2011 Sun Bowl: Utah Rolls Georgia Tech in El Paso

Carl StineCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2011

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 05:  Runningback John White IV #15 of the Utah Utes scores a 11 yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  The Utes defeated the Wildcats 34-21.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What a way to ring in the New Year for the Utah Utes.

After suffering through a miserable start to their inaugural season as a member of the Pac-12, the Utes finished the season winning five of six games, including their 30-27 overtime victory over Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Utah never trailed before halftime but went missing for the entire fourth quarter, failing to score once and allowing Tech to put up 17 in the quarter to take a 24-10 lead.

That score held until 6:50 remained on the clock, when Utes' quarterback John Hays threw a toss, the defense came up big and Hays threw the tying touchdown pass with 1:52 remaining.

Utah held the Yellow Jackets to a field goal in overtime, giving them a 27-24 lead, but Utah running back John White IV punched the ball into the end zone in the Utes' possession, winning the game for Utah.

The Yellow Jackets did just about everything right, completing 11-of-15 passes, rushing for over 310 yards against a usually stout Utah run defense and limiting their mistakes.

However, missed field goals and a crucial fumble helped sway the game in the Utes' favor.

It seemed that when the Utes needed to make big plays, the Jackets defense was surprisingly benevolent.

White and Hays took advantage, getting the yards and points needed when it was necessary.

The Utes have to be excited about next season, as they have a plethora of returning talent, including Hays and White.

It was a difficult way to end the season for the Jackets—a team that ran out to 6-0 record to begin the season before stumbling to a 2-4 finish.