Saturday, June 23, 2018
Colleges

Rose Bowl: Georgia beats Oklahoma to reach CFP national title game

PASADENA, Calif. — A wild game with several lead changes ended when Sony Michel took a direct snap and burst through the line for a 27-yard touchdown run to give No. 3 Georgia a 54-48 victory Monday night against No. 2 Oklahoma, winning the first overtime Rose Bowl and sending the Bulldogs to the College Football Playoff championship game.

Michel, who had a fumble in the fourth quarter returned for a go-ahead Oklahoma touchdown, ran for 181 yards and three scores for the Bulldogs (13-1), but none bigger than the last one in the second overtime.

Michel and fellow running back Nick Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

It was the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever and the first CFP game to go into overtime.

In the final game of one of the great college careers, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a razzle-dazzle 2-yard touchdown pass from CeeDee Lamb that gave the Sooners a 17-point lead with six seconds left in the first half. It was Mayfield’s first career reception.

Georgia got a 55-yard field goal at the end of the half.

Georgia was allowing 13.2 points and 270.9 yards per game, fourth nationally in each category. The Sooners gained 360 yards in the first half.

Rodrigo Blankenship made a 38-yard field goal to give Georgia a 48-45 lead in the first overtime. Mayfield then could not get the Sooners into the end zone when a touchdown would have ended the game. On third and 2 from the 17 Georgia All-America linebacker Roquan Smith nailed Jordan Smallwood a yard short of the first down. Austin Seibert’s 33-yard field goal tied it to force the second overtime.

Oklahoma then got the ball first, and Lorenzo Carter blocked Seibert’s second field-goal attempt to set up Michel’s touchdown, when he slipped a tackle and had a clear path to the end zone.

Oklahoma’s Steven Parker returned a fumble by Michel 46 yards for a touchdown with 6:52 left in regulation to give Oklahoma a 45-38 lead, but Chubb’s 2-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds remaining in the tied the score to force overtime.

"I made plays. I gave up plays. My team just had faith in me," said Michel, who broke down afterward. "That’s what this team is all about. They showed true character today."

Georgia made its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1943, the Bulldogs will play for their first national title since 1980 in Atlanta, about 90 miles from their campus in Athens.

"I can’t believe it’s over. It’s been a wild ride," said Mayfield with a hoarse voice before he started to cry.

SUGAR BOWL DELAY: The second CFP semifinal at the Sugar Bowl started before the Rose Bowl ended, even after a delay in an effort to prevent an overlap. The Alabama-Clemson game was delayed from its scheduled start of 8:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. when it became apparent that the Rose Bowl would run long.

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