Grandfather Rose

College Football Playoff- The Rose Bowl

(3) Georgia Bulldogs at (2) Oklahoma Sooners

Georgia: What a season it has been in Athens for the Georgia Bulldogs. When I previewed the SEC East during the Summer and I took a good look at the top three teams, I really had to do my homework. I didn’t know what to expect from the Tennessee Volunteers, the Florida Gators had been in the SEC title game the previous two seasons, but they still had a few question marks as the season approached. There was just something about this team that really stood out to me. The best thing they could do for the program was the hire Kirby Smart, a guy that coached on Nick Saban’s staff in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama Crimson Tide. As you can see, he’s taken what he’s learned from the best head coach in the country and applied it to his football team and two seasons later, look at them. Kirby was bold when he had a quarterback situation on his hands early in this season. When Jacob Eason went down with an injury, Jake Fromm stepped in and handled business. When Eason was healthy, you’d automatically think that he’d go back to his starter, right? Nope! You continue to go with the hot that is hot at the moment and who knows if Georgia would have been in the position they were in had they gone back to Eason and this is no disrespect to him at all. What’s really driven this offense has been their terrific one-two punch at running back with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. When Chubb is healthy, he’s one of the very best in the nation. He’s a guy that loves to power his way through the middle and truck people over and Michel is more of the speedster of the duo. Their defense has also been a strong part of their success with a very talented front seven and a secondary that can struggle, but they’ll never break. A win here and you get to advance to the title game which just happens to be in Atlanta this year. Can you say added motivation?

Oklahoma: They’ve been quite the team to watch this year. It all started during the Summer before the season even started when Bob Stoops, who was the longest-tenured head coach in college football at the time decided to announce his retirement, the job was now handed down to a young coach by the name of Lincoln Riley who also just happens to be the youngest coach in college football at 34 years old. Despite the coaching change which can have an impact on a team in many ways, the Oklahoma Sooners were still a favorite to win the Big-12 and that’s because of Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman trophy winner. The minute he got his chance to step on the field, I was so impressed with his grit, tenacity, understanding of the game of football and most importantly, he had command and control of this offense which is an extremely important quality to have as a football player. The Sooners are the best offensive team in the country without question. They can light the scoreboard up and really control things on that side of the football. If you like to watch teams take the explosive shots down the field, this is definitely the team for you. As a team, they averaged 45 points a game during the regular season which isn’t a shocker because every game that I watched of theirs this year, they were either at that number or definitely beyond it. After all, they put up 62 points when they faced Oklahoma State in November and 38 of those points were scored by the half. What’s really been the big concern with them has been their defense and they do struggle with the tiny things such as tackling in space, playing off the receivers too much in the secondary and the pass rush has been flat at times. They may struggle at times defensively, but the bigger the game, the better they seem to be. When they faced TCU in the Big-12 title game, that was by far the best I’ve seen them look all season. A win against Georgia here would put them one step closer to a title.

Georgia Player To Watch: Javon Wims– When you hear about the Bulldogs offense, you often see the common names such as Fromm, Chubb, and Michel. In the passing game, Javon Wims is a top target. He’s six-foot-four with a good release off the line to get open and he goes up for the football as if he were going to get a rebound. I’m expecting Georgia to test that Oklahoma secondary.

Oklahoma Player To Watch: Rodney Anderson– What is the best way to really attack a stingy defense? You run the football and run it until they can try to stop it. The Sooners seem to be a better team when they have some balance. Take a play out of Auburn’s playbook and use Rodney in many different ways to keep Georgia’s defense guessing.

Final Analysis: What more could you ask for? One of the best offenses in the nation against one of the best defenses. If this is the football that you like, this is the game for you.. Even though Georgia is known for its defense and should be able to get a few stops, this game appears to be a high-scoring affair with big plays by both teams. Georgia has to amp up their pass rush and they can’t allow Mayfield to buy anytime in the pocket to throw. Can the defense of the Sooners show up once again? I’ll be watching them closely, especially with how they will try to shut down Michel and Chubb. Despite the Bulldogs having such a strong defense, their offense will need to sustain lengthy drives to keep Mayfield and that high-powered offense on the sideline.

Prediction: Oklahoma 38 Georgia 24