BOULDER, Colo. — Linebacker Jon Major recovered Caleb King's fumble as Georgia was setting up for the go-ahead field goal in the closing minutes and Colorado handed the Bulldogs their fourth straight loss 29-27 Saturday night.
This marks the longest losing streak for the Bulldogs (1-4) since they lost their last four games in 1990.
Not even the spectacular return of Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green from a four-game suspension could halt the Bulldogs' slide.
The Bulldogs had first-and-10 at the Colorado 27 when B.J. Beatty got into the backfield and forced the fumble that Major smothered with 1:55 left.
Rodney Stewart, who rushed 19 times for 149 yards and a score, helped the Buffaloes (3-1) salt it away by reeling off a 14-yard gain on first down.
The Buffaloes weathered the return of Green from a four-game suspension. Green had seven catches for 119 yards and two scores but none after his 50-yard grab on the third snap after halftime.
Colorado was clinging to a 29-27 lead when they got the ball with 12½ minutes left and drove downfield, finally stalling at the Bulldogs' 35 when Tyler Hansen was sacked for a big loss by Marcus Dowtin. From there, Aric Goodman missed a 52-yard field goal, giving the Bulldogs good field position with 3:37 left.
They methodically moved downfield and had the crowd lulled when King fumbled the ball. After the final whistle, the crowd stormed the field.
Fired up after running onto the field pre-game with members of Colorado's 1990 national championship team, the Buffaloes jumped out to a quick 14-3 lead.
After the Bulldogs scored 21 unanswered points, Colorado roared back behind the running of Stewart, whose career-best 65-yard burst set up Hansen's 2-yard TD keeper. After a 2-point conversion pulled Colorado to 24-22, the Buffs went ahead 29-24 on Stewart's 11-yard TD run.
The Bulldogs stalled at the Colorado 2 and settled for Blair Walsh's 20-yard field goal to pull to 29-27.
Colorado got the ball back with 12:30 left.
The Bulldogs fell to 39-5 against non-SEC teams under coach Mark Richt, who's been under fire for a slow start that had plenty to do with the absence of his star receiver.
Green caught TD passes of 3 and 39 yards from Aaron Murray as the Bulldogs built a 17-14 halftime lead. They scored on the opening drive of the second half on Marlon Brown's 8-yard catch for a 24-14 lead.
Green hauled in Murray's fade pass to the right corner with his left hand despite tumbling over cornerback Jalil Brown in the end zone. That pulled the Bulldogs to 14-10 in the first half.
Murray and Green wasted no time in putting the Bulldogs ahead on their next possession.
After Branden Smith's 36-yard punt return, Green sped past Brown and hauled in Murray's 39-yard touchdown toss down the middle of the field for a 17-14 Georgia lead.
Murray tried to hit Green over the middle again from 38 yards out in the waning minutes but this time cornerback Jimmy Smith was there to knock it away, and the Bulldogs settled for a three-point halftime lead with Walsh missing a 41-yard field goal try as time expired.
Contributing to the Bulldogs' slow start was the monthlong suspension of Green, who was penalized for selling his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000 to a man the NCAA deemed was an agent. Green said he has never met or talked with the purchaser. He said he sold the jersey on Facebook because he needed the money for spring break.
The Bulldogs struggled on offense without Green, a 2009 first-team All-SEC pick. They scored a combined 18 points in road losses at South Carolina and Mississippi State.
While the Buffaloes were celebrating the 20th anniversary of their national championship team with a halftime celebration at midfield, Georgia punter Drew Butler came out early to practice punts in front of the group for several minutes.