Scores

Final

(7) Georgia 23

(4-0, 2-0 SEC)

Mississippi St 10

(2-2, 0-2 SEC)

Coverage: ESPN2

7:45 PM ET, September 24, 2005

Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS

1 2 3 4 T
#7UGA 7 7 6 323
MSST 3 0 0 710

Top Performers

Passing: D. Shockley (UGA) - 312 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: J. Norwood (MSST) - 14 CAR, 43 YDS

Receiving: L. Pope (UGA) - 3 REC, 55 YDS, 1 TD

Shockley sparks No. 7 Georgia past Miss. State

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- D.J. Shockley allowed himself just a few hours to enjoy best game of his career.

Shockley passed for a career-high 312 yards and set two other personal bests in his first career road start on Saturday night, leading No. 7 Georgia past Mississippi State 23-10.

It didn't take long for his focus to shift to a game two weeks away against No. 10 Tennessee.

"You celebrate the win until we touch down in Atlanta. We get back, and it's over with," Shockley said. "Even though we've got an off week, our minds are going to be on Tennessee. The winner of that game goes toward (the SEC championship), so we've got to make sure we focus on them."

Georgia (2-0 Southeastern Conference) is 4-0 for the third time in coach Mark Richt's five seasons, and the fifth-year senior quarterback is a big reason why.

Shockley, who's finally enjoying a chance to start after spending four years as David Greene's backup, also set career highs with 20 completions and 33 attempts despite gusty, hurricane-related winds and occasional showers.

The soggy conditions didn't seem to bother Shockley, who surpassed his previous bests of 289 yards passing and 16 completions he set four weeks earlier in a win against Boise State.

"If you will look it at as a first-year starter, the guy's doing great," Richt said. "This is his first start in a hostile environment, and he played pretty darned good."

After winning his first three starts Between the Hedges, the SEC's most efficient passer was sharp in his first start on the road: The league's most productive offense outgained Mississippi State 406-254.

"He's always ready to play," receiver Mohamed Massaquoi said. "He's our leader. We follow him. We're fortunate to have a guy like that doing things."

Shockley's first touchdown pass was his prettiest, and it came on the Bulldogs' opening series. He slipped from the grasp of Mississippi State's Deljuan Robinson, rolled right and hit a wide-open Danny Ware from 28 yards out to give Georgia the lead for good.

Shockley added a 10-yard TD in the second quarter to Leonard Pope, who caught it at about the 4 and dragged Mississippi State's DeMario Bobo across the goal line.

"He threw the ball better than I thought he would," Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom said. "Their tight ends and receivers didn't miss balls."

Shockley's 33-yard pass to Pope on fourth-and-5 set up a 23-yard field goal by Brandon Coutu, the SEC's leading scorer who entered with 31 points.

Coutu finished with three field goals, adding kicks of 27 and 23 yards for Georgia, which is already thinking about the matchup with the Volunteers.

"That one's still a big game," Massaquoi said.

This one could have been much more lopsided: Coutu missed field goals of 41 and 53 yards and Georgia lost a fumble inside the Mississippi State 10.

Mississippi State (2-2, 0-2) was looking for its second huge upset of a ranked SEC East team in two seasons under Croom.

The Bulldogs -- who also play No. 3 LSU and at No. 5 Florida in the next two weeks -- shocked then-No. 20 Florida last year, and hoped they could catch Georgia looking ahead its game against the Volunteers.

"That was one of the biggest things that coach Richt really emphasized to us over the whole week -- this is a good team that can win games and upset people," Shockley said.

Keith Andrews had Mississippi State believing when he capped the opening drive with a 34-yard field goal. But after that, Georgia made all the plays when they counted.

A tough, focused Georgia defense held Mississippi State to 77 total yards in the first half and never allowed the Bulldogs to get anything going until the outcome was all but decided.

Omarr Conner had a late 4-yard touchdown pass to Eric Butler and finished 19-of-32 for 205 yards for Mississippi State, while leading rusher Jerious Norwood finished with 43 yards and had minus-6 yards in the second half.

"We need to get in a rhythm," Croom said. "It's hard to throw all the time."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UGA
MSST
1st Downs2213
Passing312205
Rushing9449
Penalties5-389-81
3rd Down Conversions----------
4th Down Conversions----------
Turnovers12
Possession35:2224:38

Passing Leaders

GeorgiaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT

Passing Leaders

GeorgiaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT

Rushing Leaders

GeorgiaCARYDSAVGTDLG

Rushing Leaders

GeorgiaCARYDSAVGTDLG

Receiving Leaders

GeorgiaRECYDSAVGTDLG

Receiving Leaders

GeorgiaRECYDSAVGTDLG

Scoring Summary

MISSSTATE K Andrews 34 YD   
GEORGIA D Ware 28 YD PASS FROM D Shockley (B Coutu KICK)   
GEORGIA L Pope 10 YD PASS FROM D Shockley (B Coutu KICK)   
GEORGIA B Coutu 27 YD   
GEORGIA B Coutu 23 YD   
GEORGIA B Coutu 23 YD   
MISSSTATE E Butler 4 YD PASS FROM O Conner (K Andrews KICK)