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Old 01-02-2018, 01:44 AM
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Default (3) Georgia 54 (2) Oklahoma 48 (2OT)
PASADENA, Calif. Lorenzo Carter delivered the block and then Sony Michel punched the Georgia Bulldogs' ticket to Atlanta. What a couple of moments; what a spectacular Rose Bowl.

Carter and Michel, two of the Bulldogs' talented seniors that came back to Georgia for their final seasons, now two Rose Bowl champions headed home or close enough, anyway to play for a national championship against Alabama next Monday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"They never stopped chopping wood. They kept fighting. They believed," coach Kirby Smart said of the Bulldogs after a roller-coaster of a game.

Finally, when it was over, the Bulldogs and their fans could exhale: Georgia over Oklahoma, 54-48, in double overtime, in a thrilling New Year's Day College Football Playoff semifinal.

"You're going to make plays, you're going to not make plays, and at the end of the day you've just got to keep going," Carter said from a jubilant postgame locker room.

Down by 17 in the second quarter as the defense struggled against the Sooner's speedy and explosive attack, Georgia kept going.

Dominant for all of the third quarter and then up seven, 38-31, early in the fourth, No. 3 Georgia (13-1) kept going.

Suddenly down again, with 6:52 remaining in the game, after the No. 2 Sooners (12-2) got their offense going again and also returned a Michel fumble 46 yards for a touchdown, Georgia kept going.

Trailing 45-38 late in the fourth quarter, Georgia drove 55 yards to draw even, scoring on a 2-yard Nick Chubb run with 55 seconds left. The Bulldogs converted a critical third-and-10 from the Sooner 23-yard line to keep the drive going, with quarterback Jake Fromm hitting wideout Terry Godwin for 16 yards.

"I knew we were in two-down territory, so we didn't have to get all of it at one time," said Fromm, who finished 20-for-29 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns. "Terry came up and made a great play."

In the first overtime the first overtime in the history of the oldest of all the bowls, this the 104th edition Georgia had the ball first and got a Rodrigo Blankenship 38-yard field goal for a 48-45 lead.

Against the nation's best offense, would a field goal be enough? Georgia's defense made sure it was, forcing the Sooners to settle for an Austin Seibert 33-yard field goal, one the athletic and 6-foot-6 Carter, lined up on the left side of Georgia's line, nearly got.

"The previous one, in the first overtime, I tried to dive through there and I kind of got through," he said.

The Sooners got the ball first to start the second overtime and on third down it looked like Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker had snagged a critical interception in the end zone, but the Bulldogs were flagged for offsides on the play. They kept going.

Georgia's defense forced a fourth-and-5 at the 10-yard line and the Sooner's sent Seibert back out there for a 27-yard try.

"The second overtime, Coach said, 'Don't leave nothing out there,' and I knew there was going to be space [on his side of the line], so I jumped through and tried to stay on my feet," Carter said. "On the second step I just put my hand up and got a piece of it."

The ball rolled harmlessly into the end zone after Carter's block the first field-goal bock of his life, he said and now all the Bulldogs needed were some points to win a thrilling, back-and-forth game. They kept going.

A first-down run lost two yards. They kept going.

On second down, Michel lined up in the shotgun, with Fromm wide to the left. Michel took the direct snap and ran Fromm's way. Everybody did their job blocking, including the freshman QB, and just like that Michel had gone 27 yards into the end zone for the game-winner.

"In reality, I wanted to put whoever I was blocking on his back," Fromm said. "It didn't quite happen, but Sony made a play and thank God we scored."

It was pandemonium on the field and it was pandemonium in the stands, where about 60 percent of the 92,844 in attendance were suddenly out of their minds with joy.

"This was incredible," Fromm said. "The Rose Bowl, it's the granddaddy of them all; it's just crazy that we're here in this situation.

"To play in front of this crowd, at this game, it's incredible. You couldn't have wrote it any better, as far as the game went, and thank God we came out on top."

Georgia was playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1943, and playing the Sooners for the first time ever.

Seventy-five years ago, the Bulldogs bested UCLA, 9-0, in a game that was scoreless through three quarters and Georgia was voted the national champion for the 1942 season.

Against the Sooners, there was an action-packed opening quarter, with a combined 21 points scored and 304 yards gained. It was the perfect pace for Oklahoma, which is used to winning shootouts, while the Bulldogs typically gets stops on defense and control the ball and the clock with their run-heavy offense.

Oklahoma took a 31-14 lead with six seconds left in the first half, looking very much in command. But the Sooners' kickoff, which was supposed to be a safe squib kick, went very wrong. The ball only traveled 12 yards, where Tae Crowder dove on it.

Suddenly, Georgia had time for one play, a 55-yard field-goal attempt by Blankenship. The sophomore sent it toward the goal posts, even waving his arms at it as it got close. It was just good, a career-long for Blankenship.

"I thought I'd hit it about as good as I could and I was just like, 'Come on, get there. Just a little more.' It got over and the refs put there arms up," Blankenship said.

The long boot cut the Sooners' halftime lead to 14, a manageable number if you can get some defensive stops. The Georgia defense came out and stopped the Sooners' first five drives of the second half.

When you have one of the top defenses in the country, giving up 48 points and 531 yards of offense makes for a tough day at the office. But the defense held the Sooners to just 171 yards after halftime and gave the Bulldogs a chance.

"We just knew our defense would come through," senior linebacker Davin Bellamy said.

"It was desperation mode, really," Carter said. "Everybody just really didn't want this to be our last 30 minutes together. I love my teammates; we have a very close team, so we just knew we had to give it all and leave it all out there."

They did, finally prevailing against a great Oklahoma team.

"We were just determined to get back on that plane happy," Blankenship said.

They did, on a plane headed home, with one more game to play.

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Old 01-02-2018, 07:25 AM
E's Army E's Army is offline
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Great game.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:14 AM
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Granny Bear Granny Bear is offline
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Granny Bear is a jewel in the roughGranny Bear is a jewel in the roughGranny Bear is a jewel in the rough
The Peach Bowl was a fantastic game, and then it was THIS game. Seemed like the more games I watched, the better they got!!!
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:19 AM
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One of the best bowls games I have seen....
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