12:30 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Sanford Stadium, ATHENS, GA
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Freshman quarterback Joe Cox rescued No. 9 Georgia with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter -- the second a 20-yarder with 46 seconds left -- and the Bulldogs beat winless Colorado 14-13 on Saturday.
Cox, who took over late in the third quarter for an ineffective Matthew Stafford, threw a 23-yard TD pass to fullback Brannan Southerland with 9:11 to go, and capped the comeback with his 20-yarder to tight end Martrez Milner.
Colorado, 0-4 under new coach Dan Hawkins, built a 13-0 lead behind quarterback Bernard Jackson, who passed for 140 yards and ran for 85 yards and a touchdown. But Cox brought the Bulldogs (4-0) back from the brink of what would have been a surprising loss.
Cox finished 10-of-13 for 153 yards, including his first two TD passes. Stafford, also a freshman who had replaced injured starter Joe Tereshinski earlier in the season, was 8-of-16 for 76 yards and a fumble before he was taken out by coach Mark Richt.
Georgia was in danger of its first shutout loss since 1995 before Cox saved the day even though Colorado made two fourth-down stops in the final quarter.
After Georgia's first TD, Bulldogs' cornerback Paul Oliver caused a fumble with a hit on Hugh Charles, and defensive tackle Jeff Owens recovered at the 50 to give the Bulldogs an opportunity. But on fourth-and-3 at the 11, Cox's pass was deflected at the line.
Georgia's defense held, and the Bulldogs took possession for their last drive at the Colorado 43. Cox passed to Mohamed Massaquoi for 11 yards to the 25 before finding Milner in the middle of the end zone on a third-and-6.
On Cox's first possession, he drove Georgia deep into Colorado territory, but the Buffaloes stopped tailback Kregg Lumpkin on a fourth-and-3 run from the 13.
The loss was the eighth straight over two seasons for Colorado, its longest losing streak in 42 years.
Colorado shut down Georgia's running game until Kregg Lumpkin, third on the Bulldogs' depth chart at tailback, gained 52 yards, most in the final quarter.
Colorado led 10-0 at halftime, but could have been a bigger lead.
Colorado was denied on its first scoring opportunity when Dale Dixson blocked Mason Crosby's 26-yard field-goal attempt. Later in the first quarter, a would-be touchdown pass from Jackson to Dusty Sprague was negated by a false-start penalty, forcing the Buffaloes to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Crosby.
Colorado needed only four plays to drive 63 yards for a second-quarter touchdown. Jackson kept Georgia's defense off-balance, running before passing to Dusty Sprague for a 16-yard gain and then dropping back to pass before running for 28 yards to the Georgia 19.
Jackson's screen pass to Charles gained 18 yards to the 1, and the quarterback scored on a keeper the following play.
Georgia's only scoring threat of the half ended with a missed 53-yard field goal attempt by Brandon Coutu.
A turnover helped set up a 36-yard field goal by Crosby early in the second half. Colorado defensive tackle George Hypolite sacked Stafford on Georgia's first possession of the half, causing a fumble that Hypolite recovered at the 19. The field goal pushed the lead to 13-0.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Brandon Coutu nailed the extra point with 46 seconds remaining. Colorado lead nearly the entire game, but Georgia never looked out of it.
Gameball goes to... Joe Cox. Cox relieved Matthew Stafford and immediately energized the Dawgs' offense. He orchestrated two TDs in the fourth to secure the win.
Stat of the game... 58: Georgia gained just 58 yards on the ground against Colorado, which is surprisingly ranked 28th in the country for rushing defense.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-13||3-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-2|
|FG||3:14||MASON CROSBY 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 55 yards.
|TD||10:08||BERNARD JACKSON 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||11:25||MASON CROSBY 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 1 yards.
|TD||9:11||BRANNAN SOUTHERLAND 23 YD PASS FROM JOE COX (BRANDON COUTU KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 58 yards.
|TD||0:46||MARTREZ MILNER 20 YD PASS FROM JOE COX (BRANDON COUTU KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 43 yards.