PASADENA, Calif. - Mark Bradley’s Take
The Georgia Bulldogs trailed by 17 points with nearly half the game gone. They trailed by seven inside the final minute. They went to overtime, where offenses are supposed to hold sway, against the nation’s No. 1 offense.
And they won. In one of the greatest moments in the history of a program that, not so long ago, wondered if its great moments had been relegated to history, Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48 on Sony Michel’s 27-yard touchdown burst in the second overtime to advance to the College Football Playoff Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium one week hence.
Which means: There could well be one more great moment awaiting these Bulldogs – but it will take some doing to top this. They took a major hit from sleek Oklahoma and the Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield, and they not only stayed upright, but managed to limit the Sooners to one offensive touchdown over the final two quarters plus both overtimes.
Jeff Schultz’s Take
It was a Big 12 kind of game. It was a Georgia kind of finish.
The team that entered the season believing defense and a strong running game could carry it to something special took a bit of a detour in the Rose Bowl. Smash-mouth gave way to video-game football, the kind of we’ll-just-outscore-you-and-win-on-the-last spasm type of football that got Oklahoma to the playoffs and but led to smug mocking by those in the world of the SEC.
But the Bulldogs acclimated. They were run over for touchdowns on Oklahoma’s first three possessions, rallied from a 31-14 deficit with 27 consecutive points while taking the lead, coughed it back, then ultimately won in double overtime because of -- tada! – defense, a special-teams play, a great run.
Georgia held Oklahoma out of the end zone in two overtime possessions, Lorenzo Carter blocked a 27-yard field-goal attempt in the second OT and Sony Michel broke loose 27-yard touchdown run.
Final score: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48.
It was fun. It was chaotic. It was all wrong. Glory Glory nearly became Gory Gory. But it ended so right for a program and a fan base that has been thirsting for its first national championship in 38 years.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution