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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: BOWL WEEK : LIBERTY BOWL : Field Goal Lifts Georgia Past Arkansas in Liberty Bowl

December 30, 1987|Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Georgia kicker John Kasay made the most of the moment, drilling a 39-yard field goal as time expired Tuesday night to lift 15th-ranked Bulldogs to a 20-17 victory over Arkansas in the Liberty Bowl.

"You prepare for something like this in your mind for hours and hours," said Kasay, who had missed from 47 and 48 yards and connected on a 24-yard kick earlier in the game.

Kasay took over the Liberty Bowl kicking duties for the Bulldogs after Coach Vince Dooley had suspended junior Steve Crumley for breaking team rules.

Before Tuesday night, Kasay had hit one of two field goal attempts during his brief career.

The game appeared headed for a 17-17 ending when Arkansas kicker Kendall Trainor missed a 35-yard attempt with 1:42 left in the game.

But Bulldog cornerback Carver Russaw intercepted a pass by the Razorbacks' Greg Thomas at the Arkansas 43 with 56 seconds left to set up the final field goal.

The Bulldogs (9-3) used 3 plays and 51 seconds in moving to the Arkansas 22-yard line to set up Kasay's field goal. After an Arkansas timeout, the left-footed Kasay split the uprights.

Kasay's winning kick came 1:37 after Arkansas (9-4) missed an opportunity for its third straight bowl victory over the Bulldogs.

Georgia, trailing 17-7 after three periods, got a 24-yard field goal from Kasay on the first play of the fourth quarter and tied it, 17-17, with 10:23 left on a 5-yard run by James Jackson.

Arkansas dominated for three quarters under the direction of Thomas, who scored two touchdowns and was named the game's outstanding player.

Thomas drove the Razorbacks 68 yards in the final minutes of the half to push Arkansas into a 10-7 lead. Thomas scrambled 25 yards to the Georgia 17, and, three plays later, scored from the 10 with 31 seconds left.

The Razorbacks retained the momentum at the start of the second half, taking the kickoff and driving 76 yards in 8 plays for a 17-7 lead.

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