Rushing duo carries Bulldogs over Sooners in epic Rose Bowl finish

Andrew Cummings
January 13, 2018

Mayfield had been sick all week with flu-like and cold symptoms, which forced him to skip several non-football Rose Bowl events leading up to the game.

Regardless of the styles of team's they've faced, Georgia has proven it can win any type of game be it a shootout or a low scoring, grind-it-out contest. "Everybody has shifted their focus onto that game, and I think everybody is prepared and ready to move on". But we knew that they hadn't gotten ours.

Oklahoma was the only team that made the College Football Playoff without a top 10 defense, ranking No. 67 nationally in total defense (394 yards allowed per game). On Monday another matchup of SEC teams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will decide the national championship.

Smart, 42, returned to his alma mater Georgia following Alabama's 2015 championship in Saban's ninth year. The final blow came in double-overtime, when Bulldogs running back Sony Michel's dashed 27 yards through Sooners territory for his fourth touchdown of the day.

Carter blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt by Austin Seibert in the second overtime, setting the stage for Michel's game-winning, 27-yard touchdown run.

However, the Bulldogs made one mistake.

"We just didn't play well early in the second half", OU coach Lincoln Riley said. But OU got off the mat and gave itself a chance to win.

Oklahoma got off to a rousing start, and led 31-14 after a wide receiver reverse pass to Baker Mayfield gave the Sooners a huge lead near the end of the second quarter. Michel ripped off a 75-yarder in the second quarter, and Chubb scored from 50 yards on Georgia's first play of the second half.

"Our return team practiced squib kicks in Athens because we knew [Oklahoma] had done that this year", Georgia special teams coach Shane Beamer said. As the late Cubs baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks used to say, "Let's play two".

All it took from there was a handoff to Chubb, who broke a myriad of tackles for a touchdown on the Bulldogs' first play, drawing Georgia within seven points. And to be fair, running the ball wasn't a conservative call tonight.

Michel and Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards, giving 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.

Asked whether Michel expressed regret after his costly fumble, Fromm said, "Sony doesn't have to say a lot".

The Georgia senior running back bolted toward the sideline, cut right and darted upfield.

By the time the second quarter had ended, the Sooners had already piled up 360 yards of offense, to 291 for the Bulldogs. But I gave it everything I had.

Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart didn't hesitate in sending out sure-footed kicker Rodrigo Blankenship for his 55-yard field goal - a new Rose Bowl record - to wrap up the first half. Of course, a lot of our guys were getting exhausted early in the night, so they wanted to go to bed earlier, and their bodies were naturally getting up earlier. And just all our guys pulling together as one.

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