Georgia, Oklahoma ready for semifinal in Monday’s Rose Bowl Game
By Fred Robledo
PASADENA — Through a raspy voice and a week of practice followed by rest and fluids that would help him get ready for Monday’s Rose Bowl, Oklahoma’s flu-challenged quarterback Baker Mayfield still sounded sure of himself when someone reminded him that Georgia is a slight favorite because it comes from the heralded Southeastern Conference.
“We’re not an underdog,” said Mayfield, who repeated it again just to make sure everyone heard it.
But he also realizes going up against Georgia’s defense, healthy or not, is going to be some challenge for the Heisman Trophy winner.
“They play well as a unit, they’ve got talented guys,” said Mayfield, who has battled flu-like symptoms all week that have kept him from team events, though he has been able to practice.
“There’s not a weakness about them,” Mayfield continued. “And that’s what you see week in and week out. There’s a reason they’re the SEC champs and there’s a reason they’re in the playoffs.”
When No. 2 Georgia (12-1) meets No. 3 Oklahoma (12-1) in Monday’s Rose Bowl, which also serves as one of the two College Football Playoff semifinals, it will be the first-ever meeting between the two football programs.
But they’re glad to finally get it started, because the month-long build up to the game is down to its final 24 hours.
“I think it’s a chance to finally get back on your normal routine, get the guys in a routine where they feel comfortable, and for yourself as a coach,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said during Sunday’s press conference. “There is a lot of build up, lot of attention around this game, so I think it’s just refocusing in 100 percent, getting on that routine, kind of settling down, getting away from all the noise, all the attention and getting ready to play your very best game.”