After weaving past an Oklahoma defender near the 20-yard line, Michel scampered into the end zone untouched for the game-winning touchdown before being mobbed by his teammates in celebration. However, in the three games leading up to the playoff, The Sooners allowed just 17 points per game.
After a red-hot first half, Mayfield was far from his best the rest of the way, a big reason why the Bulldogs rallied from a 31-14 deficit in the second quarter.
The Sooners led by 17 points in the first half and racked up 360 offensive yards, but they compiled just 29 yards in the third quarter as Georgia roared to its first lead.
Oklahoma, deploying a huddle-free, quick-strike offense, scored on five of its six possessions in the half. Sandwiched between them was a 75-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, the eighth-longest touchdown run in Rose Bowl history. He had a second-half fumble that looked really bad at the time as Oklahoma took it the other way for what at the time looked like a game-turning touchdown.
"Our return team practiced squib kicks in Athens because we knew [Oklahoma] had done that this year", Georgia special teams coach Shane Beamer said. While it wasn't his best game, I'm sure of this much: Mayfield is going to be a starting-caliber QB in the NFL, and in a league with a bunch of teams looking for one, he's going to come off the board early.
A comeback; great defenses at times; big plays on the ground and the air; a defensive touchdown and another near score; a record-breaking field goal; overtime; a blocked field goal; and a game-winning touchdown.
Seconds after Mayfield's TD catch, Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley called for a squib kick in an effort to burn as numerous remaining 10 seconds off the clock as possible.
On Rodney Anderson's second touchdown of the night, he ran 41 yards through a giant hole on the left created by All-American tackle Orlando Brown, who is a likely first-round pick in April.
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First half dominance, however, belonged to Oklahoma.
"That probably gave them a little bit of juice", Riley said. For the first time in the game, Georgia led the Sooners 38-31. Smash-mouth gave way to video-game football, the kind of we'll-just-outscore-you-and-win-on-the-last spasm type of football that got Oklahoma to the playoffs and but led to smug mocking by those in the world of the SEC. We'd just held them to a field goal, defensively.
This made no sense since Michel had rushed for the most yards in the game (181) and ran for more touchdowns (3) and scored more TDs overall (4), than anybody. In the locker room, Chubb and Michel were joined by Todd Gurley and Terrell Davis, a couple more running backs who have left a mark or two on the National Football League, the latter just recently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For the Sooners, it was a wrenching end to a remarkable season. I can't sit here and say we did that exclusively. "He reminds me of Brett Favre, because he makes all the throws, he's mobile and he can improvise on the run". An apparent interception in overtime was negated by penalty.
"I'm coming back", Mayfield said after winning a second straight Big 12 Championship on December 3, 2016. "It's been a wild ride".
"Mike is a really good coach", Riley said.
"It was close", he said. Once they got their teeth in the Sooners they never let them go.