Georgia scores vs. Ohio State: Dawgs keep title defense alive with gutsy College Football Playoff comeback

Atlanta – no. 1. Georgia faced defeat for most of the 2022 Peach Bowl, then came up with a stunning 42-41 late win over the top-ranked game. 4 Ohio State Football Playoff semifinals. The win sends the defending champion Bulldogs to the CFP National Championship where they will face their No. 1 opponent. 3 TCU, Monday, Jan. 9 in Inglewood, California.

Ohio State kicker Noah Ruggles missed a 50-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds left as the Buckeyes drove a possible last-minute drive after a heroic go-ahead by Georgia State. Try to win the game.

The Buckeyes led 38-24 early in the fourth quarter and had a chance to retake the lead twice with less than 4 minutes left when the Bulldogs defense put up a huge stand, forcing Ohio State received a field goal 41-35 with 2:43 left.

From there, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV led the team undefeated for years. Bennett hit Adonai Mitchell for a 10-yard touchdown with 54 seconds left to give Georgia the lead for the first time since the second quarter.

Ohio State had two more timeouts and had plenty of time to get into field goal range. It did, though in the fourth quarter without leading wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who withdrew after taking a hard hit in the end zone late in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes, who had scored more points against the Dodgers than any other team this season, ended up falling short in a valiant attempt at redemption after an embarrassing loss to Michigan at the end of the regular season.

“Postman” delivery

Stroud beat Bennett for most of the night, and his arms and legs were absolutely spectacular for the Buckeyes. But when it matters most, Bennett comes up with another storybook moment for his fairytale career. The former runner bypassed junior college before returning to the Bulldogs for the second-biggest fourth-quarter comeback in CFP history.

The Bulldogs beat Ohio State 18-3 in the final 15 minutes as Bennett completed 10 of 12 passes in the game. He found Arian Smith eye-opening on a 76-yard touchdown run to make it 38-35 midway through the quarter, then completed five of five passes before the go-ahead, ending with his strike to Mitchell. Bennett completed 23 of 34 for 398 yards with three touchdowns, an interception and a rushing touchdown while earning game MVP honors.

Huge stand when it matters most

Georgia entered with the No. 1 finish in the country. 2 scoring defense, allowing just 12.8 points per game — but the Buckeyes scored 28 in the first half alone. Georgia, however, came up with some key stops when the chips were down. Oddly enough, Georgia coach Kirby Smart called a timeout with 8:58 left in the game, which may have helped the Docs save the game.

Facing fourth-and-1 at their own 34-yard line, the Buckeyes lined up before executing a successful fake. However, as the game unfolded, it became clear that Smart called a timeout before the kickoff. Georgia staffers spotted the fake in time, and the Buckeyes did opt to punt after a timeout.

Bennett’s 76-yard strike to Smith came on the first play of UGA’s next drive. On Ohio State’s next possession, the Buckeyes faced second-and-fifth at Georgia’s 18-yard line and were moving the football well for a chance to take a 45-35 lead. The Bulldogs stepped up the pressure and fired Stroud in a 12-game loss. Ohio State eventually settled for a field goal, which opened the door for Bennett and the Georgia offense.

Key injuries for both teams

Ohio State tight end Cade Stover left the game with back spasms after a 7-yard catch and was taken to a local hospital. The senior entered with 35 catches for 399 yards and five touchdowns. At the end of the third quarter, Harrison Jr. He was badly injured in the back of the end zone and required on-field medical attention. He didn’t return after collecting five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. His absence hampered the Buckeyes as Stroud tried to position his team in the last minute for a game-winning shot.

While Georgia kept Mitchell out for much of the season with injury, the Bulldogs quickly lost another top target when Darnell Washington pulled out in the first half and didn’t return. The burly teenage tight end caught the ball for 9 yards before he left. His stature will weigh heavily in the college playoff national tournament, as will that of wide receiver Ladd McConkey, who is visibly hobbled by a knee injury.

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