BULLDOGS FOOTBALL NEWS
Bulldogs Football News
December 31, 2006
Georgia Rallies To Beat Virginia Tech In Chick-fil-A Bowl
ATLANTA Georgia stormed back from an 18-point deficit to defeat Virginia
Tech 31-24 on Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome.
Linebacker Tony Taylor and quarterback Matthew Stafford were named the
Defensive and Offensive MVPs, respectively. Taylor had two interceptions and
Stafford threw for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia improved to 9-4 with three straight wins at the end of the season,
while the Hokies wound up at 10-3.
"I'm proud of everyone on this team," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "To be
forgotten like we were and then to finish the way we did means a lot."
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs got scoring runs from tailback Kregg
Lumpkin and fullback Brannan Southerland along with one of kicker Brandon
Coutu's three field goals. Georgia fell behind 21-3 in the second quarter,
but held the Hokies to just a fourth-quarter field goal from then on.
Stafford finished 9-of-21 for 129 yards and a touchdown after going just
3-for-9 in the first half. Tight end Martrez Milner had three catches for 49
yards and a touchdown, plus he caught a critical two-point conversion pass.
Georgia's comeback was the largest for the Bulldogs under Richt in any game.
Taylor's two picks tied the Georgia bowl record held by Scott Woerner and
Ronnie Harris. As a team, the Bulldogs had three interceptions and one
fumble recovery. Eighteen of Georgia's points came following turnovers.
Coutu kicked three field goals for the Bulldogs, including a 51-yarder that
was the second-longest kick in bowl history. Coutu also kicked two extra
Georgia's first touchdown, Milner's catch, was set up by a successful onside
kick that was struck and recovered by kicker Brian Mimbs.
"It was huge for the whole team and for the momentum of the game," Stafford
said of the onside kick.
In the second quarter, the Hokies got a pair of 1-yard scoring runs from
running back Branden Ore to go up 14-0. Then Virginia Tech reached into its
bag of tricks as receiver Eddie Royal caught a lateral and threw a 53-yard
scoring pass to tight end Sam Wheeler. Kicker Brandon Pace tacked on all
three extra points and had the fourth-quarter field goal.
"Georgia was playing from behind and made some big plays," Virginia Tech
tackle Duane Brown said. "We knew coming in at halftime that were coming in
ready to play, so it wasn't that hard to believe. We had a lot of turnovers
and they capitalized on that, and we started to fall apart after awhile."
The Bulldogs improved to 23-16-3 in bowls. A bowl-record crowd of 75,406
packed the Georgia Dome to see Saturday's game.
Source: University of Georgia Sports Information
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