Georgia LB Roquan Smith delivers late in Rose Bowl comeback

The matchup was determined by the final College Football Playoff rankings, which are made by a 13-member committee of five former coaches, four athletic directors, two former administrators, a college president and a former sports reporter. Execute your assignment and beat your man. One fumble-return touchdown later, Oklahoma had a lead once again. Then win another. Then another.

Both teams traded field goals to cap the first overtime period before the Sooners' offense took its turn first to start the second possession. Otherwise, Smart has shielded his players from interviews before Saturday's media day at Philips Arena.

The first half of Monday's Rose Bowl was replete with offensive fireworks - 650 yards and 45 points - and Heisman victor Baker Mayfield has a flair for the dramatic...

When Sony Michel sprinted 27 yards for the winning touchdown on Georgia's ensuing possession, Mayfield stood on the Oklahoma sideline with his hands on his knees, staring at the turf for several long moments.

For a first half, it was as ideal as it could be for the Oklahoma offense.

Yet Coach Lincoln Riley's play-calling didn't give Mayfield every chance to shine, which the coach acknowledged afterward. They played their hearts out and left it all on the field.

Early in the fourth quarter - after giving up 24 consecutive points and momentum - Oklahoma faced a 38-31 deficit early in the fourth quarter. However, it didn't execute the play and Georgia got the ball at the Oklahoma 47.

"Yeah", Mayfield said with a knowing glare while nodding his head in acknowledgement of what went down.

Just a few plays into the second quarter, Mayfield gave the ball to Rodney Anderson, who ran for 41 yards to the end zone.

Georgia had one final chance to with 3:30 to play.

Michel and fellow running back Nick Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

Mayfield has been mentioned as a potential target for the Jets with the No. 6 pick, so he is definitely a prospect worth keeping an eye on as the draft nears. But the 27-yard attempt was blocked by Georgia's Lorenzo Carter.

Four plays later, Sony Michel fumbled, and the Sooners retook the lead, 45-38.

There were so many moments when the Dawgs could have made a decision to quit, that the game was out of reach. They played their tails off. A short memory is about the best thing an athlete can have. We know we're getting the best from him all the time. There's still one more.

Michel soon disappeared under a pile of celebrating Bulldogs in the corner of the playing field, while others raced across the field under a rain of confetti to celebrate a trip to the title game. That's a hard task, considering the energy and emotion expended Monday night in Pasadena.

"I would have liked for it to have been finishing out the right way but obviously that didn't happen". They met annually from 1919 to 1930 and again from 1944 to 1965 but only eight times since the Southeastern Conference went to divisional play in 1992.

  • Zachary Reyes