In the first overtime game in the history of Sanford Stadium, the No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs fell 30-24 to in-state rival and 16th-ranked Georgia Tech in front of 92,746 fans and a nationally televised SEC Network audience at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, November 29. The Bulldogs end their regular season with a 9-3 record, while Georgia Tech improves to 10-2 on the season.
Nick Chubb, who finished with 129 yards on 25 carries, once again led the Bulldogs offensively. It was it seventh-straight 100-yard rushing game. Hutson Mason finished with 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 18-for-28 passing. His top target was Malcolm Mitchell, who finished with 56 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Chris Conley did good work for the Bulldogs late in the game, finishing with 45 yards on three catches.
The Bulldog defense was led by Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera, who each finished with 19 tackles, including six solo stops. Damian Swann added 10 tackles. Lorenzo Carter and Leonard Floyd each had one tackle for loss. Swann came up with two fumble recoveries, including a goal line recovery that was returned for a school-record 99 yards and a score.
Georgia got on the board in a hurry, scoring on its opening drive. Chubb was the star of the drive, catching a 24-yard pass before rushing for 28 yards to set up 2nd-and-Goal at the Georgia Tech four. Two plays later, the Bulldogs went for it on 4th-and-Goal from the one. Chubb got the call and crossed the goal line for the score. Marshall Morgan connected on the extra point to give the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.
On Georgia’s third drive of the game, Chubb broke off a 65-yard run that got the Bulldogs down to the Georgia Tech one-yard line. Two plays later the ball was fumbled and recovered by the Jackets. The defense stepped up and force Georgia Tech to punt.
Georgia Tech looked to get on the board at the start of the second quarter, marching all the way down to the Georgia 20. As Tech tried for a 37-yard field goal, Ray Drew came leaping over the middle and blocked the kick. Swann picked up the ball and returned it for six yards. Georgia looked to take advantage of the blocked kick, but a fumble into the end zone resulted in a touchback for Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets drove the length of the field on the ensuing possession. A 7-yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller that tied the game at 7-7 capped off the drive. Highlighting the scoring drive was a 25-yard rush by Synjyn Days.
Georgia Tech got the ball to start the second half and drove all the way to the Georgia seven. With the Yellow Jackets looking to score, Swann ripped the ball from Justin Thomas’ arm and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown that put the Bulldogs up 14-7 after the PAT. The 99-yard return set a new Georgia record as the longest fumble return in school history.
The Bulldogs looked to add to its lead with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. Morgan lined up for a 49-yard attempt but the kick was blocked, resulting in Tech getting the ball at its own 37-yard line. It was the second blocked kick of the game. Georgia Tech turned the blocked kick into seven points, driving 63 yards on eight plays that tied the game up at 14-14.
The Bulldogs put together a 15-play, 73-yard drive that resulted in the Bulldogs taking a 17-14 lead after Morgan connected on a 19-yard field goal with 11:19 left to play. After the drive appeared to stall, Georgia lined up to attempt a field goal. Instead of the kick, holder Collin Barber pitched the ball over his head and Morgan took the ball 28 yards to the Georgia Tech three for the first down. He completed the drive six plays later with a short field goal.
Georgia Tech responded with a touchdown drive that went 80 yards in 13 plays that allowed the Yellow Jackets to take a 21-17 lead with just over four minutes left on the clock.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Yellow Jackets executed a perfect pooch kick, recovering at the Georgia 27. The Yellow Jackets picked up 10 yards before Thomas was sacked for a loss of 14 yards. During the play, Quincy Mauger stripped Thomas of the ball for a fumble that was recovered by Herrera at the Georgia 31.
The fumble recovery gave Georgia another chance. Mason started the drive with a pair of passes to Conley for a pickup of 20 yards. Sony Michel picked up another 10 yards that put Georgia at the Tech 21. Mason and Conley hooked up for another big gain, setting the Bulldogs up with 1st-and-Goal at the Georgia Tech five-yard line. Facing 4th-and-Goal with 22 seconds on the clock after a pair of incomplete passes and a short gain, Mason found Mitchell in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown pass that gave Georgia a 24-21 lead with 18 seconds left in the game.
The dramatics continued as Georgia Tech got a 16-yard kickoff return, coupled with gain of 21 yards on the first play of the drive. As time expired, kicker Harrison Butker was good from 53 yards, tying the game at 24-24 and sending it into overtime.
Georgia won the toss and elected to start on defense. Georgia Tech got the ball on the 25-yard line and worked its way into the end zone for the score. As Butker came on to kick the extra point, Ray Drew came up with a block that made it a 30-24 game. It was the third blocked kick of the game.
In Georgia’s overtime possession, Chubb got the call on the first two plays, picking up five yards. Mason connected with Conley on third down for a gain of 10 yards, giving the Bulldogs a fresh set of downs inside the 10. With Georgia looking for the winning touchdown, Mason’s pass was intercepted by D.J. White, which sealed Georgia Tech’s 30-24 win.
Georgia will await its bowl fate, as the destination announcement is set for Dec. 7.