NCAA Game Summary - Georgia Tech vs. Utah|
(Saturday, December 31st)
Final Score: Utah 30, Georgia Tech 27 (OT)
El Paso, TX (Sports Network) - John White IV recorded an eight-yard touchdown
run in the first overtime, lifting the Utah Utes to a thrilling 30-27 victory
over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Sun Bowl.
After the Yellow Jackets made a field goal to start the first OT period, Utah
needed just six plays to find the end zone and claim victory. A false start
penalty set up a 3rd-and-goal from the eight, but White took the ball up the
middle for the game-winning touchdown.
"They trusted me with the ball, so I saw Shawn [Asiata] blast somebody and I
knew I was going to go in," White said. "As soon as the ball crossed the plain
I looked up to the ref and saw his hands go up and knew it was a touchdown so
I just wanted to go celebrate with my teammates."
White ended with 115 yards on 26 carries for the Utes (8-5), who improved to
13-4 all-time in bowl games. White became Utah's all-time single-season
leading rusher with 1,519 yards. He needed 103 yards coming into the game to
match the school record of 1,507 yards set by Carl Monroe in 1982.
Jon Hays completed 15-of-31 passes for 193 yards, three touchdowns and an
interception for Utah, which is 7-1 in bowl games under head coach Kyle
Tevin Washington connected on 11-of-15 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown
for the Yellow Jackets (8-5), who have lost seven straight bowl games.
Washington also carried the ball 20 times for 96 yards.
Preston Lyons rushed for 138 yards and a score on 18 carries for Georgia Tech,
which has made 15 consecutive bowl appearances.
Trailing by two scores, 24-10, the Utes scored 14 points in the fourth quarter
to tie the game. Utah got the comeback started with a 10-play, 71-yard scoring
drive. White ran for 15 yards and Shawn Asiata caught an 18-yard pass
to move the ball to the Georgia Tech 38. After converting a 3rd-and-2,
Asiata caught a 15-yard pass to set up a 1st-and-goal. On 4th-and-goal from
the three, Hays found Kendrick Moeai in the end zone to make it 24-17 with
6:50 to play.
Following a trio of three-and-outs, Utah got the ball back with 2:21 left and
no timeouts. Griff McNabb's 31-yard punt return set up the Utes at the 24 of
the Yellow Jackets. A one-yard run, two incomplete passes and a delay of game
set up a 4th-and-14. But Hays lofted a perfect pass down the left sideline to
DeVonte Christopher for a 28-yard score and 24-24 game with 1:32 to play in
The Yellow Jackets moved the ball to the Utah 31 with two seconds left, but
David Scully missed a 48-yard field goal.
Georgia Tech got the ball to start the first overtime period. Faced with a
3rd-and-2, Washington was stopped for no gain. Justin Moore made a 34-yard
field goal to make it 27-24.
Asiata caught a nine-yard pass on 3rd-and-3 to set up a 1st-and-goal for Utah
before White found the end zone three plays later.
"It was a heck of a football game and you have to take your hat off to Utah
for the way the came back in the game," Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson
said. "We had a lot of opportunities and we just couldn't capitalize. We
didn't make enough plays and we missed three field goals."
After forcing Georgia Tech to go three-and-out, Utah scored a touchdown on its
first possession of the game. Christopher caught a 35-yard pass on the
second play to move the ball to the 38 of the Yellow Jackets. Luke Matthews
added a 31-yard catch on 3rd-and-5 to move the ball to the two. Asiata caught
a one-yard TD pass from Hays to make it 7-0.
Moore missed a 42-yard field goal on Georgia Tech's next drive, and Washington
fumbled later in the period. But the Utes failed to capitalize off the
The Yellow Jackets tied the game early in the second quarter. Embry Peeples
recorded a 16-yard run to move the ball to the Utah 36. On the next play,
Lyons sprinted into the end zone. Georgia Tech converted a pair of third downs
on the nine-play, 80-yard drive.
Moore missed another 42-yard field goal with three minutes left in the half.
Utah's Coleman Petersen made a 25-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to make
it 10-7 at the break.
A bad punt by Utah gave Georgia Tech great field position early in the second
half. Peeples and Roddy Jones ripped off runs of 11 and 14 yards,
respectively, to move the ball into the red zone. The Yellow Jackets kept the
offense on the field on 4th-and-2, but a false start penalty brought the field
goal team on. Moore made a 32-yarder to make it 10-10.
Georgia Tech's next drive covered 87 yards in just four plays. Peeples caught
a 58-yard pass on the first play to move the ball to the 29. On 3rd-and-12,
Stephen Hill caught a 31-yard TD pass from Washington.
On the first play of Utah's ensuing drive, Hays was picked off by Quayshawn
Nealy. The linebacker sprinted 74 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown
to make it 24-10 with under five minutes left in the third stanza.
These programs had only faced off once before. Utah upset the Yellow Jackets
38-10 in the 2005 Emerald Bowl...The Sun Bowl and Sugar Bowl are the second-
oldest bowl games behind the Rose Bowl. The inaugural Sun Bowl was played in
1935...Georgia Tech was trying to claim its first bowl victory since defeating
Syracuse 51-14 in the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl...The Yellow Jackets fell to
22-18 all-time in bowl games...The Utes had a nine-game bowl win streak
snapped last year with a 26-3 loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas
Bowl...Christopher caught four passes for 74 yards...Peeples carried the ball
nine times for 59 yards...White was named the game's most valuable player.
12/31 20:59:47 ET