National Championship: Georgia goes back-to-back, defeats TCU 65-7

Georgia TCU
Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs catches a 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023, in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs crushed No. 3 TCU, 65-7, to win their second straight National Championship on Monday Night at Sofi Stadium.

The Bulldogs’ accomplishment makes them the first back-to-back National Champion since Alabama completed the feat in 2011 and 2012. Though Georgia is the first to do it in the College Football Playoff era.

Georgia made it clear at the beginning that TCU’s chances of winning were slim. After TCU cut the lead to 10-7 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs reeled off 24 straight points to end the first half thanks to a couple of Javon Bullard interceptions before he had to leave the game with a left shoulder injury. After TCU cut the lead to 10-7 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs reeled off 24 straight points to end the first half thanks to a couple of Javon Bullard interceptions before he had to leave the game with a left shoulder injury.

The Bulldogs scored a TD with 1:09 to go in the second quarter to go up 31-7 after Bullard intercepted Max Duggan on a wildly overthrown deep pass to Quentin Johnston. Bullard then picked off Duggan on third and long deep in Georgia territory with 36 seconds to go before the half. AD Mitchell made a fantastic contested catch two plays later for a 38-7 halftime lead.

With the big halftime lead, Georgia let up on the throttle a little bit heading into the second half. Yet, they still hit the 60+ point mark.

Not only is Georgia’s margin of victory the largest in a CFP National Championship but, it is the biggest margin of victory in any national championship game dating back to the start of the BCS era in 1998, eclipsing USC’s 55-19 win over Oklahoma in January of 2005.

Stetson Bennett does it again

The former walk-on showed the entire world why he was a Heisman finalist once again. Bennett capped off his career with a well-strategized performance. He became only the third QB to rush for multiple TDs in either a BCS or CFP national title game and also threw for 304 yards and four scores. Making several exceptional throws along the way — including a third-down pass he zipped around three TCU defenders over the middle in the first half — and was in absolute command of an offense that flummoxed the TCU defense.

He’s also just the third starting quarterback to win consecutive national titles, joining (Alabama’s 2011 and 2012 starter) A.J. McCarron, and Nebraska’s starter in 1994 and 1995, Tommie Frazier.

The Bulldog offense averaged more than nine yards a play in the first half as both Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey made big plays at receiver. Bowers had over 100 yards receiving in the first half on the way to a 152-yard day that included a great leaping catch on a perfect back-shoulder TD pass from Bennett early in the third quarter.

Just not the day for TCU

The Horned Frogs had a glimmer of hope when Derius Davis caught a 60-yard pass from Max Duggan. That play though set up for the only TCU score.  In the first minute of the second quarter, TCU found itself with a fourth-and-6 at the Georgia 47-yard line and trailing 17-7. TCU coach Sonny Dykes sent out the punt team instead of going for it in plus territory.

Duggan put together his worst game of the season on Monday night. Though it was clear that Georgia didn’t want the TCU QB to scramble out of the pocket, and instead pick him apart through the air. That’s exactly what they did as Duggan finished with 2 interceptions and a QBR of 49.2.

Finishing the season the way they started

Georgia has been dominant all season long. From the first game of the season when they emphatically shut down Oregon 49-3.

Then, the Bulldogs were the third-ranked team in the country. After that dominating win in week one, Georgia bumped up to No. 1 and stayed there the rest of the season. The talent up and down the roster allowed Kirby Smart to have play dates and set his offense on cruise control in many of the contests.

With that being said, congrats to Georgia on an undefeated season and the national championship.

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