Saturday, December 31, 2011
Instant analysis: Utah 30, Ga. Tech 27 (OT)
By Heather Dinich
This year's Hyundai Sun Bowl was a thriller, with Utah battling back from a 14-point deficit to force overtime and win the game. Here's a quick look back at the highlights of the game:
How the game was won: On third-and-goal in overtime, Utah running back John White IV got a good block from his fullback and rushed 8 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The Utes had trailed 24-10 in the third quarter, but quarterback Jon Hays threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. Georgia Tech put together an impressive final drive when it mattered most in regulation, but David Scully's 48-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Turning point: On third-and-9 on Utah's final attempt at making a comeback in regulation, Georgia Tech cornerback Jemea Thomas got away with pass interference in the end zone. On the next play -- a fourth-and-14 -- Utah ran the exact same play, once again a pass to receiver DeVonte Christopher, and this time Hays made an easy throw for the 28-yard game-tying touchdown. Georgia Tech's decision to play man coverage didn't pay off.
Stat of the game: Utah is 8-0 when White rushes for 100 or more yards. It was the sixth time Georgia Tech had allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.
Player of the game: White. He scored the game-winning touchdown and finished with 115 yards on 26 carries.
Unsung hero of the game: Utah quarterback Jon Hays. He threw for 193 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. His two fourth-quarter passing touchdowns tied the game and bailed the Utes out of a 14-point hole.
What it means: Utah can finally move on from its 17-14 loss to Colorado and now has some momentum heading into the offseason. For Georgia Tech, it was the Jackets' seventh straight bowl loss and they remain winless in the postseason under coach Paul Johnson.