UVa Falls to Georgia in the Peach Bowl Thriller
December 31, 1998
ATLANTA – This time, it was Georgia that finished off a thrilling PeachBowl comeback.
Quincy Carter accounted for three touchdowns and Olandis Gary ran for 110yards and two scores as the No. 19 Bulldogs rallied from a 21-0 deficit, thenheld on to beat No. 13 Virginia 35-33 Thursday night.
The Cavaliers (9-3) made a thrilling comeback of their own after Georgia(9-3) went ahead 35-27 on Carter’s 1-yard sneak for a touchdown with 7:01remaining.
Aaron Brooks threw an interception in the end zone with just over fourminutes to go, but Virginia got the ball back and Brooks broke loose for a30-yard scoring run with 1:34 to go.
On the 2-point attempt, Brooks escaped heavy pressure but his pass at thegoal line for Terrence Wilkins was batted down by Jeff Harris.
The Cavaliers weren’t through. Devon Simmons recovered an onside kick at theVirginia 47 and Jones moved his team into field goal range with a 26-yard run.Todd Braverman, who earlier had missed a critical extra point and a 44-yardfield goal, attempted to win the game with a 48-yarder. The left-footed kick hooked wide right of the upright with 19 seconds to go.
In the 1995 Peach Bowl, Georgia bounced back from a 24-6 deficit against theCavaliers, tying the game at 27 with just over a minute remaining. But PeteyAllen returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown and a 34-27 victoryfor Virginia.
This marked the 15th year in a row the Peach Bowl was decided by sevenpoints or less.
Virginia is getting used to blowing 21-point leads in Atlanta. During theregular season, the Cavaliers led Georgia Tech 38-17 in the second half, onlyto suffer a bitter 41-38 loss that wound up costing them a share of theAtlantic Coast Conference title.
Braverman had a chance to tie that game, missing a 54-yard field goal withless than a minute remaining.
Carter, a 21-year-old freshman who spent the last two years playingminor-league baseball, actually had a hand in six TDs – three for Georgia,three for Virginia.
He threw three interceptions in the first half, all leading to Virginiascores: Anthony Southern’s 2-yard run and TD passes by Brooks of 43 yards toWilkins and 24 yards to Thomas Jones.
Larry Mann sparked Georgia by blocking Donnie Scott’s punt late in the firsthalf, setting up Carter’s 11-yard TD pass to Tony Small.
The Bulldogs tied it in the third quarter on Carter’s 14-yard pass to ChampBailey – an All-American junior likely playing his final college game – andGary’s 15-yard scoring run.
Wilkins, who had six receptions for 161 yards, put the Cavs back ahead witha brilliant, 67-yard touchdown reception. He beat Bailey over the middle andgot away from two attempted tackles by Kirby Smart, Georgia’s All-SoutheasternConference safety.
But Braverman missed the extra point, leaving the margin at 27-21 andeventually forcing the Cavs to go for two late in the game.
Georgia went ahead for the first time when Gary dove over from the 2 with12:52 remaining and Hap Hines converted the extra point, making it 28-27.
On Georgia’s next possession, Carter threw a 52-yard pass to Michael Greer,who made a great diving catch down the sideline. Carter finished the drive bysneaking in with 7:01 left.
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer