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Brown, defense spark Bulldogs

9/13/2003

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Reggie Brown helped No. 8 Georgia end its
three-year touchdown drought against South Carolina, catching two
short scoring passes and setting up another TD with a longer
reception to lead the Bulldogs past the No. 25 Gamecocks 31-7
Saturday.

Sean Jones led another dominating defensive performance by
Georgia (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference), which just missed its
second shutout of the season. The junior safety made two
interceptions and a bone-rattling hit that stuffed a South Carolina
drive.

The Gamecocks (2-1, 0-1) stumbled badly after a 31-7 upset of
Virginia the previous week. The only consolation: Demetris Summers
scored on a 37-yard screen pass from third-string quarterback
Bennett Swygert with just 52 seconds remaining to avoid a shutout.

Brown had seven catches for the second week in a row, totaling a
career-high 104 yards. David Greene was 16-of-27 for 208 yards,
guiding Georgia to its first touchdowns against South Carolina
since 2000.

The drought breaker was Greene's 2-yard pass to Brown with 3:05
left in the first quarter, ending a streak of 181 minutes, 18
seconds -- a span longer than three full games.

A year ago, the Bulldogs managed to beat South Carolina 13-7,
scoring their only touchdown on David Pollack's interception in the
end zone. Georgia went on to capture its first SEC title in 20
years.

Greene and Brown could have had three touchdowns between them,
but a 5-yard scoring pass on Georgia's first possession was wiped
out by a penalty. The Bulldogs settled for Billy Bennett's 24-yard
field goal.

But Georgia wouldn't be denied.

After forcing a punt, the Bulldogs drove 86 yards in 11 plays to
finally, emphatically reach the end zone. Greene completed five
passes for 67 yards, the last a perfectly thrown fade from the 2
that Brown hauled in over helpless cornerback Dunta Robinson.

The Gamecocks also lost a touchdown because of a penalty.
Dondrial Pinkins threw a 27-yard pass to Troy Williamson, all alone
in the back of the end zone, but the celebration was short-lived.
Another yellow flag, this one for holding. No TD.

A roughing the passer penalty gave South Carolina a second
chance. Pinkins, though, threw his second interception of the game,
this one picked off by linebacker Tony Taylor at the Georgia 19.

Pinkins was 12-of-30 for 116 yards.

Coach Lou Holtz switched quarterbacks the next time his team got
the ball, but it didn't do any good. Backup Mike Rathe, under
pressure from Pollack, threw an ill-advised pass while running
toward the sideline. Jones stepped in front of the receiver for an
easy interception with just under three minutes left in the half.

The Bulldogs quickly drove for a 17-0 halftime lead. Brown
hauled in passes of 15 and 21 yards, the second a beautifully
thrown ball by Greene that found a crease between two defenders.
Two plays later, Greene hit Brown cutting across the middle on a
5-yard touchdown.

"Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!" the crowd chanted.

Georgia overcame injuries to several key players. Receiver Fred
Gibson tried to play with a pulled hamstring, but aggravated the
injury after making a 19-yard reception in the first quarter. He
didn't return.

Redshirt freshman Michael Cooper, making his first career start
in place of Tony Milton, rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries,
including a 46-yard run and a soaring 2-yard touchdown dive late in
the third quarter. The Greene-to-Brown combination set up that
score with a 36-yard pass play.

South Carolina squandered a couple of chances in the second
half. On fourth-and-1 at the Georgia 26, Kenny Irons was smacked by
Jones for a 5-yard loss.

The Gamecocks basically conceded when Holtz decided to go for a
25-yard field goal with less than 10 minutes remaining, but Joey
Bowers clanked it off the right upright.

Georgia scored its final touchdown when Damien Gary scooped up
an onside kick and sprinted 44 yards to the end zone without being
touched.