It took everything Georgia football had to overcome itself and a determined Cincinnati team on Friday in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Kicker Jack Podlesny made a 53-yard field goal with three seconds left to lift the Bulldogs (8-2) to a 1-point lead over the Bearcats (9-1), and then Azeez Ojulari finished them off with a safety on the final play for the 24-21 win.
Georgia quarterback JT Daniels was 26-of-38 passing for 392 yards with a TD and an interception.
The Bulldogs out-gained Cincinnati 449-307, but they had three empty trips inside the red zone and trailed 21-10 entering the fourth quarter.
Daniels, now 4-0 as UGA’s starter, directed an 8-play, 44-yard drive to set up Podlesny’s field goal after the Bulldogs started at their own 20-yard line with 1:28 left.
Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder was 24-of-37 passing for 206 yards and two touchdowns, but the Bulldogs defense sacked him 8 times.
Ojulari had three of those sacks and two forced fumbles.
The Bearcats are now 27-1 when leading by double-digits under Coach Luke Fickell, and 26-2 when leading at the half.
It was Georgia’s 24th-straight bowl trip, the longest in the nation, and the New Year’s Six Bowl win assures the Bulldogs of a fourth-straight Top 10 finish under Kirby Smart.
Smart is now 10-6 against teams ranked in the Top 10.
Georgia 24, Cincinnati 21 (0:00): Azeez Ojulari sacks Desmond Ridder in end zone.
Georgia 22, Cincinnati 21 (0:02): Jack Podlesny 53-yard field goal. Drive: Eight plays, 44 yards, 1:26.
Cincinnati 21, Georgia 19, (6:43): Jack Podlesny 32-yard field goal. Drive: Six plays, 61 yards, 2:16.
Cincinnati 21, Georgia 16, (13:20): Zamir White 9-yard run (conversion pass failed). Drive: Two plays, 25 yards, 41 seconds. Key play: Azeez Ojulari forced fumble, Adam Anderson recovers at Cincinnati 25.
Cincinnati 21, Georgia 10, (14:11): Jerome Ford 79-yard run (Cole Smith kick). Drive: Two plays, 75 yards, 49 seconds.
Cincinnati 14, Georgia 10, 0:06: Josh Whyle 11-yard pass from Desmond Ridder (Cole Smith kick). Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:40. Key Play: Michael Young Jr. 25-yard catch from Desmond Ridder to Georgia 45-yard line on third-and-5.
Georgia 10, Cincinnati 7, 3:46: Jack Podlesny 38-yard field goal. Drive: Six plays, 60 yards, 2:51. Key Play: Arian Smith 55-yard catch from JT Daniels to Cincinnati 25.
• Cole Smith 23-yard field goal blocked by Jordan Davis.
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