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Rose Bowl thriller: Georgia edges Oklahoma in 2nd overtime

Tribune News Service • Jan 1, 2018 at 11:23 PM

The follow-up act was pretty good, too.

A year after the highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played, another classic unfolded on New Year's Day.

Running back Sony Michel took a direct snap on the final play of a second overtime and darted 27 yards for a touchdown, pushing Georgia to a 54-48 victory over Oklahoma and into serious contention for its first national championship in 37 years.

In a seesawing affair, the teams combined for 102 points, eclipsing last season's scoring record, when USC beat Penn State in a thrilling 52-49 victory, marking a total of 101 points.

There was, though, more at stake Monday in the 104th edition of the so-called Granddaddy of Them All. It was the second time the Rose Bowl has served as a College Football Playoff semifinal game. In the other, in 2015, Oregon thumped Florida State, 59-20, to advance to the national championship game.

With the win, the Bulldogs, who were seeded No. 3 in the final CFP rankings after winning the SEC championship, advance to the national title game on Jan. 8, matched up with the winner of the Sugar Bowl between top-seeded Clemson and fourth-seeded Alabama.

After Michel reached the end zone, he was mobbed by teammates in the south corner of the stadium, amid a flood of cameramen.

Before the teams traded field goals in the first overtime, Georgia had evened the score at 45, when star running back Nick Chubb took a direct snap and ran for a 2-yard touchdown with 55 seconds left in overtime.

Michel ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, while Chubb totaled 145 yards on the ground for two touchdowns on 14 carries.

Both running backs were instrumental as the Bulldogs erased a 10-point halftime deficit and reeled off 24 unanswered points to secure their first lead, by a score of 38-31, early in the fourth quarter.

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who had dealt with an illness during the week prior to the game, passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.

Prior to Michel's winning touchdown in overtime, Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert had his 27-yard field goal attempt blocked by Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter.

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