ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- For one quarter, it was difficult to tell if Georgia was playing Western Carolina or South Carolina.
Then Matthew Stafford and the Bulldogs started rolling.
Stafford threw two second-quarter scoring passes and No. 23 Georgia recovered from the early offensive malaise to beat Western Carolina 45-16 on Saturday.
Georgia, held without a touchdown last week for the first time in six years in a 16-12 loss to South Carolina, struggled early before enjoying an offensive revival against the Catamounts of the Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA.
Stafford directed four straight touchdown drives before leaving the game in the third quarter.
"I definitely felt better," Stafford said. "We played well, went out there and took care of business. ... I felt pretty efficient."
Stafford was 14-for-20 for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Backup Joe Cox added a 34-yard scoring pass and three running backs ran for touchdowns.
Stafford lost a fumble on a sack during a sloppy opening quarter, which ended 3-3. The Bulldogs pulled away with three second-quarter touchdowns.
Georgia (2-1) received a needed confidence boost for next week's visit to Alabama while giving Western Carolina (0-3) its 12th straight loss.
"I think 45 points is pretty good," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "You don't want to get too greedy."
Georgia freshman Knowshon Moreno rushed for 94 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown run.
"The protection was great, the offensive line made holes, the receivers got open and we made throws," Moreno said. "It felt good. We executed and did what we had to do."
Thomas Brown, a senior, rushed for 42 yards while passing the 2,000-yard mark for his career, but Moreno has led the team in rushing in each of Georgia's three games.
"[Moreno] is doing a fantastic job of taking advantage of his opportunities," Richt said. "We're pleased with what he's done, as we are with Thomas Brown. It's a great one-two combination."
Brown caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Stafford and scored on a 4-yard run, and Brannan Southerland added a 2-yard scoring run.
Jonathan Parsons kicked field goals of 29, 40 and 46 yards for Western Carolina, which lost to Alabama 52-6 in its opener.
Georgia held Western Carolina to 63 yards rushing on 33 carries.
"I thought we played very hard today, especially in the first half," Western Carolina coach Kent Briggs said.
"We had some penalties to help them out. We lost field position, and you can't do that versus a team like Georgia that is very athletic."
Stafford threw scoring passes to Brown and Sean Bailey in the second quarter. Stafford left after leading his fourth consecutive touchdown drive put Georgia up 31-9 early in the second half.
Western Carolina starting quarterback Todd Spitzer was 6-for-10 for only 16 yards passing.
"We moved the ball well. We put some points on the board," Spitzer said. "We got those points off field goals, but not touchdowns. If your turn those nine points into three touchdowns, it's a totally different game.
"Georgia has a great defense. Alabama was great, but Georgia was faster and stronger. These are tough games, but it can be expected to go like this when you play an SEC team."
Georgia opened the game with an 11-play drive, but settled for Brandon Coutu's 37-yard field goal.
On the Bulldogs' second possession, Western Carolina's Gene Singletary forced a fumble while sacking Stafford. The Catamounts took over at the Georgia 14, setting up Parsons' first field goal.
Georgia scored its first touchdown on Stafford's screen pass to Brown. Stafford then directed a quick, four-play touchdown drive with four straight completions: 22 yards to Mohamed Massaquoi, 17 to Bailey, 8 to Mikey Henderson and 15 to Bailey for the touchdown.
"I pretty much threw the ball where it needed to be thrown," Stafford said. "I wanted to help guys make plays. We played well as a team. It was good to see."
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