Georgia vs Michigan Prediction, Orange Bowl, CFP Semifinal Preview

Georgia vs Michigan: Capital One Orange Bowl prediction, College Football Playoff semifinal game preview, how to watch

Georgia vs Michigan: Capital One Orange Bowl, College Football Playoff Semifinal How To Watch

Date: Friday, December 31
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Record: Georgia (12-1), Michigan (12-1)
CFN Predictions | Bowl Schedule

Georgia vs Michigan Capital One Orange Bowl, College Football Playoff Semifinal Preview

Oh are the respective fan bases ready for this. Georgia hasn’t won a national title since 1980, it came brutally close to close out the 2017 season, and now it’s back and two wins away from finally getting it done.

Michigan hasn’t won a national championship since 1997, and even then it was split with Nebraska.

After years of being hammered for not being able to win a really big game under Jim Harbaugh, the program came up with two in a row with the breakthrough moment against Ohio State and the blowout Big Ten Championship over Iowa, and now it’s a victory away from playing for the national championship.

Michigan received just 12 votes in the preseason AP Top 25 rankings. No, it wasn’t ranked 12th – it got 12 votes, ranking behind Liberty and just ahead of Northwestern. It wasn’t ranked in the preseason Coaches Poll top 25, either.

With a power style on both sides of the ball – and enough timely downfield passes to get by – this isn’t as flashy team. It wants to get physical.

The program and Harbaugh have earned respect no matter what happens here, but there’s been just one bowl win since taking down Tim Tebow and Florida to end the 2007 season going 1-6 in bowls since then.

Georgia has won six of its last eight bowl games and is 4-2 under head coach Kirby Smart. There wasn’t any lack of respect from the preseason polls – ranked fifth in each – before becoming the unquestioned No. 1 team right up until it lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship.

The defense is loaded with NFL talent, the offense is loaded with NFL talent, and this game might just become a key moment for Smart and the Bulldogs.

Smart has shown he can get the Dawgs close to being among the elite of the elite, but lose this to close out with two straight defeats, and everything that happened in the amazing 2021 will be soured.

Why Georgia, Michigan Will Win
Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History
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Why Michigan Will Win The Capital One Orange Bowl

Michigan is going to do what it does – run, try to control the game on the lines – but there might be a bit more of a downfield element to the offense.

The running game pounded on Ohio State for close to 300 yards, and then it ran for 211 yards against Iowa to finish as the Big Ten’s No. 1 team on the ground. It all starts with an O line that doesn’t get a whole lot of credit, but doesn’t allow anything in the backfield and has been the difference between a good season and being here.

In this, though, the goal will be to test a Georgia secondary that was solid throughout the year and is loaded with talent, but gave up 332 yards to Tennessee and got ripped up by Alabama’s Bryce Young for 421 yards.

The Michigan combination of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum – who should be past an ankle injury – combined for close to 2,200 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns, but Georgia’s run defense is a big, big problem.

QB Cade McNamara doesn’t take a whole lot of chances, and he averaged eight yards per throw with the ability spread it around a bit and get his guys the ball on the move.

On the defensive side, Michigan has been good enough against the run, but it changes games with the pressure from the front. The bulk sack and tackle for loss numbers aren’t there, but it’s a timely bunch that’s great on third downs.

CFN Predictions | 2021-2022 Bowl Schedule

Why Georgia Will Win The Capital One Orange Bowl

Yeah, the Georgia defense is still really, really good.

It had a rough day against Alabama, but it’s not right to suggest that the D was exposed in any way – that was Alabama going Alabama and Bryce Young putting together a Heisman-winning performance.

Forget about running on this group, at least enough to make a huge difference. The key for Michigan will be whether or not it can generate just enough of a push to allow the passing game to work, but even then that’s asking a lot.

Alabama averaged 4.4 yards per carry and ran for 115 yards against the Dawgs. No one averaged more, and Florida – whose 161 yards were the most allowed by Georgia – was the only other team to average more than four yards per pop.

On the other side, the offense is all about spreading it around. QB Stetson Bennett threw two picks against Alabama, but he also winged it around for 340 yards and three touchdowns.

Star WR George Pickens eased his way back into the mix after a knee injury, and now he’s had another month off to get right. TE Brock Bowers is special, and several wide receiver parts get involved in the mix.

In what should be a relatively close, tight battle, mistakes are going to matter. The Michigan defense might be amazing, but it’s not taking the ball away – just four turnovers in the last five games without a multiple takeaway game since the Michigan State loss back in October.

As long as Bennett is careful and the offense is conservative, the defense should be able to take care of the rest.

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Georgia vs Michigan: Capital One Orange Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

Welcome back, Georgia.

Michigan has the lines. It has the talent, it has the confidence, and it has the makeup of a veteran team that knows how to impose its will. It’s got the offensive parts to play around with the game plan and be versatile, but it’s not going to be intimidated by an SEC defense.

Michigan is going to line up and bash away, and it’s going to crank up the defense to step up on big downs like it has all year.

And it’s not going to be enough.

Georgia isn’t going to hit a slew of home runs, but it’ll be methodical in the way it closes out drives. It might be more about amassing field goals early on, but the breakthrough will come.

Michigan will move the ball, too. It’s not going to run like it wants to, and it’ll hit a few big plays down the field – the Wolverines will likely take an early lead – but the Georgia D will play like its pre-SEC Championship self over the last 45 minutes.

Don’t expect fireworks, and look for a whole lot of frustration for both sides. This won’t be Georgia’s 10-3 opener against Clemson, but it’s going be intense right up until one final Bulldog field goal puts it away.

Georgia vs Michigan: Capital One Orange Bowl, College Football Playoff Prediction, Lines

Georgia 30, Michigan 20
Line: Georgia -7.5, o/u: 45.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Expert Picks: CFP & NY6 | Dec 28-Jan 4

Must See Rating: 5

5: New Year’s Eve in a bar
1: New Year’s Eve watching a ball drop

CFN Predictions | 2021-2022 Bowl Schedule

Capital One Orange Bowl History

Jan. 2, 2021 Texas A&M 41, North Carolina 27
Dec. 30, 2019 Florida 36, Virginia 28
Dec. 29, 2018 CFP: Alabama 45, Oklahoma 34
Dec. 30, 2017 Wisconsin 34, Miami 24
Dec. 30, 2016 Florida State 33, Michigan 32
Dec. 31, 2015 CFP: Clemson 37 Oklahoma 17
Dec. 31, 2014 Georgia Tech 49 Mississippi State 34
Jan. 3, 2014 Clemson 40 Ohio State 35
Jan. 1, 2013 Florida State 31 Northern Illinois 10
Jan. 4, 2012 West Virginia 70 Clemson 33
Jan. 3, 2011 Stanford 40 Virginia Tech 12
Jan. 5, 2010 Iowa 24 Georgia Tech 14
Jan. 1, 2009 Virginia Tech 20 Cincinnati 7
Jan. 3, 2008 Kansas 24 Virginia Tech 21
Jan. 2, 2007 Louisville 24 Wake Forest 13
Jan. 2, 2006 Penn State 26 Florida State 23 (3 OT)
Jan. 4, 2005 USC 55 Oklahoma 19
Jan. 1, 2004 Miami 16 Florida State 14
Jan. 2, 2003 USC 38 Iowa 17
Jan. 2, 2002 Florida 56 Maryland 23
Jan. 3, 2001 Oklahoma 13 Florida State 2
Jan. 1, 2000 Michigan 35 Alabama 34 (OT)
Jan. 2, 1999 Florida 31 Syracuse 0
Jan. 2, 1998 Nebraska 42 Tennessee 17
Dec. 31, 1996 Nebraska 41 Virginia Tech 21
Jan. 1, 1996 Florida State 31 Notre Dame 26
Jan. 2, 1995 Nebraska 24 Miami 17
Jan. 1, 1994 Florida State 18 Nebraska 16
Jan. 1, 1993 Florida State 27 Nebraska 14
Jan. 1, 1992 Miami 22 Nebraska 0
Jan. 1, 1991 Colorado 10 Notre Dame 9
Jan. 1, 1990 Notre Dame 21 Colorado 6
Jan. 2, 1989 Miami 23 Nebraska 3
Jan. 1, 1988 Miami 20 Oklahoma 14
Jan. 1, 1987 Oklahoma 42 Arkansas 8
Jan. 1, 1986 Oklahoma 25 Penn State 10
Jan. 1, 1985 Washington 28 Oklahoma 17
Jan. 2, 1984 Miami 31 Nebraska 30
Jan. 1, 1983 Nebraska 21 LSU 20
Jan. 1, 1982 Clemson 22 Nebraska 15
Jan. 1, 1981 Oklahoma 18 Florida State 17
Jan. 1, 1980 Oklahoma 24 Florida State 7
Jan. 1, 1979 Oklahoma 31 Nebraska 24
Jan. 2, 1978 Arkansas 31 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1977 Ohio State 27 Colorado 10
Jan. 1, 1976 Oklahoma 14 Michigan 6
Jan. 1, 1975 Notre Mae 13 Alabama 11
Jan. 1, 1974 Penn State 16 LSU 9
Jan. 1, 1973 Nebraska 40 Notre Dame 6
Jan. 1, 1972 Nebraska 38 Alabama 6
Jan. 1, 1971 Nebraska 17 LSU 12
Jan. 1, 1970 Penn State 10 Missouri 3
Jan. 1, 1969 Penn State 15 Kansas 14
Jan. 1, 1968 Oklahoma 26 Tennessee 24
Jan. 2, 1967 Florida 27 Georgia Tech 12
Jan. 1, 1966 Alabama 39 Nebraska 28
Jan. 1, 1965 Texas 21 Alabama 17
Jan. 1, 1964 Nebraska 13 Auburn 7
Jan. 1, 1963 Alabama 17 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1962 LSU 25 Colorado 7
Jan. 2, 1961 Missouri 21 Navy 14
Jan. 1, 1960 Georgia 14 Missouri 0
Jan. 1, 1959 Oklahoma 21 Syracuse 6
Jan. 1, 1958 Oklahoma 48 Duke 21
Jan. 1, 1957 Colorado 27 Clemson 21
Jan. 2, 1956 Oklahoma 20 Maryland 6
Jan. 1, 1955 Duke 34 Nebraska 7
Jan. 1, 1954 Oklahoma 7 Maryland 0
Jan. 1, 1953 Alabama 61 Syracuse 6
Jan. 1, 1952 Georgia Tech 17 Baylor 14
Jan. 1, 1951 Clemson 15 Miami 14
Jan. 2, 1950 Santa Clara 21 Kentucky 13
Jan. 1, 1949 Texas 41 Georgia 28
Jan. 1, 1948 Georgia Tech 20 Kansas 14
Jan. 1, 1947 Rice 8 Tennessee 0
Jan. 1, 1946 Miami 13 Holy Cross (MA) 6
Jan. 1, 1945 Tulsa 26 Georgia Tech 12
Jan. 1, 1944 LSU 19 Texas A&M 14
Jan. 1, 1943 Alabama 37 Boston College 21
Jan. 1, 1942 Georgia 40 TCU 26
Jan. 1, 1941 Mississippi State 14 Georgetown 7
Jan. 1, 1940 Georgia Tech 21 Missouri 7
Jan. 2, 1939 Tennessee 17 Oklahoma 0
Jan. 1, 1938 Auburn 6 Michigan State 0
Jan. 1, 1937 Duquesne 13 Mississippi 12
Jan. 1, 1936 Catholic 20 Mississippi 19
Jan. 1, 1935 Bucknell 26 Miami 0

Georgia vs Michigan Preview
Why Georgia, Michigan Will Win
Orange Bowl Top Players To Know