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Georgia claims Rose Bowl victory in double-OT thriller

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Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter (13) and Trenton Thompson (78) celebrate after safety Dominick Sanders (24) returned an interception for a touchdown at the College Football Playoff Semifinal. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

LOS ANGELES – Sony Michel took a direct snap, headed to his left, broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and sprinted 27 yards for the winning touchdown as No. 3 Georgia advanced to its first national championship game with a 54-48 double-overtime victory over No. 2 Oklahoma on Monday in front of 92,844 in the Rose Bowl.

Michel’s game-winning run, which culminated a 181-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance, came after Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter blocked a 27-yard field-goal attempt by Austin Seibert.

Georgia (13-1), champion of the Southeastern Conference, became only the third team in 104 Rose Bowls to rally from a double-digit halftime deficit.

A mistake by Oklahoma (12-2) just before halftime proved costly to the Big 12 Conference champion.

The Sooners were up 31-14, having scored on a trick play that resulted in quarterback Baker Mayfield catching a two-yard touchdown pass from receiver CeeDee Lamb with six seconds on the clock.

But thanks to a blown squib kick, that was long enough for Georgia to tack on a field goal that ended up coming in handy at the end of regulation.

The Sooners’ plan was to drive the kick into the center of the field, thwarting any kind of run back and allowing the remaining time to elapse.

Instead, Georgia got the ball at the Oklahoma 47. Quarterback Jake Fromm needed only five seconds to pick up nine yards on a pass, and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship connected on a career-best 55-yard field goal, the longest of this bowl season.

That still left the Bulldogs down by two touchdowns, but they got one of them back on their first offensive play of the second half, when Nick Chubb bolted 50 yards for a touchdown.

Tide rolls

Alabama beat Clemson, 24-6, in the Sugar Bowl on Monday night. Head coach Nick Saban was able to exact revenge from last year’s National Championship game and will face Georgia for an all SEC final game.

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