LOS ANGELES — Although No. 1 Georgia enters the College Football Playoff Championship as sizeable favorites over TCU, both teams have championship-caliber talent on paper.
The Horned Frogs have had a storybook season led by new head coach Sonny Dykes who took over the job after the Horned Frogs went 5-7 last year.
The Bulldogs were supposed to be here. The Horned Frogs weren’t.
But who ends up lifting the trophy may be decided inside the trenches.
The Horned Frogs have a top-15 offense that has made its reputation off of establishing a solid run to set up the passing game for Heisman runner-up Max Duggan and wide receiver Quentin Johnson, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
TCU averages more than 200 rushing yards a game, including more than 263 yards in their semi-final win over Michigan. It’s going to be a lot harder for them to get to this number come Monday.
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Now they will need to handle expected top-five draft pick Jalen Carter and the Bulldogs’ stout D-line that allows just 80 rushing yards a game this season, which makes it the top rushing defense in the nation. Despite losing a bunch of defensive talent from last year’s squad, Georgia’s defense remains formidable.
Something has got to give when it comes to TCU’s run game vs. Georgia’s D-line.
Without a rushing game, it could be difficult for the Horned Frogs to attack the Bulldogs’ vulnerable secondary, which has had moments of weakness this season.
It will be a battle of the lines when Georgia has the ball.
Will TCU be able to get pressure on Stetson Bennett and stop the running game?
Much of that will be determined by Dylan Horton, who leads the Horned Frogs with ten sacks and is second with 16 tackles for loss.
The frogs were able to limit the explosive Michigan running game for the most part.
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But now, it will have to deal with UGA, which has only allowed nine sacks all season and ranks top 25 in rushing yards a game.
A Georgia win on Monday would make it the first team to win back-to-back national titles since Alabama in 2010 and 2011.
A win would also make the Bulldogs the third team to finish 15-0 in the playoff era.
Channel 2 Action News is the official media partner of Georgia athletics. We will have complete coverage of UGA’s Road 2 the Championship leading up to the game on Monday.
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