2007 Ultimate Nat'l Finals - Final Four Rose

Posted Aug 12, 2007

CFN 2007 Preview - The Ultimate National Title Playoff Final Four - Rose Bowl. USC vs. Georgia

CFN's 2007 Annual Ultimate College Football Playoff

Final Four - Rose Bowl

West Champion USC

No. 1 USC 48 ... No. 7 Boston College 17
No. 1 USC 35 ... No. 5 Florida State 31

Third Round  
No. 1 USC 34 ... No. 8 South Florida 0

Second Round
No. 1 USC 28 ... No. 16 Ole Miss 0
First Round
USC 1st Round Bye 

North Champion Georgia

No. 8 Georgia 14 ... No. 3 Miami 10
No. 8 Georgia 23 ... No. 5 Missouri 21
Third Round
No. 8 Georgia 23 ... No. 1 Texas 21
Second Round
No. 8 Georgia 24 ... No. 21 Houston 10  
First Round
No. 8 Georgia 23 ... No. 25 Miami Univ. 21
Ultimate National Title Seedings & Brackets

West Champion No. 1 USC 31 ... North Champion No. 8 Georgia 17

Georgia hung tough for just over three quarters, and then the secondary, which was such a big concern coming into the tournament, finally broke down as Vidal Hazelton caught three straight passes including a 51-yard touchdown with just over nine minutes to play to break a 17-17 tie.

Georgia came out crisp and precise with a ten play, 80-yard drive to start the game, finishing up with a two-yard Kregg Lumpkin touchdown run. USC's offense took a while to warm up, failing to get on the Georgia side of the field in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Trojans, the Dawg offense wasn't able to put any points on the board, failing on a fourth and one on the USC 39 and needing to punt on another good-looking drive that stalled after a sack.

USC finally got on the board on its first drive in the second quarter on a 39-yard drive, but the offense still wasn't clicking. Georgia's defense was playing well, but apparently, it was more of a case of nerves.

"We've all played in big games, but for some reason, we came out a bit nervous. At least that's how we played," said USC QB John David Booty. "We knew we'd eventually get it going, but it took a little longer than we thought."

A 33-yard Brandon Coutu field goal game Georgia a 10-3 lead, and then the defense turned up the heat, finishing the first half with three sacks, two forced turnovers, and plenty of big plays to keep the momentum. The pro-USC crowd in the Rose Bowl had a nervous buzz.

"We had good energy from the start," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "We knew we had to come out strong, and we did defensively, but we needed to put more points on the board. Obviously."

USC made the halftime adjustments and came out roaring, going 71 yards in six plays, with Booty connecting with Patrick Turner for a 26-yard touchdown to tie it up and all but erase everything that happened in the first half.

As well as the Dawgs moved the ball in the first half, they didn't have much to show for it and then failed to flip the switch back on in the second half, gaining just 29 yards on the first three drives. The defense was able to keep USC under wraps on its next drive, and then got hit by a bolt of lightning.

On second and seven on the USC 26, C.J. Gable got around the right side, got a key block from Turner, and was gone 74 yards up the sidelines for a 17-10 lead. With the crowd roaring, Georgia struggled on its next drive, but then got its own big play when Bryan Evans jumped on a Booty pass and took it 34 yards for a game-tying score.

On the ensuing drive,
Hazelton came up with his big play, Georgia went three and out, and the Trojans put a nail in the coffin going 59 yards in seven plays with Chauncey Washington running it in from three yards out.

Georgia QB Matthew Stafford threw for 159 yards in the first half, but just 49 in the second, while Booty threw for 55 yards in the first half and 151 in the second.

Player of the Game
- USC WR Vidal
Hazelton caught seven passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.

Fun Stat - Georgia first downs: First half 11 - Second half 3