’Dawgs run wild: Georgia beats Oklahoma 54-48 in Rose Bowl
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — After ending the first overtime Rose Bowl, one of the greatest Granddaddies of Them All, Sony Michel was swarmed by Georgia teammates as he broke down in tears.
The senior tailback had gone from possible goat to all-time hero for Georgia, sending the Bulldogs to the national championship game with one last burst in a game full of them.
Michel raced 27 yards for a touchdown in the second overtime to give No. 3 Georgia a 54-48 victory against No. 2 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal Monday night.
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.
“I made plays. I gave up plays. My team just had faith in me,” said Michel, who did all that damage on just 11 carries and got a hug from former Bulldogs great tailback Garrison Hearst after scoring the winning TD. “That’s what this team is all about. They showed true character today.”
In the final game of his great career, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a touchdown pass that gave the Sooners a 17-point lead with 6 seconds left in the first half.
But the Heisman Trophy winner could not get the Sooners (12-2) into the end zone in the first overtime when a touchdown would have ended the game.
“It’s tough to describe right now,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said of the loss. “It’s a hell of a college football game. You know, an epic Rose Bowl game.”
The Bulldogs will play Alabama on Jan. 8 fin an all-Southeastern Conference national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, about 70 miles from their campus. After Georgia made its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1943 a heart-stopping success, the Bulldogs will play for their first national title since 1980.