CFN's 2007 Annual Ultimate
College Football Playoff
Final Four - Rose Bowl
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
"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
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
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.
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