The Covington News - - Sports -

up Van­der­bilt's first touch­down. Walsh missed a cou­ple of field­goal at­tempts be­fore fi­nally mak­ing his third. Stafford was in­ter­cepted twice.

"You re­ally can't shoot your­self in the foot, es­pe­cially down there in the red zone," Moreno said.

Mackenzi Adams, who re­placed Chris Nick­son as Vandy's start­ing quar­ter­back this week, threw a pair of touch­down pass to Jamie Gra­ham.

The Com­modores (5-2, 3-2) lost their sec­ond in a row, again miss­ing a chance to be­come bowl-el­i­gi­ble for the first time since 1982. They have five more chances.

"Our guys don't quit," coach Bobby John­son said. "I don't even have to worry about them. I think we played bet­ter this week than last," an ugly 17-14 loss at Mis­sis­sippi State.

Moreno had his fourth 100yard per­for­mance of the sea­son, which in­cluded an 11-yard touch­down run. Green went over 100 yards re­ceiv­ing for the sec­ond time in his col­lege ca­reer, scor­ing Ge­or­gia's first TD on a 17-yard pass.

John­son de­cided to go with Adams at quar­ter­back in hopes of beef­ing up the pass­ing game. The new starter was 16 of 32 for 131 yards, with two in­ter­cep­tions. Nick­son got in for one play, fum­bling a snap on third-and-1 near mid­field.

Walsh missed a 40-yard field goal on Ge­or­gia's first pos­ses­sion, then clanked a 37-yarder off the right upright late in the game.

"I thought when the ball hit the upright and came back, it was a good omen for us," John­son said.

But Van­der­bilt's last chance ended when a fourth-down pass from Adams to Gra­ham came up a half-yard short, stopped by a big lick from Asher Allen. Ge­or­gia took over, ran the clock down and Walsh fi­nally kicked one be­tween the up­rights.

Stafford and Green got rolling on the Ge­or­gia's sec­ond pos­ses­sion. The fresh­man slipped be­hind the secondary and hauled in a 49-yard pass over the shoul­der. Two plays later, Green made a leap­ing catch for a 17-yard touch­down, the 6-foot-4 re­ceiver go­ing up to get the ball over 5-10 cor­ner­back D.J. Moore.

Ge­or­gia made it 14-0 late in the first half, the drive beginning af­ter Dar­ius Dew­berry picked off Adams. Moreno broke off two runs to­tal­ing 33 yards, Stafford hooked up with Green on a 13yard pass and Mo­hamed Mas­saquoi got free in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touch­down catch.

Van­der­bilt re­sponded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive just be­fore half­time. Two pass in­ter­fer­ence penal­ties -- one a dis­puted call on Allen, the other a more clear-cut vi­o­la­tion on Bryan Evans -- pushed the Com­modores deep into Ge­or­gia ter­ri­tory. Adams threw it up in the cor­ner of the end zone and watched Gra­ham out-jump Evans for an 18yard touch­down.

The Bull­dogs seemed on the verge of putting away the Com­modores when they marched right down the field on the first drive of the sec­ond half. Moreno had a 19-yard run, Stafford went to Green for a 33-yard gain and Moreno scored from the 11, af­ter an ap­par­ent TD was over­turned when the re­play showed the run­ner's left knee was down.

Again, the Com­modores bounced back. This time, they took ad­van­tage of Stafford's sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion, a pass that was tipped at the line and grabbed by cor­ner­back My­ron Lewis at the Ge­or­gia 26.

Vandy scored with a nearly iden­ti­cal play as its first TD. Adams threw into the left cor­ner for Gra­ham, who pulled it down over Evans for an 8-yard score.

"We stalled out on of­fense a cou­ple of times," Stafford said. "But we bat­tled. I'm proud of the guys."

Be­fore the start of the fourth quar­ter, Ge­or­gia coach Mark Richt gath­ered the play­ers around him to make sure they knew what was at stake. The Bull­dogs, who started the sea­son No. 1, couldn't af­ford an­other con­fer­ence loss if they wanted to keep pace in the SEC East. They're tied with Florida for first place and still in con­tention for a na­tional ti­tle.

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