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January 1, 2009
40th Win For Seniors: For the sixth consecutive year, the senior class registered at least 40 wins in their career. Georgia finishes 10-3 and the senior class goes 40-12 with one SEC title, two SEC Eastern Division titles and 3-1 mark in bowls. The Bulldogs have collected 10-win seasons now six times in Mark Richt's eight years at the helm and the Bulldogs are 82-22 overall in his tenure.
Stafford's Big Second Half Nets MVP Award: Junior Matthew Stafford (20-for-31, 250 yards, 3 TDs) He set a single season school record with 25 TD passes on the season, the record-setting one coming to Knowshon Moreno covering 21 yards to make it 24-12. In the first half, Stafford was 6-for-14 for 71 yards and no TDs. In the second half, he was 14-for-17 for 179 yards a Georgia bowl record-tying 3 TDs. Also in his career, Stafford was the Offensive MVP for the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl 31-24 comeback win over Virginia Tech. Stafford threw for 3,459 yards this year, the 2nd best tally in school history, trailing only Eric Zeier's 3,525 yards in 1993.
6 Bowl Sacks: In the first half, Georgia had four sacks (Asher Allen, Dannell Ellerbe, Jarius Wynn, and a half each for Demarcus Dobbs and Justin Houston). In the second half, UGA had two more (Wynn and Corvey Irvin) to finish with a season-high six. In last year's Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii, UGA had a school/bowl record eight sacks. Also, Georgia limited Michigan State's potent rushing attack to 31 yards. Javon Ringer was held to 47 yards on 20 attempts with one TD.
Moreno Moves Up: Sophomore Knowshon Moreno finished with 62 yards rushing on 23 carries plus had a career-high six catches for 63 yards including a 21-yard TD. He ended up with 1,400 yards on the year and currently has 2,734 in his two seasons.
Another Bowl Win: With today's 24-12 win over #19 MSU, Georgia is now 25-16-3 in bowl history including 6-2 under Mark Richt. Today marked Georgia's fifth appearance in Orlando and is 3-1-1 here. Also, Georgia is 2-0 against the Spartans, both bowl wins. The Bulldogs are 34-3 against teams from outside the SEC in the Richt era.
Another Long TD Drive: Georgia had its fourth TD drive that covered 90 plus yards this season. Today, the Bulldogs went 96 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 35-yard pass from Stafford to Mike Moore. The drive took 5:51 and gave the Bulldogs a 10-6 edge. Georgia's longest this year covered 99 yards against Central Michigan.
Moore set a career high with 6 catches for 97 yards today.
Punt Return Record: Georgia set a new record for punt return average this season at 17.58, breaking the old mark of 16.48 set in 1980. For the year, Georgia had 422 punt return yards on 24 returns. Today, they had 1 return for 38 yards.
Low Point Total In 1st Half: Georgia's three points at the half matched their lowest in a bowl since trailing Virginia Tech 21-3 in the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Bulldogs rallied for a 31-24 win. It was the lowest combined total in the first half of a bowl since the 1985 Sun Bowl. It was 3-3 at the half and ended up in a 13-13 tie with Arizona.
Points Off Turnovers: Georgia created one turnover (Reshad Jones team-leading 5th INT) while MSU scored 3 points off two turnovers. The first one came on an interception (a tipped pass off Michael Moore from Matthew Stafford) and it led to a field goal. It tied the game at 3-3 with 4:50 left in the first quarter. On the next possession, Georgia's A.J. Green fumbled on a reverse to give MSU the ball at the Georgia 46. It led to a punt. Although not a turnover, MSU got the ball at the UGA 40 following a botched punt attempt by Brian Mimbs. It led to a FG and a 6-3 lead with 2:14 left in the 1st half.
Captains: Georgia's captains today were seniors Mohamed Massaquoi (SE), Brannan Southerland (FB), Andrew Williams (SS) and Corvey Irvin (DT).
Starters: On offense, Georgia started in a four-receiver set with no fullback or tight end as Mohamed Massaquoi, Kris Durham, A.J. Green and Michael Moore were part of a no-huddle offense. Junior QB Matthew Stafford made his 32nd consecutive start while senior safety C.J. Byrd leads the defense with 26 consecutive starts.
Injury Report: Sophomore starting tackle Josh Davis injured his left shoulder in the third quarter and missed the remainder of the game.