Stetson Bennett threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell with 54 seconds left as No. 1 Georgia rallied to defeat No. 4 Ohio State 42-41 in the College Football Playoff at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Saturday.
Noah Ruggles missed a 50-yard field goal with 3 seconds left for Ohio State (11-2). Georgia trailed by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs responded in style to their ticket into the Championship game. Read more: CFP Highlights: No. 3 TCU holds off No. 2 Michigan; books CFP final spot
Watch Georgia vs Ohio State highlights – 2022 Peach Bowl
“Our guys are extremely resilient,” Smart said. “… I had no doubt our team would come out fighting.”
The defending national champions Bulldogs (14-0) play TCU for the title in Inglewood, Calif., on Jan. 9. The No. 3 Horned Frogs downed the second-ranked Wolverines 51-45 in the other semifinal Saturday.
Georgia has to be better vs TCU?
“If we want any chance of winning the national championship, we’ve got to play a lot better football than we played tonight, but we’ve got to keep our resilience,” Smart added.
C.J Stroud was 23 of 34 for 348 yards and four touchdowns for the Buckeyes. Bennett finished 23 of 34 for 398 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Leading 28-24 in the third quarter, Stroud tossed his fourth TD, a 10-yarder to Emeka Egbuka for a 35-24 lead with 10:37 left. Ruggles added a 25-yard field goal to make it 38-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
A 31-yard field goal by Georgia’s Jack Podlesny with 10:14 left in regulation made it 38-27.
Bennett threw a 76-yard TD to Arian Smith, and with a two-point conversion, it was 38-35 with 8:41 to play. Ruggles made a 48-yard field goal with 2:43 to play for a 41-35 score.
The Bulldogs had rallied before.
Georgia scored 17 straight points to take a 24-21 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Podlesny with 1:44 left in the first half but the Buckeyes countered quickly to take a 28-24 halftime lead.
Stroud went 4-for-4 on the drive for 75 yards, the last a 37-yard TD to Xavier Johnson with 49 seconds left heading into halftime.
Most fun game of my life – Stroud
The score was tied 7-7 early in the second quarter when Miyan Williams rushed for a 2-yard score to put the Buckeyes ahead 14-7. Bennett was then intercepted and Marvin Harrison Jr. had a 16-yard TD to make it 21-7 at the 10:56 mark before the Bulldogs rallied.
“That probably was the most fun game I’ve ever played in my life,” Stroud, who was in top form on the night, said after the defeat. “It just sucks it comes down like that.”
Kendall Milton ran for an 11-yard score and Stetson tied it at 21 on his 3-yard run at 6:07 in the second quarter.
Ohio State running back Williams, who missed practice during the week because of a stomach bug, was clearly still struggling to shack off a nagging ankle injury. He rushed just three times for eight yards.
–Field Level Media