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Sun shines on Utah in overtime; White caps day with OT touchdown

EL PASO, Texas -- John White took his final hand-off of the day, followed his lead blocker and set off a celebration.

White plowed into the end zone from 8 yards out to give Utah a 30-27 overtime victory against Georgia Tech on Saturday in the Sun Bowl.

"They trusted me with the ball, so I saw Shawn Asiata blast somebody and I knew I was going to go in," White said. "As soon as the ball crossed the plain I looked up to the ref and saw his hands go up and knew it was a touchdown so I just wanted to go celebrate with my teammates."

Justin Moore kicked a 34-yard field goal in Georgia Tech's overtime possession to take a three-point lead, but White finished a 115-yard rushing day with the game-winning score on his 26th carry.

The Utes (8-5) tied it in regulation when Jon Hays hit DeVonte Christopher with a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-14 with 1:32 left in the fourth quarter.

"There's no quit in these guys," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "They kept believing, coaches kept believing, and we found a way to win in the end."

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was disappointed with his team's play in the fourth quarter.

"We couldn't block in the fourth quarter and the plays we needed to make just didn't happen," Johnson said. "It feels like somebody kicked you in the gut. When you are competitive, it really hurts."

The Yellow Jackets (8-5) drove to the Utah 31 with 2 seconds left, but David Scully missed a 48-yard field-goal attempt as time expired to send the Sun Bowl to overtime for the first time in its 77-year history. Moore had earlier missed two 42-yard tries for Tech.

"I thought (Scully) hit the ball good and I actually thought it went in but I guess it was a few feet to the right," Johnson said. "We didn't make enough plays and we missed three field goals."

Georgia Tech lost its seventh straight bowl appearance and Utah improved to 7-1 in bowls under Whittingham.

Georgia Tech's Preston Lyons, who came in with only 39 carries, rushed for a career-best 140 yards on 18 carries and Tevin Washington passed for 137 yards and ran for 97.

Utah grabbed a 7-0 lead when Asiata capped the game-opening drive with a 1-yard run.

With David Sims out of with an injury and Orwin Smith also ailing, Georgia Tech relied heavily on Lyons, who put the Yellow Jackets on the board with a 36-yard run up the middle to tie the game at 7.

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Saturday's other games

*Ryan Tannehill threw for 329 yards and a touchdown and Ben Malena ran for two more scores to lead Texas A&M to a 33-22 win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.

*Terry Hawthorne returned an interception 39 yards for Illinois' first touchdown late in the third quarter and the Illini snapped a six-game losing streak by beating UCLA, 20-14, in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. Nathan Scheelhaase added a 60-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Jenkins midway through the fourth quarter to seal the first victory for Illinois (7-6) since beating Indiana 12 weeks ago.

*Isaiah Pead ran for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Ralph David Abernathy IV's 90-yard kickoff return early in the fourth quarter put Cincinnati ahead to stay as the Bearcats edged Vanderbilt, 31-24, in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. The Bearcats (10-3) capped the season with their third straight victory.