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College Football Season
Sun Bowl

Utah Utah (8-5) 30
Georgia Tech Georgia Tech (8-5) 27

Bowl Index

Game Recap

by CFP Staff
December 31, 2011

John White's 8-yard run in overtime completed Utah's rally from a 14-point 4th quarter deficit as the Utes took down Georgia Tech 30-27 in overtime in the Sun Bowl. It was the 7th straight bowl loss for the Yellow Jackets who own the second-longest bowl futility streak.

White raised his total to 1,519 yards for the season with his 8th 100-yard performance.

Georgia Tech took a 24-10 lead into the 4th quarter on Quayshawn Johnson's 74-yard return of a John Hays interception, but Hays redeemed himself by throwing a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes, the last one a 28-yard hookup with DeVonte Christopher that tied the game at 24-all with 1:32 left in the game.

The Yellow Jackets got within striking distance in the final seconds, but David Scully missed a field goal attempt from 48 yards out as time expired. Scully was kicking because Justin Moore had missed a pair of 42-yard field goals earlier, but Moore connected from 34 yards in overtime to put Georgia Tech ahead 27-24.

Utah moved to the 3-yard line before a false start pushed the ball five yards. On the next play, White found a seam up the middle and plowed over defenders at the goal line, crossing the plane for the winning score.

The Yellow Jackets were making their 15th consecutive bowl appearance, tied for fourth-longest active streak among FBS schools, and was playing in their 40th bowl game overall (22-18) to tie for the 12th-most nationally. But their bowl record dropped to 22-18 with a seventh straight loss, the second-longest active streak behind Vanderbilt's 9 in-a-row (Vandy lost to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl on the same day).

It was the 9th straight bowl for Utah which has played in a bowl game every year since Kyle Whittingham took over for Urban Meyer just prior to the Utes' 2004 bowl win over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. Though they served as co-head coaches for that game, Whittingham is credited with the win and is now 7-1 as a bowl game head coach. Among the victories is a 31-17 win over Alabama in the 2008 season Sugar Bowl.

Utah had a 9-bowl winning streak snapped last year with a 26-3 loss to Boise State in Las Vegas.

A 17-14 upset loss to Colorado in the season finale prevented the Utes from playing in the first-ever PAC-12 Championship game. Prior to that loss, Utah had won four straight to recover from a 3-4 start to the season.

Georgia Tech's season went the other way. After a 5-0 start, the Yellow Jackets fell to Virginia, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech in three of their next four games and finished the regular season with a loss to Georgia.

Both teams wrap up 2011 with 8-5 records.

This was the second meeting between these two teams. Utah also beat Georgia Tech in the 2005 Emerald Bowl, 38-10.

58.3% of voters picked Utah to win and the Congrove Computer Rankings at projected the Utes to be victorious by 2.32 points.


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