After a wild Conference Championship weekend, the College Football Playoffs are now set. A USC loss opened up the door for Ohio State to make it back in. We will now see (1) Georgia take on (4) Ohio State. This game will be the night game on Dec. 31 in the College Football Playoffs. It will be played from the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. The other two teams will be (2) Michigan, who will take on (4) TCU.
Michigan vs TCU
This is the first game of the CFP Semifinal. This game is on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 4 p.m. ET. This bowl is the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, and this is located in State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona. Opening betting line was Michigan by 9.5, but now has moved to Michigan by 7.5 points.
Undefeated Michigan and Jim harbaugh avoided a semifinal rematch with Ohio State and instead will take on No. 3 TCU. Coming in off a huge win over Purdue in the Big Ten Championship, Michigan looks to capitalize and get further than last year. The Wolverines have the advantage of experience over TCU, having made the playoff last season, but neither team has made it past the semifinals in the CFP era. With Blake Corum out for the rest of the season, Donovan Edwards‘ performance will be key for the Wolverines.
The run game and Oline play is critical to the Michigan offense, and Edwards’ ability to establish the run and open up the passing game will be a key for the Wolverines. Michigan has been a second-half team all season, with a plus-186 point differential after halftime. That is the second-highest margin for any FBS team through 12 games over the past 10 years. Michigan can win this game by limiting big plays and controlling the clock. If J.J. McCarthy can avoid turnovers as well, this could be a team going to the national championship.
This team has been magical all season. They had big comeback after big comeback to finish the year 12-1, with the only loss being in the overtime Big 12 Conference Championship game against Kansas State. Max Duggan just recently got named the Davey O’Brien Award, and he is more than deserving. This guy has put together a Heisman like season, and has been a huge leader for this team. His personal story is inspirational as well. Duggan overcame a Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome diagnosis prior to the Covid affected season, had a nine hour surgery but then played weeks later, and even lost his job at the beginning of this year. All of this just to win back the starting job and take his team to the CFP.
Along with him, Kendre Miller has been a monster on the ground. He has a touchdown in every game so far this year, and has been TCU’s best back since LaDainian Tomlinson. Quentin Johnston, the 6-4, 215-pound junior receiver is a big-play threat with first-round draft potential. He has been hobbled all year, but him being back for this TCU team makes them a serious threat.
The Horned Frogs have employed a mix of thunder and lightning to keep opponents off track and reeling in the big moments, particularly in the second half. TCU had 17 plays of at least 50 yards this season, second only to Tennessee in the FBS. Duggan ranks third nationally in completion percentage on passes of 20 or more yards downfield at 55 percent with 12 touchdowns on such plays, which is tops in the country. Sonny Dykes has done wonders in his first season as TCUs Coach. If this team wants to upset Michigan, all of its stars will have to come play. This should be a great game to start out the College Football Playoffs.
Georgia vs Ohio State
This game will be the night game on Dec. 31 in the College Football Playoffs. It will be played from the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia at 8pm eastern. This is the second ever matchup of these schools, with Georgia winning 21-14 in the 1992-93 season. The Bulldogs opens as a 6.5 point favorite on most betting lines.
The Bulldogs are undefeated, coming off its first SEC Championship win since 2017, and the Bulldogs coached by Kirby Smart are trying to win a second straight national title. Georgia’s defense vs the Ohio State’s offense will be the story. LSU was the first team all season to put 24 points on Georgia. If the defense can hold down Ohio State, that will go a long way into only making the game easier, but playing right into Georgia’s hand.
Georgia has been able to dominate opponents all year, even in games it seems like they are not playing as hard. This defense should not be as good as they are, but they replaced all of the NFL players with more talent. Offensively, quarterback Stetson Bennet is a threat whether he’s throwing from the pocket or scrambling for yards. He also has a mismatch at tight end in Brock Bowers. This Georgia team was the preseason favorite for a reason, and they are two wins away from that goal.
As for Ohio State, they are the beneficiaries of a USC loss to get in. Coming in at 11-1, the last game this team played was the beatdown where Michigan poured it on the Buckeyes. With that game in mind, it is almost certain Ryan Day and this team will be coming in with a vengeance. With the offense, quarterback C.J. Stroud had a Heisman-type season going until the Michigan game. With converted linebacker Chip Trayanum getting most of the carries, Stroud becomes that much more important if Ohio State isn’t fully healthy at running back.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is I would say one of if not the best receiver in the country. He has continuously made ridiculous catches throughout the season and makes plays most receivers can’t, while making them look easy. They have the stars to hang in there, but it should come down to the defense. The defense needs to limit big plays. It has done a good job of limiting explosive plays all season but showed some weaknesses against the Wolverines, who were able to score multiple long touchdowns through the air and on the ground. This should be a fun game of two of the best teams in Collège football.
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