The Dawgs of Georgia had the last bark on Monday night at the Rose Bowl when they beat Oklahoma 54-48 in a double overtime thriller at Pasadena. It was one of the most exciting games in recent memory that saw Bulldogs teammates Sony Michel and Nick Chubb each top 1,000 yards for the season. It is also the first time the Rose Bowl has ever gone to overtime in its 104-year history.
This was a game that was the typical tale of two halves as Oklahoma ran out to a 31-17 lead at the half. Heisman winner, quarterback Baker Mayfield moved the Sooners up and down the field almost at will the first two quarters. Their first drive took just 2:06 off the clock and one had to wonder if this was going to be a long day for Georgia. The answer to that question came on the ensuing drive in the form of Chubb and Michel as they ran for 46 of the 75 yards. It ended up with Michel taking a 13-yard pass from freshman Jake Fromm to tie the game at 7-7.
There's so much offense in this game, Baker Mayfield is CATCHING TOUCHDOWNS. pic.twitter.com/OyaiK8h8F8
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2018
Rodney Anderson took control of Oklahoma’s next possession, accounting for all 75 yards on those six plays. Just like that, it was 14-7 Sooners.
The Dawgs would get the ball back and charge down the field only to be stopped when Rodrigo Blankenship missed a 48-yard field goal. Once again, the Sooners wasted little time off the clock going 69 yards in five plays for a 21-7 lead.
By the time the half was done, it looked like the Bulldogs might be done for after a 10-play, 90-yard drive took the teams into the locker room with Oklahoma up 31-17. For the most part, it looked like Georgia could not keep up with the Oklahoma offense. The 31 points for the Sooners were the most scored by halftime in a playoff game in its four-year history.
The second half would be a whole different story as Georiga started to put lots of pressure on Mayfield. Of course, there was the two-headed backfield monster for Georgia as Chubb opened up the scoring in the third quarter with a 50-yard run to make it 31-24. After a couple of punts, Michel took his turn when he ran it in from 38 yards out to tie the game at 31. Now, we had a battle and one could feel that the first team to blink, so to speak, would lose.
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) January 2, 2018
The teams traded scores and punts and it was now 38-38. With 7:00 to play, Michel was stripped of the ball and Sooners safety Steven Parker picked it up and ran 46 yards for the go-ahead score. 45-38 Oklahoma. This was just two minutes after Dimitri Flowers had just tied the score for Oklahoma. The fumble return for the touchdown looked to be the nail in the coffin for the Dawgs.
Oklahoma's defense comes up HUGE. Steven Parker scoops and scores the fumble to put the Sooners up 45-38!!! pic.twitter.com/cNJUv4pT66
— Oklahoma DieHards (@OUDieHards) January 2, 2018
Not to be outdone, Georgia came right back and came back big. With 55 seconds left in the game, Chubb capped a 59-yard drive that ended with him going in from the two-yard line for the tie at 45 apiece. Regulation would end and the contest would go into overtime.
The teams would trade field goals in the first OT and then drama happened. Oklahoma had the chance to take a touchdown lead in the second OT, but Austin Seibert’s kick from 27 yards out was blocked and Georgia had a chance. On second down, Michel took the handoff and raced 27 yards for the winning score and Georgia is now playing for national championship. It will be the first chance they have to win a title since they last won in 1980 with some guy named Herschel Walker.
Many will say this was one of the greatest college football games that they have ever seen played. I would tend to agree with them especially in light of the fact that this comes in the new playoff format that adds so much excitement to it.
Maybe, just maybe, we have a preview of what next week’s title game may look like. I tell you one thing for sure, it is going to be hard to top this game.
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