As it turns out, no one did a great job of containing anyone's offense.
It just wasn't scripted the way Oklahoma (12-2) wanted it proving that fairytale endings are few and far between, even in Hollywood. "Its been a wild ride", said Mayfield with a hoarse voice before he started to cry. Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith made a game-high 11 tackles and was selected as the defensive player of the game.
Sony Michel had a 27-yard touchdown run on the second play of the ensuing Georgia possession, and the Bulldogs advanced to the championship game in Atlanta on January 8. "They showed true character today".
In a game dominated by offense, it was the Georgia defense that saved the day. Then Rodrigo Blankenship hit a career-best-and Rose Bowl-best-55-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 14 points at halftime. Win. Georgia had some early success as well. On their first possession, the team took the 7-0 lead after Baker Mayfield found Marquise Brown for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
"It wasn't like there was a magic sprinkle dust", Smart said. The Sooners scored right before intermission and get the ball back to begin the second half. Its powerful run game had generated several big plays, with Michel and his backfield partner Nick Chubb combining for five touchdowns on Monday.
Trailing by 45-38 with 3:22 left in regulation, Fromm methodically marched the Bulldogs for the game-tying touchdown drive that spanned seven plays and 59 yards.
At any number of moments in that sequence, Georgia could have decided that there wasn't enough time to do anything and complacently headed to the locker room. He also caught a two-yard touchdown. They looked totally lost when Georgia led 38-31. Not stellar. Certainly not going to blow anyone away. Michel, the offensive player of the game, finished with 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while also adding 41 yards on four receptions and a score.
Check out the highlight package above for Michel's game-winner and the Sooners' stunning fumble return TD. If Fromm had to pass the ball more than 25 times, the Dawgs would be done. The mistake Oklahoma made, in hindsight, was not accounting for Carter's 6-foot-6 frame to block the kick. There were six seconds left in the half, and Oklahoma was set to receive the kickoff to open the second half.
And when Oklahoma needed to get back to its aggressive attack, Mayfield tried to do too much.
As everyone on Georgia's field goal block team rose up, one man's arm was higher than the rest. But when they tried to kick another in the second it was blocked.
A touchdown Georgia fans will remember forever.
You would think Georgia head coach Kirby Smart would be happy about his team winning, but he wasn't. "To see them racing down the field, I mean, it really embodies what this team is about". Rodney Anderson gashed the Georgia defense for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.