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The Cinderella team vs. College Football’s new dynasty. We are in for a treat here, gentlemen. On Monday, Georgia, which will play in its third national title over the last six seasons, will try to contain Max Duggan and a TCU offense that’s been harder to defend than Kanye since he went back on social media. TCU, who many experts didn’t even have winning seven games this season, has their hands full with a Georgia team that’s loaded with enough NFL talent to play a competitive game with the Houston Texans. There are reasons both of these teams will win on Monday; let’s go through them.
Why TCU Will Win
Georgia’s secondary has looked…bad. You have to feel like Max Duggan is confident going against a Georgia secondary that has allowed 850 passing yards and seven touchdowns over their last two games. The banged-up LSU Tigers passed for over 500 yards, and Georgia’s secondary gave up plenty of big plays, including a few deep bombs that would make even Cambodians that lived through Vietnam do a double-take. Against Ohio State, they allowed 348 passing yards and four touchdowns. Quentin Johnston will line up against Georgia’s best corner Kelee Ringo, both of whom will be first-round picks in April. And while most of the blame doesn’t go on Ringo, the secondary he leads was TORCHED by the Ohio State receiving core last week. There’s also a debate that if Marvin Harrison Jr. wasn’t knocked out of the game, the Horned Frogs would be playing against the Buckeyes.
This is an extremely balanced TCU offense with a ton of explosions on the ground and an air-raid attack that makes the United States military-industrial complex look soft. Against a Michigan team with a statistically top-five defense facing the run, TCU running backs Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado didn’t have much of a problem, combining to average close to eight yards per run as the Horned Frogs ran for 263 yards on the ground. While Georgia is known for having the best run defense in the country, injuries may come into play here. Georgia has been without their star linebacker and team captain Nolan Smith because of a pec injury since October. Smith’s replacement, Chaz Chambliss, left the Ohio State game with a knee injury. Unlike Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, Max Duggan is known for using his legs. Duggan ranks 21st in quarterback rushing without sacks, per TruMedia: 656 rushing yards, 6.43 yards per rush, and eight rushing touchdowns. Duggan has led TCU to SEVEN comeback wins this season. Coming from the Big 12, TCU is no stranger to winning a shootout. This is the largest point spread in a college football national championship game in our millennium, and anybody that’s watched TCU this year knows that they aren’t afraid of anybody. Max Duggan is a hell of a quarterback and an exceptional leader. The Horned Frogs have everything they need to upset Georgia.
Why Georgia Will Win
Experience. Experience. Experience. Experience. I don’t think anyone in Athens was sweating when Georgia came into the fourth quarter of the Ohio State game down by two touchdowns. Georgia won the National Championship last year, and their offense wasn’t half as good as it is now. TCU needed a miracle to get by Baylor, lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship, and barely crossed the finish line against Kansas, and the Michigan game was a battle to the end. In all, the Horned Frogs defense allowed 185 rushing yards or more five times and 4.7 yards or more per carry in all of them. The Horned Frogs deserve all the credit in the world for this magical season, but Georgia is an entirely different animal that’s used to beating elite teams. Stetson Bennett played four games against ranked teams this season, and he didn’t blink once. He was 88 of 119 (73.9%), and averaged 324.3 passing yards per game with 11 TDs and one interception. That comes on the heels of last year’s CFP, where he was 37 of 56 (66.1%) for 537 yards, 5 TDs, and no interceptions. That’s big-time football in huge games. While Georgia will probably be running the ball quite frequently against a TCU defense that allows 156.8 rushing yards a game, Bennett has both the experience and ability to eviscerate a TCU secondary that’s…weak, to put it lightly.
Bennett also comes into this game with his wide receiving core being about as dangerous as Stevie Wonder skateboarding with a pair of scissors in his hand. In the Ohio State game, Adonai Mitchell, who had been hurt for the majority of the season, had the game-winning touchdown and 43 yards receiving, Arian Smith had 129 yards and a critical fourth-quarter score, and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint had two crucial catches. With Brock Bowers and Denzel Washington coming into this game healthy, Bennett has every tool he needs to rip off his biggest game yet. And it’s not like being pressured will be an issue. The Dawgs are seventh in the country in pressure rate allowed TCU is 100th in pressure generated- Bennett will have enough time in their pocket to watch every Godfather movie. As exciting as this improved Bulldogs’ offense is, the defense has been Kirby Smart’s mainstay. Opponents of Georgia only score 66.67% of the time in the Red Zone (second-best rate in the country), and TCU has had their issues consistently scoring inside their opponents’ twenty-yard line (86.96% of the time). As you’ve probably heard on ESPN 1,000 times by now, Georgia has quite the defensive front. Highlighted by future top-five pick Jalen Carter, the DAWGS put opposing quarterbacks under more duress than a liberal mayor puts on a city.
Will Georgia repeat as National Champions? Does Max Duggan’s arm have one more magical drive left in it? Vegas likes Georgia -12.5, but you would be a fool betting against a Christian school that had a miracle season. Take Georgia Moneyline to win and TCU to cover. Want a chance to put some money in your pocket for a long weekend? Take the Georgia moneyline and get $200 in site credit when a TD is scored.
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