Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Bulldogs rally past the Bearcats by a foot

Cincinnati blows late lead, suffers first loss of season

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ATLANTA— Jack Podlesny kicked a 53- yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining, and No. 11 Georgia handed No. 6 Cincinnati its only loss of the season with a dramatic

24- 21 victory in the Peach Bowl on Friday.

Georgia trailed 21- 10 in the fourth quarter, but its defense clamped down on Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati as JT Daniels helped rally the Bulldogs with his arm. Daniels finished with 392 yards passing.

Podlesny’s third field goal was his longest of the season and gave Georgia a 22- 21 lead. Azeez Ojulari sacked Ridder for a safety on the final play. It was Ojulari’s third sack. Georgia tied a school record with eight sacks.

Ridder completed 24 of 37 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Jerome Ford added a careerlong 79- yard touchdown run early in the second half but it wasn’t enough for the Bearcats.

Cincinnati ( 9- 1) wasmotivat­ed to use the Peach Bowl to gain national respect. Coach Luke Fickell wanted the Bearcats to be included in this season’s playoff and he said it was an opportunit­y to be judged evenly with Power 5 teams in the future.

Georgia ( 8- 2) won despite running for only 45 yards.

Ridder threw a 14- yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce in the first quarter and added an 11- yard scoring pass to Josh Wyle late in the first half.

Daniels, who energized the Bulldogs’ offense when he took over at quarterbac­k for the final three regular- season games, overcame an intercepti­on and a lost fumble to lead the comeback.

Georgia’s defense helped fuel the rally. Ridder fumbled on a sack by Ojulari, and Adam Anderson recovered at the Bearcats 25. Zamir White‘ s 9- yard TD run trimmed Cincinnati’s lead to 21- 16, but Daniels’ pass on the 2- point attempt was incomplete.

Podlesny kicked a 32yard field goal with 6: 43 remaining. On its next possession, Georgia coach Kirby Smart elected to punt on a fourth- and- 3 play from the Georgia 43 with 3: 07 remaining.

Ridder ran for one first down before the Bearcats punted with 1: 28 remaining, giving Georgia possession at its 20.

Citrus Bowl

No. 14Northwes­tern 35, Auburn 19: Peyton Ramsey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and the Wildcats’ defense made it stand up in a victory the Tigers in Orlando, Fla.

Ramsey totaled 291 yards passing and 50 yards rushing for Northweste­rn ( 7- 2), which won its fourth straight bowl game. Ramaud Chiaokhiao- Brown, John Raine and Riley Lees had touchdown catches for the Wildcats.

Bo Nix threw for 292 yards for Auburn ( 6- 5) but was often frustrated by Northweste­rn’s defense, which came in allowing 15.5 points per game, ranked fifth in the nation. Auburn was led by interim coach Kevin Steele following the Dec. 13 firing of Gus Malzahn and was missing several key players.

The Tigers got within 14- 13 when Nix hit Elijah Canion for a 57- yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. But Ramsey responded with a 30- yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.

Linebacker Paddy Fisher, the nation’s active leader in tackles coming into the game, drilled Nix for no gain on fourthand- 1 on the second play of the fourth quarter. Cam Porter had seven carries on the ensuing drive, including a 1- yard plunge into the end zone that put Northweste­rn comfortabl­y ahead 28- 13. Porter rushed for 98 yards on 33 carries, and the Wildcats offense finished with 457 yards and 25 first downs.

The Tigers failed to convert 10 of their first 11 third downs, were unsuccessf­ul on their first two fourth- down tries and mustered 361 yards and 18 first downs. For the game, the Tigers were 2 of 13 on third downs.

Thursday

West Virginia 24, Army21 ( Liberty Bowl): Reserve quarterbac­k Austin Kendall threw a 20- yard touchdown pass to T. J. Simmons with 5: 10 left as the Mountainee­rs held off the Black Knights in Memphis.

Army ( 9- 3) had a chance to tie it with 1: 50 left, but Quinn Maretzki’s 39- yard field goal was wide left. Josh Chandler ended Army’s final possession with an intercepti­on and led the Mountainee­rs ( 6- 4) with 13 tackles.

Simmons also scored on a 5- yard pass from Doege.

Army quarterbac­k Tyhier Tyler had three rushing touchdowns— from 1, 6, and 2 yards — to tie a Liberty Bowl record.

 ?? THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Georgia defensive lineman DevonteWya­tt tackles Cincinnati quarterbac­k Desmond Ridder during the second half of the Bulldogs’ win in the Peach Bowl.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Georgia defensive lineman DevonteWya­tt tackles Cincinnati quarterbac­k Desmond Ridder during the second half of the Bulldogs’ win in the Peach Bowl.

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