Georgia over comes the Oklahoma offense for a double OT win in the College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl
Written By: Robert Henry
(Pasadena, CA) You could feel the energy buzzing around the stadium even hours before the game started. The overall theme of this unforgettable College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl game was red, rose red. As the Rose Bowl filled up with tens of thousands of people all of them were excited to be here in the great state of California and especially at such a legendary stadium like the Rose Bowl. The total attendance for the game was 92,844 people, which went back and forth from chanting OU to chanting UGA. You could feel the energy and power coming from each fan. As the game was opening the flyover from a B2-Stealth bomber as the National Anthem was playing was the perfect way to start the 104th Rose Bowl Game.
Oklahoma won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Meaning that the Georgia offense got the first chance to come out and make a strong statement against Oklahoma. Unfortunately for Georgia, they were not able to see the end zone this drive or be close enough to make a possible field goal. Instead they were able to move the ball and try to get into a rhythm. Oklahoma started with their first possession on their 20-yard line due to the Georgia punt resulting in a touchback. It only took Baker Mayfield 8 plays to move from their own 20 to Georgia’s 3-yard line. Georgia responded to the Oklahoma drive with a touch down in just 7 plays. You could tell already that this game is going to be a battle to the very last moment. Oklahoma started their next drive on the 25 and pushed it down the Bulldogs until they saw the end zone and once again it only took them 7 plays. To end the first quarter, Oklahoma was up 14-7, and the Bulldogs defense was looking unfamiliar to many of their fans.
In the second quarter, Mayfield and the higher power offense that is Oklahoma was able to once again power thru the tough Georgia defense and get into the end zone, making the score 21-7. This cause the Sooner fans to begin chanting “Boomer Sooner” while the Bulldog’s fans sat silently, but not for long. Jake Fromm on their first possession of the second quarter hands the ball off to Sony Michel, and he exploded out of the backfield for a 75-yard touchdown run. That was when the UGA fans erupted in cheers. Oklahoma on their next possession tried their best to see the end zone again, but it was to no avail. They did settle for a field goal but was this a sign that the Bulldogs defense is waking up or was it that Mayfield was having issues connecting with CeeDee Lamb? The score going into the final three and a half minutes was 24-14, but Oklahoma was determined to extend this lead before the half. In just 15 plays Mayfield and the offense were able to make it once again to the end zone for a big touchdown extending the lead. Mayfield connected with Lamb with just six seconds left in the first half. Georgia took the six seconds as a challenge, especially after a squib kick that went straight to the defender's chest. Georgia started their final drive of the first half on Oklahoma's 47. Fromm connected with Terry Godwin for nine yards, and then the field goal unit came out to attempt a fifty-five-yard field goal. After a timeout in an attempt to “ice” the kicker, Georgia placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship kicks the ball, and it goes right between the uprights.
As the half was ending head coach, Kirby Smart spoke about how his team has not played to what they need to be, and they need to get back on defense and stopping Mayfield. Oklahoma received the ball after the half, and they quickly learned that coach Smart had lit a fire under his defense. The defense forced Mayfield to just four plays, which gave Georgia the ball back. In just one play Fromm hands the ball off to Nick Chubb who just monsters his way down the field for a fifty-yard touch down run putting the score at 31-24 cutting Oklahoma’s lead down to just seven. Oklahoma stepped up their defense after that fifty-yard touchdown run, but unfortunately for Oklahoma, Georgia’s defense was not about to allow Mayfield and his offense any easy chances to make plays. With a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter, Michel is handed the ball with thirty-eight yards between him and a tied ball game. He powers his way around the defense and almost effortlessly enters the end zone. At the end of the third, the score was all tied up 31-31.
The opening drive for the Sooners resulted in a rare Mayfield interception. The lucky recipient of this interception was Dominick Sanders. With the Georgia defense coming at the Oklahoma offense it was no wonder that the momentum built by the defensive stops helped the offense get moving again. In just three plays the Georgia offense found a quick rhythm and finally took the lead with a Javon Wims touchdown catch from Fromm, this put the Bulldogs up 38-31. Later in the fourth quarter the Sooners after dealing with a little bit of difficulty in moving the ball they caught a break. With a little less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mayfield makes an excellent pass to Dimitri Flowers for an eleven-yard touchdown pass and tying the game up at 38-38. Georgia now needed to make a big play and put some points up on the board and stay ahead of Oklahoma in order to take home the coveted bowl game win. On an infrequent occasion, Michel fumbled the ball and Oklahoma recovered it and took it to the house putting up seven points after the extra point was good. With 3:22 left on the clock Georgia had an opportunity to try and tie it up again. Thankfully for Georgia, they were able to get into the end zone with a two-yard Chubb run, and the extra point was good. All tied up with fifty-five seconds left on the clock Oklahoma had one last chance to steal the game away. The Sooners fell short of stealing the win in regular time, but now we go to overtime.
Oklahoma won the toss again and elected to defend instead of taking the ball first. Georgia in four plays could not get in the end zone, but they took the lead with a field goal. With Oklahoma down by three, they are looking to, once again, steal the game away from Georgia. The Georgia defense not wanting to end their postseason here in California stopped the Sooner offense and forced a field goal and double over time. Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense are once again out on the field and looking to end this here and now. The Sooners doing everything they possibly could to make a touch down happen just could get anything to work against the Georgia defense. They had to settle for a field goal which, Oklahoma placekicker Austin Seibert missed from twenty-seven yards out. This gave the Bulldogs the opportunity to take the win. Michel takes the snap and rushes for twenty-seven yards, which ended the game at 54-48.
This Semifinal College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl Game will go down in history as one of the most exciting and fun to watch games. Both teams put their all into and even though there were some mistakes that happened for both teams they never stopped trying. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley was asked about the squib kick and if that is where the team lost momentum. “Yeah, I mean, I don’t know that we necessarily lost momentum. That probably gave them a little bit of juice.” It is clear that coach Riley knew that giving them any opportunity to score could be enough to get Georgia back to operating at their normal rate. Baker Mayfield had some nice things to say about his coach at the end. Calling him the best coach in the country and that the future of the program is safe in his hands and the incoming kids will continue to dominate under him. Georgia running back Sony Michel was asked after the game what was going through his mind on the last play? “I mean, when I scored a touchdown, I knew it was over. We finally get a chance to play for something big.” Roquan Smith and Coach Kirby Smart were happy they won, but they were also upset with the way the defense played. With Georgia being a defense style of play they were disappointed and frustrated that the game ended with a combined point total of 102. Coach Kirby spoke on what was different after halftime. “We played with passion, we played with energy, and we played with enthusiasm. We ran to the ball better. We tackled a little better, and we played a little more aggressive.”
Both these teams played their hearts out and although one team must leave a loser both of them can hold their heads high knowing that they put everything into this game. Oklahoma is a three in a row Big 12 champion team with the Heisman winner under helm who undoubtedly will play in the NFL. Georgia will get the chance to face off against Alabama for the championship in Atlanta. Hopefully, the Bulldogs can get some rest and ride the high of winning the Rose Bowl for a few more hours before buckling down and getting ready for Coach Nick Saban and the tough Alabama team. Congratulations to the Georgia Bulldogs for their amazing comeback win over the high-powered offense in Oklahoma. The College Football Playoff National Championship will host the Georgia Bulldogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 8th, 2018.
Writer - Robert Henry
Los Angeles, CA - One of the more legendary bowl games is the site for one of this year’s semifinal match ups. The Rose Bowl will host the Oklahoma Sooner and the Georgia Bulldogs in an important semifinal playoff game.
“The Granddaddy of Them All” has such a rich history of exciting games and this special addition of the Rose Bowl will be no different. Oklahoma and Georgia are set to face each other for the first time in their respective programs. This is the first time that Georgia will be in a playoff game since its conception in the 2014-15 season.
The Bulldogs will be tested against the high-powered offense in the Sooners. Heisman trophy winner Baker Mayfield has been battling illness the whole week leading up to this very important game and luckily for the Sooners he says he will be good to go come game time. Mayfield and the Sooners will have to deal with one of the best defenses in the nation come New Years Day.
Georgia was able to fight their way to position their selves to make it to the National Championship. The Bulldogs were able to go to the SEC title game and come away with a win, in complete domination over Auburn. This was their first SEC title since 2005 and it was well deserved. Georgia’s star defensive player Roquan Smith will be testing his abilities against a very tough offense. He is considered the best defensive player in all off college football and it will be quite a show seeing him attempt to stop the Sooners.
Although most of the things we hear about Georgia is how impressive their defense is, the Bulldogs offense is, in some ways, the complete opposite of the Sooner’s. Georgia will put the ball to the ground and allow their incredible running backs a chance to make huge plays. Nick Chubb along with Sony Michel are able to move the ball with such aggression and speed that can put fear in defenses. It seems like once you give Chubb a little open space the next thing you know he is in the end zone. It will be exciting to watch if the Oklahoma defense will be able to stop the Georgia offense. Reversely it will be interesting to see if the highly efficient Georgia defense can stop Mayfield and the Sooners offense.
Oklahoma’s head coach Lincoln Riley has helped Mayfield become into The Heisman winner that he is today. Going from walk on quarterback to, playing for a for a spot in the national championship is an impressive stat on its own. Riley was able to turn this young athlete and this program into so much more on the field. It started as a Coordinated and has continued in his first year as the head coach of the Sooners.
First he surrounds Mayfield with a great cast of lineman as well as a capable receiving corp. The big question Oklahoma will have is can their defense shake up Georgia’s young but capable quarterback Jake Fromm and create opportunities for the Sooner’s offense. A concern for Oklahoma could be can the monster offensive lineman Orlando Brown, along with the rest of the lineman, be able to stop Smith, Lorenzo Carter and the rest of the Bulldog’s defense? Also will Mayfield’s illness hinder his play to the point that the highly efficient offense wont be able to function at it’s peak performance? All these concerns seem to be non-existent for the Oklahoma team as they go into the New Year ready and excited to play in such an important game.
All week both teams have been busy with activities and practices but now they can focus on just the big game. The Oklahoma offense will have to spread the Georgia defense in order to make the plays that can win the game.
The Bulldogs are the more rounded team with a fierce defense. In order for Georgia to take control of the game they will need to put a lot of pressure on Mayfield and create turnovers. The big match up to watch will be between Georgia’s Carter and Oklahoma’s Brown as well as the face off against Mayfield and Smith. The Oklahoma and Georgia teams have expressed their gratitude to the Tournament of Roses, which is the organization that puts on all the events related to the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl presented by Nationwide is set for January 1, 2018 in Pasadena, California. It will air live on ESPN at 5:00PM EST
VIDEO-Rose Bowl Joint Head Coaches Press Conference with Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley and Georgia's Kirby Smart