January 1st, 2018 Rose Bowl. Pasadena, California. 5 PM Eastern.
# 3 Georgia Bulldogs, 12-1 Vs. #2 Oklahoma Sooners 12-1
Both Georgia and Oklahoma have already had a successful season, despite the outcome of this game. In just his second year at Georgia, head coach Kirby Smart, has led his team to a 12-1 record and an SEC Championship. Lincoln Riley was hired by Bob Stoops to be the Oklahoma Sooners’ offensive coordinator on January 12, 2015. Stoops retired in 2017 and Riley, at 34 years old, was named head coach. Both teams have overachieved this season and one of them is going to play for the National Championship.
Oklahoma on offense:
The Sooners are led by Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Senior quarterback threw for 4, 340 yards, 41 touchdown passes. He had only 5 interceptions and completed 71% of his passes. OU had three running backs rush for over 500 yards. Rodney Anderson, 5.9 yards per carry (960 rushing yards), Trey Sermon, 6 yards per carry (710 rushing yards) and Abdul Adams, 9.2 yards per carry (542 rushing yards). Their wide receiving group is one of the best and deepest in the country. As a unit they average 16.5 yards per reception. Marquis Brown, Mark Andrews and CeeDee Lamb combined for 147 catches,2,628 yards and 21 touchdowns
Oklahoma on defense:
This is a team that is ranked 95th in defense. They gave up 24 or more points 7 times this season. If Oklahoma wants to advance to the title game they have got to put Georgia in 3rd and long situations. If they can’t stop the Bulldogs from running the ball, this defense will be exhausted by the 4th quarter.
Georgia on offense:
The Bulldogs want to run the ball on 1st down, 2nd down and 3rd down. All season long Nick Chub got a ton of press and recognition but this was a three headed monster. Chub rushed for 1,175 yards and 13 touchdowns. Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift had a total of 1,545 yards and 16 touchdowns. Georgia averaged 263 rushing yards per game and only 170 yards in the air. Freshman Jake Fromm has showed signs of being a star but has also looked like an inexperienced quarterback at times.
Georgia on defense.
The Bulldogs defense was ranked in the top 10. They are one of the fastest defenses in college football from sideline to sideline. Junior Roquan Smith had 113 total tackles in 13 games. He can dominate from quarter to quarter and half to half. This defense also had over 25 sacks as a unit and if they can get to Mayfield early they could really limit his success.
There is an old motto in football, defense wins championships. But that is an outdated concept. If you look at the last 5 years, the winner of the title game has scored 42,34,42,35, and 31 points. The Sooners have the best offense I have seen since Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks of 2015. Georgia is one dimensional and they will try to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball to keep the Sooners off the field. That may work for a quarter or a half but the Sooners are too explosive and will score points.
Take Oklahoma here…
Sooners 38, Bulldogs 24
Follow the Sports Whisperer on Twitter: MonteAJP23
and listen to The Full Monte Show…. Monday and Thursday at 6PM Eastern