Podlesny’s FG lifts Georgia past Cincinnati in Peach Bowl

Podlesny’s FG lifts Georgia past Cincinnati in Peach Bowl

ATLANTA — Jack Podlesny kicked a 53-yard field goal with three seconds remaining, and No. 11 Georgia handed No. 6 Cincinnati its only loss of the season with a dramatic 24-21 victory in the Peach Bowl on Friday.

Georgia trailed 21-10 in the fourth quarter, but its defense clamped down on Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati and JT Daniels helped rally the Bulldogs with his arm. Daniels finished with 392 yards passing.

Podlesny’s third field goal was his longest of the season and gave Georgia a 22-21 lead. Azeez Ojulari sacked Ridder for a safety on the final play. It was Ojulari’s third sack. Georgia tied a school record with eight sacks.

Ridder completed 24 of 37 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Jerome Ford added a career-long 79-yard touchdown run early in the second half but it wasn’t enough for the Bearcats.

Cincinnati (9-1, No. 8 CFP) was motivated to use the Peach Bowl to gain national respect. Coach Luke Fickell wanted the Bearcats to be included in this season’s playoff and he said it was an opportunity to be judged evenly with Power 5 teams in the future.

Georgia (8-2, No. 9 CFP) won despite running for only 45 yards.

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Ridder threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce in the first quarter and added an 11-yard scoring pass to Josh Wyle late in the first half.

Daniels, who energized the Bulldogs’ offense when he took over at quarterback for the final three regular-season games, overcame an interception and a lost fumble to lead the comeback.

Georgia’s defense helped fuel the rally. Ridder fumbled on a sack by Ojulari, and Adam Anderson recovered at the Bearcats 25. Zamir White’s 9-yard TD run trimmed Cincinnati’s lead to 21-16, but Daniels’ pass on the 2-point attempt was incomplete.

Podlesny kicked a 32-yard field goal with 6:43 remaining. On its next possession, Georgia coach Kirby Smart elected to punt on a fourth-and-3 play from the Georgia 43 with 3:07 remaining.

Ridder ran for one first down before the Bearcats punted with 1:28 remaining, giving Georgia possession at its 20.

Daniels, who threw only one interception while starting Georgia’s last three games, had turnover woes against the Bearcats.

Daniels threw a first-quarter interception and committed a key turnover deep in Cincinnati territory in the third quarter. Daniels, scrambling on a second-down play at the Bearcats 11, fumbled when hit by Jarrell White, who also was credited with a sack. Defensive end Ethan Tuckey recovered for Cincinnati.

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A shanked 4-yard punt by Georgia’s Jake Camarda set up the Bearcats at the Bulldogs 42. Seven plays later, Ridder’s 14-yard scoring pass to Pierce gave Cincinnati a 7-0 lead.

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