-28, 213 yards, 2 TDs) late in the third quarter. Massaquoi has now caught a pass in 23 straight games. Junior Mike Moore also had a career-high with five catches for 64 yards as did true freshman A.J. Green (3 rec., 40 yards).
Long Drive: Georgia's 99-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, which was capped by Knowshon Moreno's 21-yard TD, was the longest scoring drive for the Bulldogs since a 99-yarder against Arkansas State in 2001. Today's long drive made it 49-17.
First-Time Starters: The Bulldogs had four first-time starters. Freshman A.J. Green (flanker), sophomore Shaun Chapas (fullback), sophomore Demarcus Dobbs (defensive end) and sophomore Darryl Gamble (SLB) all started for the first time Saturday. Due to a season-ending knee injury in last week's game, senior DT Jeff Owens' streak of 15 straight games starting ended. Matthew Stafford leads the Bulldogs with 21 games started in a row.
Injury Report: Senior Kenneth Harris missed the game due to a right ankle injury.
Up Next: The Bulldogs (2-0) travel to Columbia, S.C., to face No. 24 South Carolina (1-1) on Saturday, Sept 13 at 3:30 p.m. on CBS. Georgia owns a 44-14-2 edge over the Gamecocks. USC won last year's game 16-12 in Athens.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt:
On the win?
"I saw us play very hard for the entire ballgame, which is the thing I enjoyed the most. When we substituted, we didn't have a letup, which is so crucial for us."
On the defense?
"Our defense kept coming. (CMU) has an outstanding football team, not just good but great on offense. To hold them down like that was impressive. I have to admit I loved the interception for a touchdown. That was big. I was fired up for Demarcus."
On Knowshon Moreno?
"I got excited when Knowshon hurdled that guy. He's an amazing kid. When he jumped over that guy, I asked the staff, 'Who redshirted that guy?'"
On Matthew Stafford?
"When you see Matthew day after day, there's not much out there that wows you. He does a beautiful job. There are not many who can match him."
On defending the spread offense?
"An awful lot of people are spreading out now, and the more we see the better off we'll be. It's not easy to defend. I thought Central Michigan played well. At times, it was frustrating not being able to slow them down. But the defense persevered and played hard and got some breaks."
Junior quarterback, #7 Matthew Stafford:
On the game?
"We came out and tried to execute our game plan. We played for 60 minutes today. We need to keep coming together. We have some work to do up front. We made some mistakes but played well. We didn't give up a sack today, so that was a positive. We have to keep doing what we're doing."
On facing South Carolina next weekend?
"We have a lot of confidence going into South Carolina. It will be a different atmosphere and a tough environment. It's going to be a tough game, and we'll have to show up. They've have 10 days to prepare, so it'll be a tough test. Coach (Steve) Spurrier will have them ready."
Redshirt sophomore defensive end, #58 Demarcus Dobbs:
On his interception return for a touchdown?
"I started out rushing the passer and he got rid of it so I dropped back. It was a great play by Prince Miller to tip the ball. We are taught to run to the ball. I ran to the ball, caught it and saw green. I was fortunate enough to score a touchdown."
On facing South Carolina next weekend?
"South Carolina has a great team and a great coach. They have some good playmakers. They are coming off a loss, so they have a monkey on their backs. We have to be ready to play."
On the defense?
"Until the interception, we were not focused enough, but then we made plays and got the crowd back into it. The following drive they came back and scored. It's all about finishing the drive and finishing the game."
Redshirt sophomore tailback, #24 Knowshon Moreno
On the game?
"The offensive line did awesome. They made holes and played a good game all day. They corrected mistakes from last week and carried that over to the game today. At the same time, we still made too many mistakes with several penalties. We have to correct that if we want to be successful."
On hurdling a Central Michigan defender on a run in the second half?
"It's all about instincts. The offensive line came down field and made some big blocks. (Matthew) Stafford came down and made a big block for me. It was just something that happened. It was all about feel and instinct."
Senior defensive tackle, #95 Corvey Irvin:
On the game?
"All week long coach talked about finishing the drill, and we finished today. We could have done a whole lot better, but it's good to get the win. It felt good to be captain. I had my whole family here, and I had not been a captain since high school. It felt good to be out there with (Matthew) Stafford, (Shaun) Chapas, and Reshad (Jones)."
CENTRAL MICHIGAN POST-GAME QUOTES
Central Michigan coach Butch Jones
On his thoughts from the 56-17 loss to Georgia?
"I thought we executed our offense well in the second half. In the first half, our run defense was good. Quarterback Dan LeFevour made some big throws in the second half. We gave up a big run to Moreno which really hurt us. The interception was a big momentum change, but our kids played hard in the second half. In the second half, we played well and began moving the ball. We played a lot of good football teams and I would put Georgia right up there. The key for us is to get better each week and our focus in the University of Ohio next week."
On playing against Georgia's defense?
"We knew coming in Georgia was very talented. Coach (Willie) Martinez mixes it very well and it is hard to get a read on how they play. Football is an execution game. I think the turning point was when we were at 28-14. Our defense didn't off the field, and we let them go for a long run."
On Georgia fans?
"Their fans are very loud. We are in a communication game and sometimes today we couldn't get the play to the lineman."
Junior quarterback Dan LeFevour
On his thoughts from Georgia's 56-17 victory?
"The running game helps our offense and we got turned into a one-dimensional team today. To their credit, they are a great football team; Georgia's defense is very fast and physical. There are a lot of things I could have done better and our offense could have done better. By not being able to run the ball we got to execute the passing game better."
On the interception by Demarcus Dobbs?
"It was tight coverage and it got deflected. It was a freak play and it just popped straight up."
Sophomore linebacker Nick Bellore
On his overall thoughts from Georgia's 56-17 victory?
"They are obviously a talented team. We had a lot of miss-hits and missed tackles today. We had to get off the field, but missed tackles and missed assignments hurt us. Moreno got free in the second half. He is a great back; it goes back to missed tackles and missed assignments."
On what they can learn from today's game?
"There are a lot of corrections we can take away from this game. It was a learning experience and the loss doesn't hurt us in the conference standings."
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