Georgia defense shuts down Herd

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 2004

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia defense made up for another lackluster offensive showing, holding Marshall to seven first downs in the third-ranked Bulldogs' 13-3 victory on Saturday.

Marshall (0-3), which held No. 9 Ohio State to 79 yards rushing in a 24-21 loss last week, shut down a Georgia running game that was without its top two backs. The Bulldogs (3-0) had 41 carries for 146 yards, most coming late in the game.

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After Georgia lost projected starter Kregg Lumpkin to a season-ending knee injury on the first day of practice, Danny Ware suffered a bruised lung in last week's 20-16 win at South Carolina.

Tyson Browning started Saturday and was mostly ineffective, and Michael Cooper's playing time was limited by a bruised thigh he suffered in the third quarter.

Freshman Thomas Brown finally began to wear down the Marshall defense as the Bulldogs held the ball most of the fourth quarter. Brown had 18 carries for 81 yards.

Georgia hopes to have Ware back when it plays host to LSU on Oct. 2.

Marshall has lost its first three games for the first time in school history.

Held to 13 yards rushing in the first half, Georgia led 10-3 at halftime thanks to an 11-play, 67-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter.

Cooper vaulted over the line for 3 yards on a fourth-and-1 play from the Marshall 17 to keep the drive alive. Cooper scored from the 2 following a 12-yard pass from David Greene to Fred Gibson.

Marshall gained 57 yards on its first play from scrimmage when Stan Hill faked a handoff and passed to an open Emanuel Spann. A pass interference call against Georgia cornerback Tim Jennings two plays later pushed Marshall to the 6, but Hill was sacked on third down and Marshall took a 3-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal by Ian O'Connor.

After Georgia's touchdown drive, the Bulldogs added a 33-yard field goal by Andy Bailey to cap an 82-yard drive that began at their 3. Greene hit freshman A.J. Bryant for 34 yards on the drive.

Browning lost a fumble that gave Marshall the ball at the Georgia 11 in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs defense kept the Herd off the scoreboard.

Three carries by Earl Charles gained 9 yards, setting up a fourth-and-1 at the 2. Under pressure, Hill rolled to his right and threw the ball at receiver Brad Bates' feet, ending the drive.

A 33-yard pass from Greene to tight end Leonard Pope on the first play of the fourth quarter moved Georgia to the Marshall 31 and helped set up a 29-yard field goal by Bailey for a 13-3 Georgia lead.

Bailey was wide left on a 45-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter.