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Upset Leaves Georgia Stunned

Vanderbilt kicks a field goal with two seconds left for a 24-22 victory over the No. 16 Bulldogs.

October 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. — Vanderbilt celebrated wildly, cheered on by sprinkling of gold-and-black-clad fans amid the sea of red. Georgia and its 92,000 backers trudged out of Sanford Stadium in stunned silence. The scoreboard went blank as soon as it was over, a feeble attempt to erase what everyone had just seen.

A stunner between the hedges.

Bryant Hahnfeldt kicked a 33-yard field goal with two seconds left Saturday to give Vanderbilt a 24-22 upset of No. 16 Georgia, which lost to an unranked team for the first time since 2002.

The Commodores, 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference, had not beaten the Bulldogs since 1994, and this was only their fourth win in the series in the last 43 meetings. In all likelihood, it ended any hopes that Georgia (5-2, 2-2) had of winning their third SEC title in five years.

"We're not mathematically out of it because there's so many games remaining," Georgia Coach Mark Richt said. "But I'm not going to make it my main point to get back to the SEC championship game. I'm going to talk about getting back to playing winning football. That's what I'm going to stress the most."

It seemed the Bulldogs would manage a lackluster victory when Tony Taylor returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown with just under 9 1/2 minutes remaining for a 22-21 lead.

"We were hoping that would be the spark we needed to finish off Vandy," Taylor said. "But they finished it off better than we did."

Georgia failed on a two-point conversion, and Andy Bailey missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt with about five minutes left that would have forced Vanderbilt to go for a touchdown on its final possession.

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