Georgia pulls off historic 42-41 comeback victory over Ohio State in CFP Peach Bowl Semifinal
ATLANTA — Georgia football staged a comeback for the ages, rallying from two touchdowns down in the fourth quarter to beat Ohio State 42-41.
It’s the first time in College Football Playoff history that a team has come from two touchdowns down to win.
“Every one of those guys in that locker room believed,” Kirby Smart said “I’m so proud of these guys, they never quit, they never said die.”
Quarterback Stetson Bennett drove the Bulldogs down the field for the game-winning score in the final 2 1/2 minutes, finding A.D. Mitchell in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown with 54 seconds left.
Bennett finished 23-of-34 passing for 398 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception.
The Bulldogs (14-0) will play TCU (13-1) in the CFP Championship Game in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 9.
Mitchell’s TD catch capped a 5-play, 72-yard TD pass that took 1:42 off the clock and gave Georgia only its second lead of the game.
The Bulldogs lead briefly, 24-21, in the second quarter before Ohio State marched down the field and scored to take a 28-24 lead into intermission.
The Buckeyes had one final shot after Bennett’s heroics but Noah Ruggles missed a 50-yard field goal right around the time the clock struck midnight.
Stroud had led his team down the field to the Georgia 31-yard line, but Georgia’s defense dropped Dallan Hayden for a 1-yard loss on first down and forced incompletions on second and third down.
Stroud finished 23-of-34 for 348 yards with 4 touchdowns, his collegiate career likely over as he’s projected as a Top 10 NFL draft pick.
Ohio State appeared to have the game in hand leading 38-24 with the game moving into the fourth quarter.
That’s when Brock Bowers took a short pass from Bennett and converted on a fourth-and-6 to the Ohio State 7. What proved to be a pivotal -- and controversial -- review granted UGA a first down after the play was originally marked short, and Jack Podlesny hit a 31-yard field goal to cut the lead to 38-27 with 10:14 left.
The Georgia defense held firm on the ensuing series, and then Kirby Smart saved the day by alertly calling a timeout before the Buckeyes executed what would have been a fake punt at the 8:58 mark.
Ohio State ended up punting, and on the first play of Georgia’s possession, Arian Smith ran wide open behind the defense and reeled in a 76-yard TD pass. A 2-point conversion pass from Bennett to Ladd McConkey cut the lead to 38-35 with 8:41 remaining.
The Buckeyes answered with a 48-yard field from Noah Ruggles to extend their lead to 41-35.
It wasn’t enough, and Georgia proved resilient once more, the story of the Bulldogs’ season continuing into the new year.