Dawgs roll past Hilltoppers

ATHENS - Quarterbacks Joe Tereshinski and Matthew Stafford each threw for touchdowns as No. 15 Georgia defeated Western Kentucky 48-12 on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.

With a sell-out crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium and a Lincoln Financial television audience looking on, the Bulldogs improved to 1-0 on the season. Georgia now has won 10 consecutive home openers.

Tailbacks Kregg Lumpkin, Thomas Brown and Danny Ware all had rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Ware paced Georgia with 68 yards on six carries.

"The score doesn't necessarily mean the offense played well," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We did some good things, but the defense provided a lot of opportunities. We've got a whole lot of potential."

Tereshinski, making his first career start at quarterback at home, was 7-of-17 passing for 90 yards and a touchdown. Tereshinski's touchdown pass covered 18 yards to Mario Raley in the first quarter.

"I didn't think there was too much pressure on me to pass for a touchdown today," Tereshinski said. "If we would have scored on all rushing plays, it would have been fine. I think there were some good things today."

Stafford, a freshman who saw action in the fourth quarter, went 3-of-5 for 40 yards and the touchdown. He fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Coleman Watson.

"It was awesome out there," Stafford said. "The crowd was great and the team made it fun and made it easy on me. Coleman Watson ran a great route and made a nice catch."

Georgia began the scoring in the first quarter when Mikey Henderson returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown. Kicker Brandon Coutu added a 37-yard field goal as the Bulldogs opened a 17-0 first-quarter lead.

Lumpkin and Brown each had 2-yard scoring runs in the second quarter for the Bulldogs. The Hilltoppers got on the scoreboard when quarterback Justin Haddix delivered a 17-yard scoring pass to Curtis Hamilton as Georgia led 31-7 at the break.

Coutu's 30-yard field goal in the third quarter pushed the Bulldogs' advantage to 34-7.

Ware opened the fourth quarter with a 41-yard scoring run. The Hilltoppers scored the next points as Georgia was flagged for holding in the end zone, resulting in a safety, and kicker Chris James hit a 45-yard field goal.

The Bulldogs capped the scoring with a minute to play as Stafford connected with Watson.

"I thought our guys played hard and hung together today," WKU coach David Elson said. "Forty-eight points is 48 points, and we are not happy about that. We did play hard, but we were concerned with tackling their running backs. You won't find a better trio of running backs than what Georgia has."

Georgia will return to action next Saturday as it visits South Carolina in the SEC opener.

"We've got to get better in all areas before we play South Carolina," Richt said. "We've got to find out who needs to start and who needs to get some quality snaps. We have a good idea of what's coming at us."

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