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2021 Peach Bowl (January)

2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
53rd Peach Bowl
1234 Total
Georgia 73014 24
Cincinnati 7770 21
DateJanuary 1, 2021
Season2020
StadiumMercedes-Benz Stadium
LocationAtlanta, Georgia
MVPOff.: Jack Podlesny (K, Georgia)
Def.: Azeez Ojulari (LB, Georgia)[1]
FavoriteGeorgia by 6[2]
RefereeJeff Flanagan (ACC)[3]
Attendance15,301
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN and ESPN Radio
AnnouncersESPN: Mark Jones (play-by-play)
Dusty Dvoracek (analyst)
Kris Budden (sideline)
ESPN Radio: Dave O'Brien and Mike Golic Jr.
Peach Bowl
 < 2019 2021 (Dec.)

The 2021 Peach Bowl was a college football bowl game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Cincinnati Bearcats that was played on January 1, 2021, with kickoff scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.[4] It was the 53rd edition of the Peach Bowl, and was one of the 2020–21 bowl games concluding the 2020 FBS football season. Sponsored by restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, the game was officially known as the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The game averaged 8.72 million viewers, becoming the most viewed non-semifinal Peach Bowl.[5] Georgia represented the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Cincinnati represented the American Athletic Conference (AAC).The game was the final game of the 2020 football season for each team and resulted in a 24–21 Georgia victory.

Teams

As one of the New Year's Six bowl games, the participants of the game were determined by the College Football Playoff selection committee. The committee matched No. 8[a] Cincinnati of the American Athletic Conference (The American) against No. 9[a] Georgia of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).[6] Georgia had won both of the teams' prior two meetings, in 1942 and 1976.[7]

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia entered the bowl with a 7–2 record, all in SEC contests. Georgia played five ranked teams, losing to Alabama and Florida while defeating Auburn, Tennessee, and Missouri. The Bulldogs had a 3–2 record in prior Peach Bowls, most recently appearing in, and winning, the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl when it was known by that name.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati entered the bowl with a 9–0 record. After going 6–0 in conference play, the Bearcats defeated Tulsa in the AAC Championship Game. Cincinnati defeated three ranked teams during the season: Tulsa, Army, and SMU. This was the first appearance by the Bearcats in a Peach Bowl.

Game summary

Cincinnati lead 21-10 going into the fourth quarter with Georgia having not scored a touchdown since the first quarter.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Georgia's comeback win marked Kirby Smart's biggest comeback win at his tenure with Georgia.[8]

First quarter

Georgia got the ball first and was forced to punt on the first drive. One Cincinnati's first drive they were also forced to punt. On the ensuing Georgia drive punter Jake Camarda's shanked 4 yard punt put Cincinnati in UGA territory. Desmond Ridder capped off the Bearcats drive with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce. After a JT Daniels interception and Cincinnati punt, Georgia got on the board on a 16 yard George Pickens touchdown to end the first quarter with a 7-7 tie.

Second quarter

The two teams traded possessions before Cincinnati missed a field goal. Georgia responded with a 38 yard Jack Podlesney field goal to give Georgia their first lead of the game. The Bearcats would answer back with an 11 yard touchdown to give them a 14-10 lead at half time.

Third quarter

Cincinnati scored on a 79 yard touchdown run by Jerome Ford on the second play of the half. On the next drive, Georgia drove down to the Bearcats 18 yard line before a JT Daniels fumble gave the ball back to Cincinnati. The two teams traded turns with the ball with neither team scoring.

Fourth quarter

The fourth quarter started with Cincinnati having the ball. Georgia linebacker Azeez Ojulari sacked Desmond Ridder forcing a fumble. Adam Anderson would pick it up for Georgia giving them the ball in Bearcat territory. The Bulldogs would score on a Zamir White touchdown run on the following possession. Cincinnati would punt and a Georgia 32 yard field goal shortened the Bearcat's 21-19 lead. The teams then traded punts. The Bulldogs started burning timeouts and Cincinnati was a first down away from winning. It was third down and two. Ridder threw an incomplete pass giving Georgia one last chance to win. JT Daniels lead Georgia to the Bearcat 36 yard line. Jack Podlesney would then make a 53-yard field goal, tying the Peach Bowl record for longest field goal,[9] to give Georgia a 22-21 lead with two seconds remaining. On the last play of the game Azeez Ojulari would sack Ridder in the end zone for a safety to seal a 24-21 Georgia victory.[10]

Scoring summary

2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Period 1 2 34Total
No. 9 Georgia 7 3 01424
No. 8 Cincinnati 7 7 7021

at Mercedes-Benz StadiumAtlanta, Georgia

Game information
First quarter
  • (4:38) CIN – Alec Pierce 14 yard pass from Desmond Ridder, Cole Smith kick (Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards, 3:45; Cincinnati 7–0)
  • (0:29) UGA – George Pickens 16 yard pass from JT Daniels, Jack Podlesny kick (Drive: 5 plays, 44 yards, 2:07; Tied 7–7)
Second quarter
  • (3:46) UGA – Jack Podlesny 38 yard field goal (Drive: 6 plays, 60 yards, 2:51; Georgia 10–7)
  • (0:06) CIN – Josh Whyle 11 yard pass from Desmond Ridder, Cole Smith kick (Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:40; Cincinnati 14–10)
Third quarter
  • (14:11) CIN – Jerome Ford 79 yard rush, Cole Smith kick (Drive: 2 plays, 75 yards, 0:49; Cincinnati 21–10)
Fourth quarter
  • (13:20) UGA – Zamir White 9 yard rush, JT Daniels pass failed (Drive: 2 plays, 25 yards, 0:41; Cincinnati 21–16)
  • (6:43) UGA – Jack Podlesny 32 yard field goal (Drive: 6 plays, 61 yards, 2:16; Cincinnati 21–19)
  • (0:03) UGA – Jack Podlesny 53 yard field goal (Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards, 1:25; Georgia 22–21)
  • (0:00) UGA – Azeez Ojulari tackled Desmond Ridder in the end zone for a safety (Georgia 24–21)

Statistics

Statistics UGA CIN
First downs 19 16
Plays–yards 63–449 64–305
Rushes–yards 24–45 27–99
Passing yards 404 206
Passing: comp–att–int 27–39–1 24–37–0
Time of possession 28:36 31:24
Team Category Player Statistics
Georgia Passing JT Daniels 26/38, 392 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing Zamir White 11 carries, 39 yards, 1 TD
Receiving George Pickens 7 receptions, 135 yards, 1 TD
Cincinnati Passing Desmond Ridder 24/37, 206 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Jerome Ford 8 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
Receiving Michael Young 4 receptions, 59 yards

2021 season

The following season both Georgia and Cincinnati made the College Football Playoff. Despite not winning, the Peach Bowl was seen as a statement game for Cincinnati and The Group of 5. Georgia finished the year with a perfect 12-0 record before losing to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship. Cincinnati finished undefeated at 13-0. Georgia played Michigan in the 2021 Orange Bowl, winning 34-11.[11] Cincinnati played Alabama in the 2021 Cotton Bowl, losing 27-6.[12] Georgia re-matched Alabama in the 2022 National Championship Game winning 33-18 to claim their first Championship since 1980.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Per final CFP Rankings released on December 20.

References

  1. ^ "Bulldogs Top Bearcats, 24-21, in Peach Bowl Thriller". georgiadogs.com. January 1, 2021. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ "College football bowl betting lines released". 247Sports. Retrieved December 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Austro, Ben (December 23, 2020). "2020-21 bowl officiating assignments". footballzebras.com. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "College Football Bowl Schedule | 2020". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "CFP semis hit New Year's Day low, but top non-NFL events in year". Sports Media Watch. January 5, 2021. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  6. ^ Crowell, Evan (December 21, 2020). "Georgia Faces Cincinnati in Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs football series history games list". winsipedia.com. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "5 takeaways from historic Peach Bowl comeback, glance into Georgia football future". DawgNation. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  9. ^ "Record Book". Peach Bowl. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  10. ^ "Georgia vs. Cincinnati - Play-By-Play - January 1, 2021 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  11. ^ Myerberg, Paul. "Dominant Georgia shuts down Michigan 34-11 for Orange Bowl victory". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  12. ^ "Alabama back in CFP title game, rolls past Cincy". ESPN.com. January 1, 2022. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
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2021 Peach Bowl (January)
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