CFP Championship Game – Georgia-Texas Christian
Clubs Look to Repeat Thrilling Semi-Final Victories
Frank Coyle/ Head scout
College Football Playoff National Championship is tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN between defending champion, Georgia (14-0) and Big 12 upstart, Texas Christian (13-1) at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca.
Georgia is a powerhouse and brings an undefeated record to the title game after beating Ohio St in a thrilling semi-final matchup. Texas Christian is this year’s Cinderella story going undefeated into their season finale only to lose the Big 12 Championship game to Kansas State. They had previously beaten KSU at midseason. They stayed in the top four playoff qualifiers and beat heavily favorite Michigan in an exciting semi-final games setting up the title matchup with Georgia.
Both teams rely on potent offenses behind seasoned QBs, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett and TCU Max Duggan along with balanced ground games to rank among the nation’s best attacks. Bennett and Duggan were both finalists in the Heisman race in 2022. Both clubs spend the majority of their time lined up in a 3-3-5 defense and variations of that scheme. They are a combined 27-1 this season.
Georgia looks to duplicate last years’ championship when they beat Alabama for the national title. Head coach Kirby Smart hopes to join elite company aiming for a 2nd straight national title where they are heavy favorites tonight. This was the sixth straight season the Bulldogs finished in the national top 10.
Georgia excelled behind the hot hand of QB Stetson Bennett who has come up huge in key situations directing this club in the tough SEC. He met all challenges and uses a host of receivers, especially his talented duo of tight ends, Brock Bowers and Darnell Washington. Bowers is a difference maker and will fully test the TCU fast defense. TCU has been very effective in coverage especially as the season progressed and very opportunistic. The Bulldogs will test the TCU defensive front with a strong ground game to soften their front and control the line of scrimmage to draw the safeties up. This is where Bennett excels finding his receivers through the middle routes with the TE duo of Bowers and Washington creating a huge problem for the Horned Frogs defense.
TCU is a huge surprise participant behind first-year head coach Sonny Dykes. The Horned Frogs have had a weak 23-24 record over the four seasons before Dykes’ arrival. QB Duggan has been both a leader and playmaker this club has rallied around. He spreads the ball around to a talented group of receivers headed by Quentin Johnston who had an impact in their semi-final upset over Michigan. He faces a dominant Bulldog defense with several impact performers. Duggan has been very accurate over the past season and will have to be highly efficient to press the Georgia first class unit. TCU guard Steve Avila heads a tough talented front line who could decide the ultimate outcome in this critical matchup.
TCU starting running back Kendre Miller is still recovering from a sprained right knee MCL injury in the Fiesta Bowl victory and is questionable for tonight’s game. He had 57 yards on eight carries in that Semi-finalist matchup against the Wolverines before he was injured. The Frogs turned to backup Emari Demercado and he responded with a career-high 150 rushing yards against Michigan.
Miller is the only player in Big 12 history to record a rushing touchdown in 13 games in a season and has totaled 17 rushing TDs, fourth-most in TCU history and the most since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2000.
Prediction: Georgia 38 Texas Christian 27
Georgia Wins a 2nd National Title in a Row
Frank Coyle is a longtime national scout of both College and NFL players. He is also a long-time member of the FWAA and a voter for the Heisman Trophy, Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski, Jim Thorpe, Fred Biletnikoff and Eddie Robinson awards annually for 30 years.