Georgia 24, Cincinnati 21
When: 12:00 PM ET, Friday, January 1, 2021
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Jack Podlesny's career-long 53-yard field goal with three seconds remaining lifted No. 9 Georgia to a 24-21 win over No. 8 Cincinnati in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Friday in Atlanta.
Georgia, a member of the Southeastern Conference, finished the season with an 8-2 record after winning its second straight New Year's Six bowl. The Bulldogs claimed the Sugar Bowl last year.
Cincinnati, which won the American Athletic Conference title, finished its season with a 9-1 record.
Georgia's JT Daniels completed 26 of 38 passes for 392 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Zamir White rushed for 39 yards and a score on 11 carries for the Bulldogs, who mustered just 45 yards on 24 carries. George Pickens had seven catches for 135 yards and a score.
Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder, the AAC Offensive Player of the Year, completed 24 of 37 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
Bearcats freshman Jerome Ford rushed for a game-high 97 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
Cincinnati extended its four-point halftime lead on its second play of the third quarter, as Ford took a handoff and ran a career-long 79 yards up the middle for a 21-10 edge. Ford was among the running backs filling the void left by leading rusher Gerrid Doaks (673 yards, seven TDs), who was out due to a leg injury.
Georgia got back into the game by capitalizing on a Cincinnati mistake early in the fourth quarter. After recovering Ridder's fumble on the Bearcats' 25-yard line, White scored on 9-yard run two plays later to pull Georgia to within 21-16 with 13:20 left to play. The Bulldogs failed on their two-point conversion attempt, however.
The Bulldogs pulled within 21-19 on Podlesny's 32-yard field goal with 6:43 remaining.
Georgia took advantage of its last possession, when it took over at its 20-yard line with 1:28 remaining. Daniels drove the Bulldogs to Cincinnati's 36-yard line, setting up Podlesny's game-winning kick.
Georgia scored a safety on the game's final play.
After Georgia's Jordan Davis blocked Cole Smith's 32-yard field goal with 6:37 left in the second quarter, Georgia took its first lead on Podlesny's 37-yard goal with 3:46 left in the half. Cincinnati, however, countered on its next possession when Josh Whyle made a diving catch in the end zone to haul in Ridder's 11-yard pass with 6 seconds left, giving the Bearcats a 14-10 lead at halftime.
Cincinnati took advantage of a Georgia mistake to grab an early lead. After a 4-yard punt by Jake Camarda gave the Bearcats the ball at Georgia's 42-yard line, Ridder capped a seven-play drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce for a 7-0 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first half.
After Daniels squandered Georgia's first scoring opportunity by throwing an interception in the end zone, he didn't make a mistake on Georgia's next possession by capping a five-play, 44-yard drive by finding Pickens over the middle for a 16-yard score to tie the game at 7 with 29 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Georgia were without seven starters: running back James Cook, guard Ben Cleveland, tight end Tre' McKitty, center Trey Hill, cornerbacks Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel and linebacker Monty Rice. They opted out for either health reasons, preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, or in Cook's case, to mourn the death of his father.
--Field Level Media
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