2003 Sugar Bowl
|2003 Nokia Sugar Bowl|
|Date||January 1, 2003|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Favorite||Georgia by 7½|
|Referee||Chuck McFerrin (Pac-10)|
The 2003 Sugar Bowl a 2002–2003 BCS game was played on January 1, 2003. This 69th edition to the Sugar Bowl featured the Georgia Bulldogs, and the Florida State Seminoles. Georgia came into the game 12–1 and ranked 3rd in the BCS, whereas Florida State came into the game 9–4 and ranked 14th in the BCS.
Kicker Billy Bennett kicked a 23-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the opening quarter to account for the quarter's only points. In the second quarter, FSU quarterback Fabian Walker threw a 5-yard slant pass to Anquan Boldin as FSU took a 7–3 lead. Florida State was driving again in the second quarter before cornerback Bruce Thornton stepped in front of a Walker pass and raced 73 yards to the opposite end zone, to give Georgia a 10–7 lead. Quarterback D.J. Shockley threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Edwards before halftime to give the Bulldogs a 17–7 half time lead.
Billy Bennett accounted for two more Georgia field goals in the third quarter, as Georgia posted a 23–7 lead. On the final play of the third quarter, wide receiver Anquan Boldin (who had replaced quarterback Fabian Walker) threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Craphonso Thorpe. The ensuing two-point conversion failed, and the lead was 23–13. Billy Bennett kicked another field goal in the fourth quarter, as Georgia held off Florida State. Georgia's running back Musa Smith won the MVP award.
Georgia completed the season 13–1 and finished ranked #3 in both major polls. Florida State finished the season 9–5 and #21/#24 in the polls.