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Top Dawgs: Rose Bowl Edition
What. A. Game.
The Georgia Bulldogs won the Rose Bowl 54-48 in double-overtime after coming back from 17 (and 7) points down to the Oklahoma Sooners. With the win, the Dawgs are on to the College Football Playoff national championship game in Atlanta where they’ll play the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was the most stressful, exciting and wonderful football game I’ve ever watched.
But you’re not here to read me recap a game you watched Monday and have probably already rewatched since. You’re here for the Rose Bowl Edition of Top Dawgs, in which we rank the five best players after every game. So let’s get on with it already.
5. Jake Fromm — Fromm was shaky at moments and made some freshman mistakes, such as that intentional grounding penalty that could have been much worse. But in the end, it was a solid stat line for the freshman. Fromm completed 20 of 29 passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. But his play of the game was putting a great block on an Oklahoma cornerback to help spring Sony Michel on the game-winning touchdown.
4. Nick Chubb — It was another fantastic game from Chubb in a big spot. The senior ran for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10.4 yards per carry, which also helped him and Michel solidify themselves as the greatest running back tandem in college football history. (More on that in a moment.)
3. Roquan Smith — Smith did not look his normal, dominant self in the first half against Heisman Trophy-winner Baker Mayfield and the high-flying Sooners offense. But whatever adjustments Kirby Smart and Mel Tucker made at halftime paid off, because the Montezuma Machine came out on fire in the second half. He finished as the leading tackler with 11 total, 4 solo and added a tackle for loss.
2. Lorenzo Carter — Carter finished as the second-leading tackler for Georgia with 10 total, 3 solo, as well as 1/2 tackle for loss and half a sack. Carter was already probably going down as a UGA legend, but his field goal block in the second overtime solidified that. If Georgia goes on to win the title, that will go down along with “Run, Lindsay, Run” and “Hobnail Boot” in the pantheon of the greatest Georgia plays.
Lorenzo Carter's blocked field goal leads to Sony Michel's TD and the Dawgs win!!! pic.twitter.com/ok3bFFATei
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) January 2, 2018
1. Sony Michel — If I had my way, we’d call this the Sony Michel Game. Michel ran for 181 yards — putting him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season — and 3 touchdowns and added a receiving touchdown to boot. His 75-yarder in the second quarter kept Georgia in the game and prevented the Sooners from running away with the game early. His fourth-quarter fumble that was returned for a touchdown and gave Oklahoma a 45-38 lead seemed like it could be a death blow, but Georgia kept fighting. In the end, Michel redeemed himself with a 27-yard dash out of the Wild Dawg to win the game.
A touchdown Georgia fans will remember forever. pic.twitter.com/4pyS5OSako
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2018
Michel and Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards to give them 8,284 combined career yards, surpassing SMU’s Eric Dickerson and Craig James for most rushing yards all-time by a pair of teammates. They also became the first duo in UGA history to rush for 1,000 yards each in a season.
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The Rose Bowl winner, as heard around the globe
If you want to relive Michel’s 27-yard game-winner, here’s the place to do it. Deadspin compiled the calls of the run from ESPN, ESPN Radio, Scott Howard and the Georgia radio broadcast and the Oklahoma radio broadcast, as well as calls in Spanish and Russian. I’m partial to Sony en español myself.
Then there’s this. Who doesn’t love the internet?
GEORGIA WINS AN INCREDIBLE GAME + TITANIC MUSIC pic.twitter.com/u1CysUD3Lf
— Matt Allaire (@AllaireMatt) January 2, 2018
Ready for a rewatch?
If you want to relive the 2018 Rose Bowl from start to finish, you can head over to Watch ESPN and watch the whole thing in all its glory. If you’re in a bit of a time crunch, check out the extended highlights over on YouTube.
But if you’re looking for something a bit different with your rewatch, you should check out the replay of the ESPN Coaches Film Room broadcast. Houston coach Major Applewhite, Syracuse coach Dino Babers, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, TCU coach Gary Patterson and former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema watched the whole game together and broke it down as it went on. It’s an interesting perspective that fans don’t typically get to see. ESPN will have another crew of coaches together to break down the title game on Monday as well.
A million-dollar idea
Here’s a free idea for the folks who run the Athens-Clarke County government: Suspend open container laws downtown the night of the national championship. Unless you’re throwing down a few thousand bucks on tickets to be in Atlanta, the place to watch Georgia attempt to win its first national title in more than three decades is downtown Athens. How awesome would it be they shut down the streets like they do for AthFest or Twilight and let fans roam the streets, refreshments in hand, with their fellow Dawgs.
Just think about it, OK. We promise to be good.
Dawgs on Twitter
— UGA (@universityofga) January 2, 2018
“HUMBLE YOURSELF!” – Davin Bellamy to Baker Mayfield 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/uI7UkphGNg
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 2, 2018
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) January 2, 2018
“We going HOME.”
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) January 2, 2018
— UGA (@universityofga) January 2, 2018
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) January 2, 2018
— Rose Bowl Game (@rosebowlgame) January 2, 2018
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