Capital One: Bulldogs rally to turn odd turnover into unlikely overtime triumph

Posted: Friday, January 02, 2004

ORLANDO, Fla. A big lead. A remarkable comeback. Just another Georgia-Purdue bowl game.

Kregg Lumpkin redeemed himself for a stunning fumble late in regulation, scoring on a 1-yard run in the first overtime to give No. 11 Georgia a 34-27 victory over No. 12 Purdue in the Capital One Bowl on Thursday.

The Boilermakers (9-4) rallied from a 24-0 deficit in the first half, getting a chance to tie it up on a remarkable turn of events with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Purdue was out of timeouts when Georgia coach Mark Richt called a run instead of ordering quarterback David Greene to take a knee. Lumpkin, a freshman, got tied up in the backfield and fumbled trying to get away. After a wild scramble, Niko Koutouvides recovered for Purdue at the Georgia 34.

The Bulldogs (11-3) kept the Boilermakers from getting a first down, but Ben Jones kicked a 44-yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining to force overtime tied at 27.

It was reminiscent of the ''Miracle at the Meadowlands,'' a 1970s fumble by the New York Giants that gave Philadelphia a memorable NFL victory. Only this time, Georgia had a chance to make up for its mistake in overtime.

Taking the ball first, the Bulldogs got to the 3 with the help of a pass interference penalty on Stuart Schweigert, then went for it on fourth down from inside the 1. Lumpkin managed to slide through a crease for the touchdown.

Purdue had a chance to keep the game going. Georgia appeared to get the clinching stop when Kyle Orton threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 8, but the Bulldogs were offsides.

Orton's final pass was intercepted by Tony Taylor in the end zone, setting off a wild celebration by the Georgia players after a game that lasted nearly four hours.

The Orlando game was similar to the only other meeting between the schools, the 2000 Outback Bowl.

In that one, Purdue built a 25-0 lead early in the second quarter, but was stunned by one of the greatest comebacks in bowl history. Georgia rallied for a 28-25 victory in overtime.

Greene passed for three touchdowns in the first half and the Bulldogs seemed on the verge of their own blowout. He finished 27-of-37 for 327 yards and was the game's MVP.

But Greene's performance was overshadowed by Purdue's thrilling comeback, led by Orton. The quarterback ran for two TDs and threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Anthony Chambers with 1:41 remaining, pulling the Boilermakers to 27-24.



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