Georgia dominated scoreboard, statistics in convincing CFP title game victory

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — They were too Dawg-gone good.

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The University of Georgia’s 65-7 victory against Texas Christian on Monday night was the most one-sided performance in the history of the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Statistics do not lie.

The top-ranked Bulldogs (15-0) dominated the scoreboard and had all the numbers in their favor against the overmatched Horned Frogs (13-2).

Not surprisingly, Georgia was named No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll early Tuesday.

“Champions of the whole damn world,” said Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who threw four touchdown passes and ran for two others against TCU. It was the second time Bennett won CFP title game offensive MVP honors and he became the first player to win the award twice, according to USA Today.

The former walk-on and junior college quarterback from Blackshear, Georgia, has been the MVP in all four CFP games he has played in, WSB-TV reported.

Coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs won back-to-back titles, the first team to achieve the feat since the CFP era began in the 2014 season/ They captured the fourth national title in the program’s history and became the first repeat national champions since Alabama in 2011-2012.

Georgia previously won NCAA crowns in 1942, 1980 and 2021.

The Bulldogs’ 65 points broke the record for the most scored in a CFP title game, set two years ago when Alabama walloped Ohio State 52-24. It was also the most scored by Georgia all season, topping the 55 points scored in a shutout win on Oct. 15 against Vanderbilt.

Branson Robinson did the record-breaking honors Monday night, going untouched into the end zone on a 19-yard run with 7:23 to play for his second touchdown. In perhaps their only offensive blemish of the night, the Bulldogs missed the extra point but still led 65-7.

Georgia’s point total also surpassed the most points ever scored in an NCAA title game. The previous mark was 62, scored by Nebraska against Florida in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl, according to The Sporting News.

Georgia’s 58-point margin of victory was also the largest in the CFP era. The previous high was 28 points, when Clemson beat Alabama 44-16 in the game that decided the 2018 champion and matched two years later when the Crimson Tide rolled over Ohio State 52-24.

On Monday, the Bulldogs scored on their first six possessions during the first half, giving them a 38-7 lead. That was more points than they scored in four quarters this season against Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Missouri, Samford and Tennessee, according to The New York Times.

When Bennett, who finished a distant fourth in voting for this year’s Heisman Trophy, left the game with 13:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, he had completed 18 of 25 passes for 304 yards, averaging 12 yards per pass. His two rushing touchdowns were the most in an NCAA title game since Vince Young scored three TDs against USC in the title game that followed the 2005 season.

Bennett was efficient through the air, spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. Tight end Brock Bowers was his favorite target making seven catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. Ladd McConkey caught two touchdown passes from Bennett and Adonai Mitchell caught a 22-yard pass for a score with 26 seconds left in the half.

In addition to Bennett’s two touchdown runs, Georgia got another rushing score from Kendall Milton and Robinson’s two rushing scores.

Georgia rolled up 589 yards of offense, collecting 32 first downs and 335 yards through the air. The Bulldogs gained yards on the ground at a 5.8-yard clip per carry, finishing with 254 yards.

The Bulldogs also dominated time of possession, holding the ball for one tick under 37 minutes.

Bennett’s counterpart, Max Duggan of TCU, was harassed all night by Georgia’s defense, throwing a pair of interceptions. Duggan, the Heisman Trophy runner-up to USC’s Caleb Williams, had one shining moment — a 60-yard pass to Darius Davis in the first quarter that led to the Horned Frogs’ only touchdown.

That narrowed Georgia’s lead to 10-7 and gave TCU a glimmer of hope. But the Bulldogs quickly took over and dominated the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs had the second-best defense in college football during 2022, allowing just 12.8 points per game. It showed against the Horned Frogs, who were held to nine first downs and 188 yards of total offense.

Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, won defensive MVP honors.

For TCU, it was a bitter loss. The Horned Frogs were aiming for their first national title since the 1938 season, when TCU went 11-0 to take their only crown.

This year’s squad rebounded from a 5-7 season during Sonny Dykes’ first year as head coach of the Horned Frogs.

On Monday night, Georgia scored more points than it did in its last two CFP final appearances. The Bulldogs scored 23 points in an overtime loss to Alabama in January 2018 and had 33 points last year in their victory against the Crimson Tide.

The victory allowed Georgia to join Alabama and Clemson with multiple titles in the CFP era. The Crimson Tide won three times, after the 2015, 2018 and 2020 seasons. The Tigers won twice, earning the trophy after the 2016 and 2018 seasons.

The last team to win back-to-back national titles was Alabama, which did it after the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Previously, only seven teams have won back-to-back national titles in NCAA history. The Bulldogs came into the game knowing that teams attempting to win back-to-back titles during the CFP era are 0-3.

They sneered at that statistic in a big way.

Georgia’s victory was another reason for the Southeastern Conference to crow. It was the SEC’s fourth straight national title and the sixth through nine seasons of the CFP format.

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