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Lumpkin scores on fourth down in OT

1/2/2004

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Kregg Lumpkin stood along the sideline,
head drooping. The freshman was disconsolate about the stunning
fumble that cost Georgia a chance to wrap up the Capital One Bowl.

He wanted another chance.

He got it in overtime.

Lumpkin redeemed himself by scoring on a 1-yard, fourth-down
dive in the first overtime, giving No. 11 Georgia a 34-27 victory
over No. 12 Purdue on Thursday.

"I was just happy they were going to give me another chance,"
Lumpkin said. "I was thinking, 'Don't fumble, just score.'"

The Bulldogs (11-3) built a 24-0 lead in the first half. The
Boilermakers tied it with a 17-point fourth quarter. Georgia
finally won it when Lumpkin slipped into the end zone, then Tony Taylor made a game-ending interception.

Whew!

"We've never been in overtime, so we tried to force it into
overtime," said Georgia coach Mark Richt, able to joke about the
hectic finish. "And our scoring average was down, so we were able
to get a few more points."

Richt wasn't in such a good mood at the end of regulation. The
Boilermakers (9-4) tied it up thanks to a remarkable turn of events
with just over a minute remaining.

Purdue was out of timeouts when Richt called a run on second
down instead of ordering quarterback David Greene to take a knee.
The coach was trying to avoid a punt with a few seconds left, but
he quickly regretted his decision.

Lumpkin got hemmed up deep in the backfield and tried to run the
other way, but Shaun Phillips stripped the ball. After a wild
scramble, Niko Koutouvides recovered for Purdue at the Georgia 34.

"What we talked about was getting down without going out of
bounds," Lumpkin said. "I should have just fallen down when I saw
that guy. I wish I had."

Ben Jones kicked a 44-yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining
to keep the game going, tied at 27.

It was reminiscent of the "Miracle of the Meadowlands," a 1978
NFL game in which the New York Giants fumbled trying to run out the
clock. Philadelphia scooped up the loose ball and ran it in for the
winning touchdown.

This time, Georgia had a chance to make up for its mistake in
overtime. As the teams prepared for the extra period, Richt noticed
Lumpkin standing along the sideline, his head down.

"I looked at him and said, 'Hey, you can't be down now. We
might need you to win this football game.'"

How prophetic. Taking the ball first, the Bulldogs got to the 3
with the help of a pass interference penalty on Bobby Iwuchukwu,
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 Taylor in the end zone,
setting off a wild celebration by the Georgia players after a game
that lasted nearly four hours.

"We don't have moral victories at Purdue," coach Joe Tiller
said. "It was a loss for us, a tough loss."

Tiller wasn't happy about the penalty in overtime.

"The ball was probably 10, 12 yards over the receiver's head,"
he said. "Last time I checked, Shaquille O'Neal isn't playing
receiver for Georgia."

The 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.

When the onside kick went out of bounds, the game was over,
right? Not so fast.

Jones, who had missed an overtime kick in a loss to Ohio State,
got a chance when Lumpkin fumbled. The kicker came through with his
second field goal of the game.

Orton was knocked out briefly with a dislocated thumb on his
non-throwing hand and finished with a plate in his shoe, having
sustained a sprained toe. But he led the Purdue rally, completing
20-of-34 for 230 yards.

"That's probably the worst pain I've felt," Orton said.
"Coming back out and showing the guys that I wanted to play with
them, no matter that I was hurt, I think it kind of energized us a
little bit."

Georgia's Billy Bennett kicked a pair of field goals, giving him
87 for his career and 31 for the season -- NCAA records.