Georgia rallies to beat Georgia Tech 41-34 in 2OT
Todd Gurley ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, including
two scores after regulation, and Georgia rallied after trailing by
20 points in the first half to beat Georgia Tech 41-34 in overtime
on Saturday night.
Gurley’s 25-yard touchdown run in the second and final overtime
gave Georgia its first lead.
Vad Lee passed for a career-high 232 yards for Georgia Tech, but
his fourth-down pass for Darren Waller was deflected by Georgia’s
Ramik Wilson to end the game.
Hutson Mason overcame a shaky first half in his first start to
lead the comeback for Georgia (8-4), which has won 12 of 13 games
in the series under coach Mark Richt, including five straight.
Georgia Tech (7-5) blew leads of 20-0 in the second quarter and
20-7 at halftime.
Lee threw two touchdown passes to DeAndre Smelter as Georgia
Tech, which usually emphasizes the run in its spread-option
offense, instead attacked Georgia through the air.
Mason completed 22 of 36 passes for 299 yards with two
touchdowns and one interception.
Georgia won the toss to start overtime and chose to play
defense. Smelter ran for 12 yards on a reverse to help set up Lee’s
scoring run from the 2.
Georgia answered with a strong dose of Todd Gurley on its first
overtime possession. Gurley had gains of 8, 11 and 6 yards on the
Bulldogs’ quick three-play touchdown drive.
Georgia Tech then elected to play defense in the second extra
period. Gurley ran straight through the Georgia Tech defense for a
25-yard touchdown run and the Bulldogs’ first lead at 41-34.
Georgia Tech’s Robert Godhigh was tackled by Leonard Floyd for a
loss of three yards to set up a fourth and 5 from the 6. Wilson
tipped Lee’s pass for Darren Waller before cornerback Damian Swann
batted the ball out of the end zone for the incompletion to end the
Georgia players then rushed the field, their dominance in the
state rivalry still intact.
Georgia Tech did not have a turnover until Lee, throwing off his
back foot, had his pass intercepted by Josh Harvey-Clemons in the
fourth quarter. Clemons returned the ball 18 yards to the Yellow
Jeremiah Attaochu’s fourth sack of the game helped force Georgia
to settle for Marshall Morgan’s 32-yard field goal for a 27-27 tie
with 4:17 remaining.
The Yellow Jackets took a 20-0 lead before Georgia scored 17
unanswered points to cut the lead to three points. Lee’s 7-yard
scoring pass to Smelter in the fourth quarter pushed the lead back
to 10 points.
Gurley’s 2-yard touchdown run with 6:37 remaining again trimmed
Georgia Tech lead to three points at 27-24.
Mason struggled through most of the first half and appeared
tentative in some of his passing decisions.
Of Georgia’s 152 yards in the half, 86 yards came as Mason
looked more comfortable running the 2-minute offense in the
Bulldogs’ final drive. Mason completed each of his five passes on
the drive, including back-to-back completions of 17 and 22 yards to
Gurley scored on a 9-yard pass, taking off from about the 4-yard
line and soaring with his body out of bounds but the ball stretched
out over the corner at the goal line.
Georgia Tech dominated most of the half. A big pass from Lee to
Waller on the Yellow Jackets’ opening possession set the pace for
the half. On third and 8 from the 26, Lee’s lofted a deep pass to
Waller, who caught the ball in stride behind the coverage of
cornerback Sheldon Dawson for a 68-yard gain to the Georgia 6. Lee
scored on a keeper from the 3.
The Yellow Jackets used another big pass play on their next
possession, a 43-yarder from Lee to running back Robert Godhigh, to
set up Harrison Butker’s 37-yard field goal.
Mason, under pressure, threw a weak attempt for Conley late in
the opening quarter that was intercepted by Jemea Thomas at the
Georgia 36. Lee’s 26-yard pass to Smelter gave Georgia Tech a 17-0
lead. Butker’s 22-yard field goal in the second quarter pushed the
lead to 20-0.
Georgia’s lost senior defensive end Garrison Smith to a left
ankle injury in the third quarter. Smith did not return.
Former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions
watched the game from the Bulldogs’ sideline.