Bennett's third FG stunts upset bid

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Georgia got away with another one.

For the second week in a row, the Bulldogs (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) struggled

against a big underdog, needing Billy Bennett's third field goal

with 12:57 remaining to beat UAB 16-13 on Saturday.

Now, it's time to get serious. Georgia (7-1) heads to

Jacksonville next weekend for its annual showdown against No. 25

Florida, with 17th-ranked Auburn and greatly improved Georgia Tech

also looming on the schedule.

"If we go out and play Florida like we did the last two games,

we're going to be in for a long night -- a real long night,"

Georgia receiver Bryan McClendon said. "But it should be easier

for us to get up for Florida."

A week earlier, the Bulldogs trailed Vanderbilt 2-0 at halftime

before rallying for a 27-8 victory.

This time, Georgia was behind 13-10 late in the third quarter.

Bennett tied it up with a 29-yard field goal, then connected from

31 yards to finally put the Bulldogs ahead for good.

For good measure, Bennett also became the leading scorer in

school history with 355 points, surpassing Kevin Butler's mark of


But there wasn't much more for Georgia to get excited about on

this day.

"I don't think the team was real hyped up like we usually

are," defensive tackle Ken Veal said. "But you can't use that as

an excuse. You've got to come out and play."

Coach Mark Richt was hoarse when he arrived in the interview


"Maybe I'm doing more yelling than normal," he said, managing

a smile.

Despite the lackluster showing, Georgia could move up a spot in

the both The Associated Press rankings and BCS standings.

Third-ranked Virginia Tech was upset by West Virginia on Wednesday


UAB (3-5), a 29-point underdog, played well for the second week

in a row against a ranked team. The Blazers led No. 15 TCU 24-16 in

the third quarter, but wound up losing 27-24 after quarterback

Darrell Hackney sustained a season-ending thumb injury.

That forced UAB to give redshirt freshman Chris Williams his

first college start against the nation's top-ranked defense. The

youngster fared well, making no major mistakes and keeping the

Blazers in the game.

"I am real proud of my players," UAB coach WatsonBrown said.

"Our plan was to get into the fourth quarter and make the game as

short as possible."

The Bulldogs had to make a late defensive stand to preserve

their victory. Williams completed a 24-yard pass to Bradly Chavez

to the Georgia 32, within range for Nick Hayes to attempt a tying

field goal.

But a delay of game penalty backed up UAB, then Derrick White

sacked Williams for an 11-yard loss. Under heavy pressure, Williams

failed to complete his next two passes, giving the ball back to the

Bulldogs with 1:54 remaining. They managed to run out the clock.

"We knew we had to stop 'em right there," said defensive end

Quentin Moses, who had to step in when All-American David Pollack

went down early in the game with a leg injury.

Following the script, Georgia jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead,

only to have UAB tie it by halftime. The Blazers went ahead for the

first time on Hayes' 47-yard field goal with 9:52 left in the third


Georgia made all sorts of mistakes. McClendon dropped an easy

catch in the end zone, costing the Bulldogs a touchdown. Bennett

missed a 30-yard field goal. David Greene threw two interceptions.

The Bulldogs were called for two personal foul penalties.

The homecoming crowd was lackluster, too. The Georgia players

had to resort to waving their arms late in the third quarter,

bringing the fans to their feet.

"We love it when the crowd is real enthusiastic," Veal said.

"That helps us. I don't know if they know that. We were like,

'Please get up for us."

But the Bulldogs managed to survive, a point that Greene

stressed over and over.

"A win is a win. Never forget that," said Greene, who

completed 20 of 33 passes for 221 yards. "When the team isn't

playing well, the best thing you can do is fight it out and try to

find a way to win. We haven't played well the last two weeks, but

we still managed to fight and win."

At the start, it looked like a blowout. The Bulldogs marched

right down the field on their first possession as Greene completed

four straight passes, the last a 16-yard touchdown to Damien Gary.

Bennett kicked a 48-yard field goal early in the second quarter to

make it 10-0.

But UAB responded with an 18-play, 75-yard drive that consumed

nearly 10 minutes of the second period. Theron Dudley scored on a

1-yard touchdown run to pull the Blazers within 10-7.

On the final play of the half, Hayes kicked a 27-yard field goal

to tie it up.

In his first start, Williams was 12-of-21 for 97 yards, with one


"Under the circumstances, I think we did a good job,"

linebacker Zac Woodfin said. "We fought our guts out today."