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Rose Bowl Game Preview – Georgia vs. Oklahoma

UGA Football: Rose Bowl Preview
Photo: Steven Colquitt/UGA

On New Year’s Day, the Georgia Bulldogs football team will take the field at the Rose Bowl for the first time in 75 years. It will be the Dawgs second appearance in what former ABC announcer and Georgia’s own Keith Jackson phrased “The Granddaddy of them all.”

Georgia has a 1-0 record in this game after winning the 1942 National Championship against UCLA, 9-0. In addition, this is Oklahoma’s second appearance in the Rose Bowl after beating Washington State 34-14 on January 1, 2003.

Here are other notes to consider for this playoff semifinal game:

• Georgia is the first SEC team to play in the Rose Bowl since January 1, 1946 when Alabama defeated USC 34-14.

• The last Big 12 team in the Rose Bowl was the 2005 Texas Longhorns, who snapped USC’s 34-game winning streak to win the National Championship, 41-38.

• The last Heisman Trophy winner from the Sooners to win their bowl game was tailback Billy Sims in 1978, against Nebraska, 31-24 in the Orange Bowl. 2003 Heisman winner Jason White lost the National Championship in back-to-back years (2003-2004) to LSU and USC, respectively. Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman in 2008, also lost the National Championship to Florida.

• The Sooners’ defense ranks 58th in the country. The last defense ranked this low to win the National Championship was the 2010 Auburn Tigers defense that was ranked 60th. Auburn is the only team to win a National Championship with a total defense below the Top 20 since 1984 when the NCAA starting tracking stats closely.

• Jake Fromm is trying to be the first true freshman quarterback to win a National Championship since Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holloway in 1985.

• Since 2014 when the College Football Playoff was created, No. 3 seeds are 0-3. Florida State lost to Oregon 59-20 at the Rose Bowl in 2014, Michigan State lost to Alabama 38-0 in the 2015 Cotton Bowl, and Ohio State lost to Clemson 31-0 last year in the Fiesta Bowl.

• The Rose Bowl is the only stadium to host a Super Bowl, National Championship, World Cup, and Olympic event.

The 104th Rose Bowl Game is set to kickoff at 5:10pm ET on Monday, January 1 and will be televised by ESPN. The Georgia-Oklahoma winner will advance to the College Football National Championship on Monday, January 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and will face the Clemson-Alabama winner.

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