Monday, January 1, 2018

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications
Overtime: With tonight’s 54-48 victory, Georgia (13-1) ties a school record with its 13th win of the season (2002 team went 13-1). The Dawgs are now 8-5 overall in overtime including 3-1 in bowl games. Before tonight, the last OT game for the Dawgs came in 2015 as Georgia beat Ga. Southern 23-17. The last Dawg bowl game in OT was 2012 Outback when #12 Michigan State edged #18 Georgia 33-30 in triple-OT. 

Tonight, senior Lorenzo Carter blocked a field goal in the second overtime as Georgia took over with a chance for the win and ultimately Sony Michel scampered in 27 yards for the game-winning TD, his fourth of the night, a Georgia bowl record for Points (24) and TDs (4). Roquan Smith (LB) and Sony Michel (RB) were the Players of the Game for the offense and defense. 

Bowl History: This was Georgia’s second-ever appearance in the Rose Bowl after posting a 9-0 win over UCLA in the 1943 Rose Bowl to win a national title. Georgia made its 22nd consecutive appearance in a bowl game and owns an overall record of 31-19-3 in bowl games.

Defense Faced Stiff Test and then OT: The Dawgs came in ranked 3rd nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing only 13.2 points a game while the Oklahoma Sooners led the nation in Total Offense (583.3 yards a game) and 4th nationally in Scoring at 44.9 ppg. At the half, OU had built a 31-17 advantage, outgaining Georgia 360 to 291. It was the most first half points allowed by the Dawgs since Ole Miss carried a 31-0 lead to halftime in Oxford last season. This year, Missouri was the only other team to put at least 21 points on the Dawgs in the first half this year as Georgia led 34-21. OU was forced to punt for the first time on its fifth possession. OU finished regulation with 45 points and 512 yards of offense on 73 plays and ended up with 531 yards on 81 plays and 48 points.

In the second half, Georgia forced OU to punt on its first three possessions and forced an interception on its fourth (snagged by Dominick Sanders, his school record-tying 16th of his career) and bolstered by a 50-yard TD run by Chubb and a 34-yard TD scamper by Michel, the Dawgs had tied the contest at 31 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter. It was Michel’s third TD of the game (2 rushing, 1 receiving) to tie a Dawg bowl record for Points Scored and TDs held by tailbacks Rodney Hampton (1989 Gator vs. Michigan State and Robert Edwards, 1998 Outback vs. Wisconsin). Sanders returned it to the OU four and Georgia eventually scored (4-yard TD pass Fromm-Wims) to take its first lead at 38-31 with 13:57 left in the contest. Sanders already owns the school record for interception return yards and today’s 39-yarder gives him 381 for his career, which is 2nd in SEC history.

OU tied it at 38 with 8:47 left in the game on a six-play, 88-yard drive and took the lead on a fumble return TD in the 4th quarter. Dawg junior WLB Roquan Smith, who came in with a team-best 113 tackles on the year, had a team-high 10 tackles while senior Lorenzo Carter had nine. Also, the Dawgs registered five sacks.

Rushing Into History: Senior Nick Chubb tallied 145 rushing yards on only 14 carries while senior Sony Michel had a career high 181 yards on just 11 carries with a Georgia bowl record four total TDs. Chubb came in already second in SEC history in rushing yards, trailing only Dawg legend Herschel Walker (5,259). Also, Chubb and Michel already rank No. 2 and 3 in school history for rushing yards. Chubb now has 4,744 career yards while Michel now has 3,540 yards.

Michel’s 75-yard rushing TD was the longest in Georgia bowl history, eclipsing Kent Lawrence’s 74-yarder in the 1966 Cotton Bowl and Robert Edwards 74-yarder in the 2000 Outback Bowl. It cut the deficit to 21-14. Also on that TD run, Michel went over 1,000 yards for the season and marked the second time in his career he has done that. Michel and Chubb became the first Dawg duo to register 1,000-rushing yards in the same season. Michel’s 75-yarder today was the longest TD run of the year and longest by a Dawg for a score since Nick Chubb went 83 yards against Alabama in 2015.

In the second half, Chubb’s first carry resulted in a 50-yard TD scamper to trim the deficit to 31-24.

It was the second time this year that Chubb and Michel had 100 yards each in a game, also doing it at Vanderbilt. Chubb added a two-yard TD to tie the game at 45 with 55 seconds left. Georgia’s five rushing TDs gave it a school record 41 on the ground for the season.

Final Numbers For Fromm: True freshman Jake Fromm completed 12-of-17 passes for 109 yards and 1 TDs, directing the offense that finished the first half with 291 yards on 28 plays but trailed 31-17. Georgia tallied 182 rushing yards. OU won the toss and elected to defer the ball until the second half. They forced Georgia to punt after gaining 24 yards and one first down. Senior Javon Wims was the leading receiver with six for 73 yards. Fromm finished 20-of-29 for 210 yards and 2 TDs with no INTs.

Fromm is now 2-1 when the Dawgs face a halftime deficit, winning at #24 Notre Dame 20-19 (trailed 13-10) and lost at #10 Auburn 40-17 (trailed 16-7) and tonight, Georgia was down 31-17 and went to overtime where it won 54-48.

Blankenship Booms 55-Yarder: Redshirt sophomore Rodrigo Blankenship set a Georgia bowl record with a career-best 55-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to cut the deficit to 31-17. He was 1-for-2 in the first half on field goals and had 2 PATs. His previous long was a 49-yarder at Kentucky in 2016 and versus Miss. State in 2017. The previous long field goal by a Dawg in a bowl game was 52 yards in the 2008 Sugar Bowl by Brandon Coutu. Blankenship added a 38-yard field goal in overtime for a 48-45 lead.

Points to Ponder: The Dawgs came in today averaging 34.9 points a game including ranking 4th in the nation in Red Zone Offense, going 48-for-50 with 35 touchdowns. In regulation, Georgia finished 3-for-3 in the Red Zone with three TDs Meanwhile OU was 6-for-6 in the Red Zone, scoring 34 points.

Points Off Turnovers: Georgia is now +5 in Turnover Margin, scoring 84 points off 19 turnovers. The Dawgs got seven points off one Sooner miscue. Opponents have forced 14 turnovers and turned them into 48 points. OU forced a Sony Michel fumble and it was returned for a TD to give OU a 45-38 edge with 6:52 left. It was Georgia’s first turnover since the Kentucky game on Nov. 18

For Starters: Senior strong safety Dominick Sanders made his 52nd career start which ties the record for most in school history for non-kickers, joining QBs David Greene (52 from 2001-04) and Aaron Murray (52 from 2010-13). PK Blair Walsh started a record 53 games from 2008-11. On offense, a trio of seniors made their 39th career start today in Jeb Blazevich (TE), Nick Chubb (TB) and Isaiah Wynn (LT).

Captains: Today’s captains were seniors Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Isaiah Wynn and junior Roquan Smith.

Up Next: Georgia (13-1) advances to the CFP National Championship game against either No. 1 Clemson or No. 4 Alabama. The CFP title game will be Monday, January 8th in Atlanta in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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