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TCU vs. Georgia, 7:30 ET
This is what it all comes down to – an upstart and hungry TCU team takes on the defending National Champions, the Georgia Bulldogs. After a long season and some exciting finishes before College Football Playoffs were set, we got a great New Year’s Day set of games that provided us with this matchup. Now it comes to an end tonight with one team hoisting the trophy, while most think it is almost certainly Georgia, we need to take a look and see if TCU can keep it close and cover.
TCU had a great season – obviously, or they wouldn’t be here – but I think they probably performed even better than almost anyone expected. With a 13-1 record, they stomped most competition. Their only loss came in an overtime game against Kansas State University in the Big 12 Championship. In the first game of the Playoffs, they took on a tough Michigan team that was looking to ram the ball down their throats. It never happened. TCU’s defense wasn’t amazing – they allowed 45 points, but the offense easily handled their side of the bargain as they put up 51 against a stout Michigan defense. The 51 points were more than double what was scored on Michigan in all but one game this season. In fact, it accounted for about a quarter of the points that the Wolverines allowed all year. This isn’t an article about Michigan’s collapse though. It is praise for how impressive TCU was. They took a quick lead in the game and never looked back.
Georgia didn’t have a cakewalk getting into this game. If you remember, they were on the verge of a loss with Ohio State lining up for a game-winning field goal kick as time expired. The kick was a complete disaster for the Buckeyes and Georgia advanced. Many thought that their first game was the defacto National Championship. Regardless of how it happened, they advanced another day and live to fight TCU for the title. Last year in the championship against Alabama, they struggled for three quarters before pulling away in the 4th. The final score of 33-18 was much more distant than the game actually was. The first touchdown wasn’t even scored until the third quarter. That isn’t likely the way this game goes tonight. I think Georgia should be able to get what they want, but TCU has shown they can do a decent game plan for teams. They typically can be run on and I think they probably dare Stetson Bennett to throw on their team as opposed to allowing Georgia’s backfield to run wild.
I think this game will be a little closer than the book expects 12.5 points isn’t a ridiculous number but I’d rather sit with the points than have to cover that. TCU doesn’t seem afraid of the big moment. Georgia has the edge in experience, and certainly defense, but I don’t see this being a completely blowout. I’ll take the points and hope TCU can at least keep it close or score late to cover.
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