6:00 PM ET, October 13, 2007
Vanderbilt Stadium, NASHVILLE, TN
This story has been corrected. Read below
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Georgia and Vanderbilt are making a habit of spoiling each others' homecoming.
Brandon Coutu kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired to help No. 24 Georgia overcome a 10-point halftime deficit and beat Vanderbilt 20-17 on Saturday night, avenging last season's loss in Athens, Ga.
"It's payback," Coutu said. "Now they know how it feels."
|Breaking The Skid|
With a 20-17 over Vanderbilt, Georgia finally put an end to its SEC East six-game losing streak. Since the league split into divisions in 1992, the longest previous East losing streak by UGA was just three games.
|10/13/07||at Vanderbilt||W, 20-17|
|10/6/07||at Tennessee||L, 35-14|
|9/8/07||vs. South Carolina||L, 16-12|
|11/4/06||at Kentucky||L, 24-20|
|10/28/06||vs. Florida (JAX)||L, 21-14|
|10/14/06||vs. Vanderbilt||L, 24-22|
|10/7/06||vs. Tennessee||L, 51-33|
The Bulldogs danced on the Vanderbilt star at midfield after Coutu's kick sailed through the uprights.
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said Georgia coach Mark Richt apologized after the game because some Georgia players were celebrating on the Vanderbilt star at midfield.
"Everybody is real mad," Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore said. "We really could have won this game."
Knowshon Moreno rushed for a career-high 157 yards in his first start for Georgia (5-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference), 123 of it coming in the second half.
Moreno, a redshirt freshman, had a 32-yard run to set up a Georgia touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, narrowing Vanderbilt's lead to 17-14.
Richt said he is not sure what his running back rotation will be when all three are active.
"He's an amazing player," Richt said. "I probably should have played him last year, looking at him now."
Vandy's Cassen Jackson-Garrison fumbled 7 yards short of the goal line, setting up the Bulldogs' winning drive.
"We never wavered," Stafford said. "We never gave up. We came out pumped up and ready in the second half."
Sean Walker caught a touchdown pass and ran for another for Vanderbilt (3-3, 1-3), which didn't score a point in the second half. His 16-yard touchdown pass, originally ruled incomplete, gave the Commodores a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Walker bobbled the ball twice, but appeared to control it before falling out-of-bounds in the back of the end zone.
The ending, though, left a different feeling for Vanderbilt.
The Commodores pulled off a 24-22 upset against Georgia last season in Athens. This year, Vanderbilt essentially found themselves playing a road game for its homecoming with Georgia fans painting Vanderbilt Stadium red in a rare sellout.
"It's still a loss," Moore said. "Stuff happens. Good stuff and bad stuff. Last year, we made a field goal to beat them. So stuff happens both ways."
Stafford led the Bulldogs on a 10-play, 73-yard drive to set up the field goal by Coutu, his second of the game. Coutu also kicked a 31-yard field goal earlier in the fourth quarter, and missed off the left crossbar from 49 yards in the first quarter.
Vanderbilt had two time outs but chose not to use either on the final kick.
"I was trying to find Coutu before the final play," Richt said. "I was just trying to find him on the sideline. I was just going to say, 'Son, you might have to kick it three times. So just get it in your head."
Vanderbilt swapped quarterbacks early before sticking with backup Mackenzi Adams.
Adams had 125 yards passing and a touchdown, and he also ran for 76 yards on several option plays. Chris Nickson made his 18th consecutive start for Vanderbilt, but saw limited action after the first quarter. Nickson went just 2-for-5 for six yards.
The Commodores tricked the Bulldogs most of the night, pulling several reverses and deceiving plays. The quarterback changes kept the Bulldogs off guessing.
"We had a package that would suit Chris Nickson well and a package that would suit Mackenzi Adams well," Johnson said of his quarterback rotation. "I just want to win, that's what we're trying to do."
Moore had 123 all-purpose yards, and his 39-yard rush in the second quarter led to a Commodores touchdown that put them ahead 10-7.
"We settled in and tried to run the ball more in the second half," Richt said. "Of course, Knowshon gave us a lot of reasons to do that."
In the Oct. 13 Associated Press game recap of the Georgia-Vanderbilt football game, it was reported erroneously that Georgia coach Mark Richt and Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson had a verbal confrontation while walking off the field. There was no verbal confrontation, and Johnson said Richt apologized after the game because some Georgia players were celebrating on the Vanderbilt star at midfield.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Georgia's Brandon Coutu nailed a last-second, 37-yard field goal to give the Dawgs a three-point win. It was a close call for UGa, which was tripped up by Vandy last season.
Gameball goes to... Matthew Stafford. Georgia's sophomore QB completed 16 of 31 passes for 201 yards and a score in the Dawgs' too-close-for-comfort win.
Stat of the game... 22.3 Georgia, which entered the game ranked 92nd nationally in kickoff returns, improved marginally against Vandy, as Asher Allen returned four for an average of 22.3 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-16||5-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||08:13||Sean Bailey 32 Yd Pass From Matthew Stafford (Brandon Coutu Kick) |
Drive: 1 plays, 33 yds, :08
|FG||01:05||Bryant Hahnfeldt 21 Yd |
Drive: 14 plays, 68 yds, 7:08
|TD||09:09||Sean Walker 15 Yd Run (Bryant Hahnfeldt Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:09
|TD||02:36||Sean Walker 16 Yd Pass From Mackenzi Adams (Bryant Hahnfeldt Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 50 yds, 1:46
|TD||10:51||Brannan Southerland 1 Yd Run (Brandon Coutu Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 70 yds, 4:09
|FG||06:12||Brandon Coutu 31 Yd |
Drive: 7 plays, 38 yds, 3:04
|FG||00:00||Brandon Coutu 37 Yd |
Drive: 10 plays, 74 yds, 2:43