Key Moment - Georgia

ATLANTA – Punter Phil Brady's special teams' scramble with just more than one minute left lifted West Virginia to a 38-35 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia and a once-walk-on player into Mountain State immortality.

The 10-yard run sealed No. 11 WVU's upset win over the No. 7 Bulldogs (10-3). The Mountaineers (11-1) were trying to run out the clock when they were stopped on third down. Quarterback Patrick White gained five yards on a keeper on third and 11, setting up a supposed punt on fourth and six.

Instead, head coach Rich Rodriguez called a timeout and gave WVU quick options. It could punt, or run the pre-called fake, called ‘Hammer,' should UGA give West Virginia the look they desired. It did, and Brady took a step forward as if to punt while the upback punt protectors close to him sealed off the lone Georgia rusher.

"We saw from the tape that they liked to return," Rodriguez said. "We knew that would be an option. They were in what we thought they might be, and it was there."

Brady rolled right, tucking the ball under his right arm and running past the upbacks, hitting the now-retreating UGA punt corps at full throttle. It had back-peddled past the six-yard mark, and Brady simply aimed for the first down marker and run.

"Coach (Herb) Hand called it down," Brady said. "We split the line to see how they play us. He said to run it. I thought I had it all the way. It was actually closer than I thought, but it seemed like I ran forever."

The play – now among those of past heroes like Major Harris, Robert Walker, Bill McKenzie and Grant Wiley – Rodriguez's choice to reward Brady with a scholarship for the first time in his four years. Originally a walk-on at East Carolina, Brady transferred to West Virginia, then kept his job despite WVU's signing of the nation's No. 1 punter, according to Scout.com.

The play, which sealed the game while stuffing mounting UGA momentum, also lifted the sprits of a state affected by a mine explosion that trapped 13 miners underground n its north-central region.


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