Georgia defeated Cincinnati 24-21 in the Peach Bowl on Friday afternoon. Despite leading most of the way, the Bearcats absolutely fell apart late due to repeated bad decisions by head coach Luke Fickell late in the outing.
Specifically, Fickell’s clock management was egregiously bad.
With a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder snapped the ball with at least 10 seconds left on the play clock on two separate occasions. In doing so, he saved Georgia over 20 seconds of clock.
Cincy snapped the ball on a moving game clock with 12 & 10 seconds left on play clock….
22 seconds Cincy saved for UGA
then without any UGA timeouts & 1:41 left Cincy passed deep on 3rd & 2 rather than running
40 seconds saved
With 7 seconds left UGA kicked game winning FG pic.twitter.com/IikOwQI05h
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 1, 2021
Beyond that, despite the Bulldogs not having any timeouts, Cincinnati took a deep shot down the field on third-and-short. The pass fell incomplete and saved the Bulldogs 40 seconds of clock.
Following a Cincinnati punt, Georgia drove down the field and kicked a game-winning 54-yard field goal with just seven seconds left on the clock.
Fans couldn’t believe their eyes.
Luke Fickell clock management cost his team the game. You do not throw a bomb on 3rd and 2 with a 1:30 on the clock and Georgia has 0 timeouts with your defense playing lights out. At minimum you get stopped you run 30 seconds off the clock, pin them deep and let Freeman win it.
— jbook™ (@jbook37) January 1, 2021
Luke Fickell is one of the best coaches in the country, and also he probably cost his team the game by making a mistake a Madden 12-year-old would not have made. The duality of man
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) January 1, 2021
Luke Fickell snapped the ball with 10 seconds twice, then threw it on 3rd and 2. That’s 55 seconds wasted. Why are all coaches so bad a clock management?
— Dan Arnoldi (@ArnoldiPSU) January 1, 2021
Luke Fickell watching Anthony Lynn’s clock management pic.twitter.com/doGij1vn6j
— Offseason Hoodie Paxton(2-13 lol) (@NYYPaxton) January 1, 2021
Obviously Fickell is a tremendous coach and will likely be working at the next level sooner rather than later, but his performance on Friday was absolutely pitiful. Whether he likes it or not, he is definitely in the running with Mike Leach for most cringeworthy college football showing in the last 24 hours.
He got ditched by his girlfriend after going undrafted. Then he got the last laugh. https://t.co/1gBPyA45Ko
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 30, 2020