November 15, 2008

Slow start, fast finish for Auburn defense

It wasn't the start the Auburn defense was looking for Saturday.

After the first quarter expired in Jordan-Hare Stadium, Georgia's offense had rolled up 158 total yards, 94 of which came on the ground. Bulldog running back Knowshon Moreno had 89 of those yards. He averaged nearly 10 yards per carry the first 15 minutes of the game.

The rest of the way, it was a little different.

The Tiger defense held Georgia to 193 total yards in the last three quarters, a little more than 64 yards per quarter. The Bulldogs were limited to just 42 yards rushing the remaining 45 minutes of the game. Moreno finished with 131 yards on 22 carries, but picked up just 43 yards on 11 carries after the first quarter.

"They came out with a play selection that was different than what they'd been doing on a consistent basis," said Auburn defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads. "They had nice answers to start the football game to things that we were doing, and we had to adjust to that."

Auburn adjusted, but it still wasn't enough. The Tigers dropped their sixth game of the season, third in a row to Georgia, as the Bulldogs held off a late charge by Auburn to claim the 17-13 win.

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