PASADENA, Calif. — Those Georgia seniors just refuse to lose.
Running back Sony Michel took a direct snap and went 27 yards around the left corner for a touchdown to lift the No. 3 Bulldogs to a 54-48 win over No. 2 Oklahoma in double-overtime in the Rose Bowl on Monday night. Michel’s score was made possible after fellow senior Lorenzo Carter blocked the 27-yard field goal attempt of the Sooners’ Austin Seibert in the first possession of the second OT frame.
Michel was named Offensive Player of the Game after finishing with 181 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground and another 41 yards and a score in the air. Michel also had a 75-yard TD run and a 38-yard run. He snatched the Offensive MVP award out of the hands of his roommate Nick Chubb, who had been announced as the winner as soon as the game concluded. Chubb had 145 yards rushing and 2 scores himself. Meanwhile, junior linebacker Roquan Smith was named Defensive MVP for the Bulldogs.
With the victory, Georgia (13-1) advances to the College Football Playoff Championship Game in Atlanta next Monday. The Bulldogs will face the winner of the Sugar Bowl between No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Alabama, a game which actually began before the Rose Bowl ended.
Oklahoma, led by Heisman Trophy quarterback Baker Mayfield, sees its season end at 12-2.
Georgia and Oklahoma had waited more than 100 years to play each other, so they got everything they could out of their first-ever matchup. And it was a thriller that featured momentous swings.
The Bulldogs reached overtime only after Chubb scored on a 2-yard run off a direct snap from center with less than a minute remaining in regulation. That capped 7-play, 59-yard drive that featured a 16-yard Jake Fromm pass to Terry Godwin third-and-10.
In the first overtime period, Georgia managed just 4 yards before settling for a 38-yard Rodrigo Blankenship field goal. Blankenship missed a 49-yard try in the first half but also made a career-long 55-yarder to end the first half and turn the tide of the game.
Oklahoma had to settle for a 33-yard field goal at the end of its first overtime possession.
In the second overtime, it looked like Georgia had ended Oklahoma’s threat with an interception. But Jonathan Ledbetter was whistled offside on the third-and-5 play to give the Sooners a first down. But Mayfield & Co. couldn’t take advantage of first down at the 15.
On Georgia’s possession, D’Andre Swift loss 2 yards on a toss sweep on the first play. Then Michel took the direct snap, shook one tackler, faked out another and trotted the rest of the 27 yards untouched with the winning points.
A partisan Georgia crowd that represented far more than half of the 92,844 in attendance witnessed the feat. And the Bulldogs will now play for the national championship for the first time in 35 years.