Sept. 11, 2004
By JACOB JORDAN
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – David Greene struggled early but finished with 213 passing yards and two touchdowns, and third-ranked Georgia beat South Carolina 20-16.
The Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) looked flat from the beginning, trailed 16-0 before finding their rhythm late in the second quarter.
That’s when Greene began connecting with Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown, whose 22-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter put the Bulldogs up 20-16. The two receivers for 10 catches for 130 yards. Greene was 19-for-38 with one interception. His first touchdown was a 12-yard pass to Tyson Browning near the end of the third quarter.
South Carolina (1-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) had a couple of chances to score late. The Gamecocks drove to the Georgia 18, but Greg Blue stuffed Dondrial Pinkins, forcing a fumble.
The Gamecocks got the ball back a couple of plays later when Marcus Lawerence forced a fumble.
On fourth-and-one with five minutes to go, Georgia’s defense again held off Pinkins, and Paul Oliver ended the Gamecocks’ final threat with an interception near midfield.
Georgia’s three turnovers kept the Gamecocks in the game.
Browning mishandled his first punt return, which eventually led to an early safety. The Bulldogs trailed 16-0 after freshman Ko Simpson intercepted Greene and sprinted 57 yards untouched into the end zone with his first career pick.
Georgia didn’t score until Andy Bailey made a 26-yard field goal with 6:47 left in the half, and he added another as the second quarter ended.
Browning, who made the first of several Georgia mistakes, made up for his miscue.
With standout freshman tailback Danny Ware out in the second quarter with a bruised chest, Browning’s offensive role grew. The Bulldogs continually put the ball in Browning’s hands and his 12-yard score capped an 8-play, 73-yard drive that cut South Carolina’s lead to 16-13.
The Gamecocks took advantage of Bailey’s 47-yard miss in the first quarter. Three plays later, Pinkins hit Troy Williamson on a short route, and Williamson broke free from two tacklers before sprinting for a 65-yard score, diving into the end zone.
Pinkins was 13-for-21 with 200 yards.
The Bulldogs were held to just 28 yards in the first quarter, and found themselves in the Gamecocks’ territory just once. But it got better from there, and the Bulldogs finished with 164 yards.
Ware, the star in Georgia’s 48-28 opening win at Georgia Southern, didn’t fare too well with his first carry from the Georgia 3. He bumped into his lineman near the goal line and was swarmed by several Gamecocks including Lawrence, who was credited with the safety.
Ware left the game in the second quarter and didn’t return. He had eight carries for 41 yards.
South Carolina’s heralded running back Demetris Summers also struggled on his first carry, injuring his right ankle on a 3-yard run. He returned but was never a factor.
Though recent games have been close, the Bulldogs still hold a 41-13-2 edge in the series and have won the past three meetings.
Georgia is 15-6-2 at Williams-Brice Stadium and under coach Mark Richt, and the Bulldogs are 13-1 in an opponents’ home stadium.