What are Georgia’s biggest strengths going into the College Football Playoff National Championship?
– Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews
College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama (12-1) vs. Georgia (13-1)
Date: January 8th, 2018
Game Time: 8:00 pm
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
– Contact/Follow @PeteFiutak
1. Running backs and running game
It was the unofficial start of this great run by the Bulldogs this year when Nick Chubb and Sony Michel decided not to turn pro early and come back for one more season.
Both were more than talented enough to go the NFL last year, both are good enough to start for a pro team now, and both are dangerous enough to potentially carry Georgia to a national championship.
Chubb is the 5-10, 225-pound blend of quickness and power, leading the team with 1,320 yards and 15 touchdowns. Fantastic after contact, he’s the more physical of the two backs, but he can also hit the home run.
Michel is the speedier option, but he can get tough, too, he ran for over 1,100 yards with 16 touchdowns, averaging close to eight yards per carry.
He’s not used much as a receiver, but he came up with a big, BIG play for a touchdown against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, to go along with his three rushing scores and, of course, the game-winner.
Eighth in the nation in rushing, the Dawgs have to run for over 200 yards to win this. They have to also make sure they’re flawless at …
2. Converting in the red zone
Points are going to be hard to come by, and there can’t be any missed opportunities.
That shouldn’t be any problem for Georgia.
The Bulldog offense managed to come away with nothing when inside the 20 just two times all year. Once was against Auburn in the SEC Championship, and the other was in the win over South Carolina. That’s it.
The Georgia O wasn’t just 51-of-53 inside the red zone; it was also among the best in the nation and coming away with touchdowns instead of field goals.
The running game will help, but this is where QB Jake Fromm excels, with 14 of his 23 scoring passes on the year coming from inside the 20, along with all three of his rushing touchdowns.
But Georgia’s biggest strength might be that …
3. There are no big, glaring weaknesses
This might just be the most complete team in college football – which makes sense considering it’s playing for the national championship.
Other than a lack of experience in the College Football Playoff title game, there isn’t any one thing the Bulldogs have to worry about. There’s no Achilles’ heel for the Tide to exploit.
The offense is balanced and efficient, the defense has special playmakers – led by the linebacking tandem of Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter – the defensive backs can all hit, the special teams and kicking game are excellent, the coaching is solid, and on and on. Again, this is a complete team.
Fine, so they’ll commit a few penalties here and there, but – one Sony Michel hiccup in Pasadena aside – there aren’t a ton of crippling turnovers, the offensive line is great in pass protection, the secondary is a rock, and compared to Alabama, the talent is there across the board to match up next-level athlete to next-level athlete.