Godwin, Bulldogs win Rose-Bowl thriller
Published 10:41 pm Monday, January 1, 2018
By Kevin Eckleberry
Terry Godwin and the Georgia Bulldogs, after winning an overtime classic against Oklahoma, are one victory away from the program’s first national championship in nearly 30 years.
Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48 in the Rose Bowl, and it will play in the title game on Monday in the Mercedes-Benz Center in Atlanta.
The game wasn’t decided until double overtime when Georgia blocked an Oklahoma field-goal attempt before senior running back Sony Michel scored the winning touchdown.
Godwin, a junior wide receiver from Callaway, played a key role in helping Georgia earn the title shot.
Godwin had five catches for 51 yards, and he had some crucial receptions on scoring drives.
With the Bulldogs trailing by seven late, Godwin caught a 16-yard pass from Jake Fromm on third-and-10.
Two plays later, Nick Chubb scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, and the extra point tied it at 45-45, which was the score at the end of regulation.
Godwin had a 15-yard catch that helped jump-start that game-tying drive.
Right before the end of the first half, Godwin caught a
9-yard pass to set up a Rodrigo Blankenship 55-yard field goal.
That allowed the Bulldogs to pull within 14 and take some momentum into the halftime break.
Godwin also did an outstanding job blocking from his wide-receiver position to help the Bulldogs run for 317 yards.
It was the highest-scoring Rose Bowl in history, breaking a record that was set one year ago when Penn State beat USC 52-49.
As has been the case all season, the Bulldogs were dominant on the ground, and the Sooners had no answer for Chubb and Michel.
Michel ran for 181 yards with three touchdowns, and Chubb had 145 yards with two scoring runs.
Fromm, a true freshman who looked right at home on the big stage, completed 20-of-29 passes for 210 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Michel and Javon Wims both had scoring catches for the Bulldogs.
While the Sooners also put up some impressive numbers, their high-flying offense was limited to one touchdown in the second half after it moved the ball at will in the opening half.
The Sooners, after falling behind by seven in the fourth quarter rallied to take the lead on a defensive touchdown, but Fromm led the Bulldogs on the game-tying drive, with some help from Godwin.
The Sooners had 55 seconds to work with after the Bulldogs scored, but they were stopped and were forced to punt, and it was on to overtime.
Both teams made field goals on their first overtime possessions.
In the second overtime, Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter blocked a field-goal attempt.
That meant any score would give the victory to the Bulldogs.
On second down, Michel shook off a tackle attempt and raced 27 yards for the touchdown, putting an end to the remarkable game.
If Georgia wins on Monday, it will capture the program’s first national championship since 1980.