Bulldogs down Sooners in 2OT
Blocked field goal helps Georgia win Rose Bowl, 54-48
The Associated Press
PASADENA, Calif. — After ending the first Rose Bowl game ever to go into overtime, Sony Michel was swarmed by Georgia teammates as he broke down in tears.
The senior tailback had gone from goat to hero and sent the Bulldogs to the national championship game.
Michel burst through the line for a 27-yard touchdown run to give No. 3 Georgia a 54-48 victory Monday against No. 2 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Michel, who had a fumble in the fourth quarter returned for a go-ahead Oklahoma touchdown, ran for 181 yards and three scores for the Bulldogs (13-1), but none bigger than the last one in the second overtime.
“I made plays. I gave up plays. My team just had faith in me,” said Michel, who did all that damage on just 11 carries. “That’s what this team is all about. They showed true character today.”
In the final game of his college career, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass that gave the Sooners a 17-point lead with 6 seconds left in the first half.
But the Heisman Trophy winner could not get the Sooners (12-2) into the end zone in the first overtime when a touchdown would have ended the game.
The Bulldogs will face Alabama on Jan. 8 for the national championship in Atlanta, about 90 miles from their campus.
After Georgia made its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1943 a rousing, heart-stopping success, the Bulldogs will play for their first national title since 1980.
“We got to get back to work. It’s not done,” Michel said. “Now we got to finish. Let’s just finish this season off right.”
Michel and his running mate Nick Chubb were awesome for Georgia. Chubb ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including a 2-yarder on a direct snap with 55 seconds left in regulation to tie it.
The first overtime Rose Bowl was also the highest-scoring, surpassing last year’s 52-49 USC victory against Penn State. There was a lot more on the line in this one, which will go down as an all-time great.
Both teams settled for field goals in the first overtime.
After an offside penalty on Georgia gave Oklahoma a first down on third-and-five in the second OT possession, the Sooners stalled again and Austin Seibert came out for a 27-yard field-goal attempt. Leaping through the line, Lorenzo Carter got his outstretched hand on the kick and the ball fluttered down short of the uprights.
Any score would have ended it for the Bulldogs, and on the second play, Michel slipped one tackle and was home free.
Mayfield stood motionless on the sideline for several seconds, bent over with his hands on his knees and head down.
“I can’t believe it’s over. It’s been a wild ride,” said Mayfield with a hoarse voice before he started to cry.