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SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
10-2, 6-2 Conf
34
Final
1234T
UGA14731034
LSU070714
14
10-2, 7-1 Conf

Shockley throws for two TDs as Georgia wins SEC

ATLANTA (AP) -- D.J. Shockley stood in the middle of his grateful
Georgia teammates, holding aloft the MVP trophy and celebrating a
night that was five years in the making.

You see, patience does pay off.

Shockley threw a pair of touchdown passes to Sean Bailey and ran
for another score, leading No. 13 Georgia to its second
Southeastern Conference championship in four years with a
surprisingly easy 34-14 victory over third-ranked LSU on Saturday
night.

Even though Shockley completed only 6 of 12 passes for 112
yards, no one wearing red and black had any complaints about giving
the game's MVP award to a senior quarterback who waited so long for
his chance.

"Guys like D.J. make this coaching profession worthwhile,"
Georgia's Mark Richt said.

Shockley spent four years behind David Greene, the winningest
quarterback in major college history. While many players in that
predicament would have transferred -- and the thought certainly
crossed Shockley's mind after his redshirt freshman season -- he
decided Georgia was where he wanted to be.

There were occasional chances to fill in for Greene, but
Shockley mostly watched from the sideline, accepting that he would
get one year -- and one year only -- to make his college career
worthwhile.

In the end, it all worked out.

"This whole year has been reassuring that I did the right thing
by staying here," Shockley said. "I wouldn't change anything
about what I went through."

The Bulldogs (10-2) were playing in Atlanta for the second week
in a row, coming off a win over rival Georgia Tech. Now, they'll
have to make the 75-mile trip from their Athens campus a third
straight time -- for the Sugar Bowl.

Normally, that game is played in New Orleans, but this isn't a
normal year. The Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl has been transplanted to the
Georgia Dome, forced out of the Big Easy by the damage caused by
Hurricane Katrina.

"The sugar is flowing now," Shockley said.

LSU came into the day clinging to the faint hope of playing for
the national championship, but nothing went right for the Tigers
(10-2).

Second-ranked Texas routed Colorado 70-3 in the Big 12
championship, which ended about 1{ hours before Georgia-LSU kicked
off. By the time the Tigers took the field, No. 1 Southern Cal was
well on its way to a 66-19 blowout of UCLA.

With the Rose Bowl settled, LSU couldn't even lock up a
consolation BSC bid. The team that somehow kept its focus through
all the distractions caused by Katrina -- one home game postponed,
another moved to Arizona -- looked downright awful against the
Bulldogs and will likely settle for a spot in either the Cotton or
Peach bowl.

"We didn't play our best," first-year coach Les Miles said.
"But this football team certainly did achieve to win the Western
Division championship. We started this season in a very difficult
situation and the scenario changed each week."

Georgia took control early, scoring two touchdowns before the
game was nine minutes old. The Bulldogs didn't pile up big numbers
offensively, but they stunned LSU with five big plays -- two on
offense, two on defense and one on special teams -- to make up for a
loss in the 2003 championship game.

LSU won that year 34-13 on the way to sharing the national
championship. This time, it was Georgia that prevailed in a
laugher, winning its second SEC title since Richt took over as
coach in 2001.

In his second season, Richt led the Bulldogs to their first SEC
title in 20 years. The next one didn't take nearly as long to get.

Shockley made sure of that, starting out with a 45-yard scoring
pass to Bailey. Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, DeMario
Minter intercepted a pass from JaMarcus Russell to give the ball
back to the Bulldogs near midfield. Shockley and Bailey hooked up
again, this time for a 29-yard touchdown when safety LaRon Landry
was late getting over in coverage.

"We wanted to start fast and carry over our momentum for the
entire game," Shockley said.

Bailey's two TD receptions matched his production for the entire
season, which was marred by a bunch of dropped passes.

"You go out there knowing you'll catch a break sooner or later
if you fix the mistakes," he said. "I caught some breaks tonight
and made some big plays."

LSU closed the gap to 14-7 early in the second period on
Russell's 1-yard dive, but that was the Tigers' last hurrah.
McClendon charged through the line to block Chris Jackson's punt,
giving Georgia another prime scoring chance at the LSU 15.

On third-and-2, Shockley took off running when the pocket
collapsed, breaking an attempted tackle by Landry and leaving two
other players splattered on the turf for a 7-yard touchdown.

That gave Georgia a 21-7 lead at halftime, a deficit that no
team has overcome in the 14-year history of the championship game.

The Tigers totally fell apart after the break. Landry was called
for back-to-back penalties on a drive that finished with the first
of two field goals by Brandon Coutu. Russell was knocked out of the
game with about five minutes left in the period, going down hard on
his left shoulder while being sacked by Jeff Owens.

At that point, LSU was about as low as it could go -- its
quarterback laid out on the field, the scoreboard showing
fourth-and-32 with Georgia leading 24-7.

Coutu kicked another field goal, tying a championship game
record from 51 yards away, and Matt Flynn took over at quarterback
for the Tigers. His second pass was picked off along the sideline
by Tim Jennings, who scooted into the end zone from 15 yards away
to send most of the purple-and-gold contingent for the exits.

Georgia shut down LSU's ground attack, which was so devastating
in the '03 championship game. Justin Vincent, who rushed for 201
yards against the Bulldogs as a freshman, managed only 15 yards on
eight carries this time.

In all, LSU was held to 74 yards on the ground -- 219 fewer than
it put up two years ago.

"They just seemed to want it more than we did," offensive
tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "We've got to get back to the
drawing board."