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Georgia vs Ohio State College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Prediction Game Preview

Georgia vs Ohio State prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, December 31, 2022


Georgia vs Ohio State College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Prediction Game Preview

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Georgia vs Ohio State How To Watch

Date: December 31, 2022
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Georgia (13-0), Ohio State (11-1)
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Georgia vs Ohio State College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 5 Things To Know

Why Georgia will win the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, why Ohio State will win
College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

Georgia hasn’t exactly made greatness boring, but it’s not like this is a star-studded superpower with a slew of household names. It’s a rock-solid team that’s good at blocking and tackling and going about its business as it rolls towards what might just be a second straight national title. There’s one key difference from the 2021 version, though.

This one might run the table.

2022 Georgia had a perfect storm of positives to get here. Years of amazing recruiting built up the talent level, and it all matured enough to create a true Next Man Up system with future NFL stars replacing the NFL stars who left off of last year’s national champion team.

Combine that with a relatively down year by Alabama – and not having to face the Tide – a 44-year-old starting quarterback who knows what he’s doing (Stetson Bennett is actually 25), and all those new starters looking to prove the greatness of this team compared to last year, and this might be an even stronger run.

However …

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You let them in the door. The Buckeyes were out. All it would’ve taken was USC’s Caleb Williams not hurting his hamstring, or Clemson and/or Tennessee not gacking the moment against South Carolina, or Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs making the late grab against Tennessee, or any one of a number of things that could’ve happened to put someone else in the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff.

But they’re in. They’re in the tournament at the 4, just like 2019 Alabama, and just like 2014 Ohio State – both of those teams won two games and the national title.

The team rolled through the season despite a slew of injuries, and all was set up to be the No. 2 seed. All it had to do was beat Michigan, take down Purdue in the Big Ten Championship, and it would’ve played TCU not Georgia in the CFP first round.

You have to win two no matter what, so Ohio State might as well get the Georgia game out of the way now.

There are 3.5 teams going with the same NFL talent level – Georgia, Alabama, the USC offense, and Ohio State. Even with a few key guys out – RB TreyVeon Henderson is out with a foot injury, WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba is nursing his injured hamstring as he gets ready for the NFL – the guys are still there to hang position for position with the defending national champs.

Ohio State has lived in the biggest bowls for the last 30 years. In the eight-year playoff era, it’s 7-3 in bowl games with the three losses all in the CFP. It won an epic Rose Bowl over Utah last year, lost the College Football Playoff National Championship to Alabama in 2020, and it’s in the Peach for first time ever.

Georgia has been a bowl god under Kirby Smart. The program has gone 9-3 over the last 12 bowls going back to the Mark Richt era. It won its last four – including two last season – with the last two losses the national title agains Alabama to end the 2017 season and in a tough Sugar loss to Texas in 2018. This is the program’s seventh Peach appearance, and …

This is just the second time these two have met. Georgia beat Ohio State 21-14 in the 1992 Citrus Bowl, but that’s been it for these two powerhouses.

Between playoff games and close battles that defined the narrative for the participating teams, almost all of the last several Peach Bowls have mattered.

Last year’s Michigan State win over Pitt was entertaining at the end, the Georgia win over Cincinnati in the 2020 season was good, the 2019 version – LSU blowing out Oklahoma – was interesting theater, and UCF made a whole program around the win over Auburn at the end of the 2017 season.

The first two Peach Bowls as part of the College Football Playoff were lousy. This one shouldn’t be.

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Why Georgia Will Win The College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Has the Ohio State defense really improved that much?

From the opener against Minnesota to the loss to Michigan to the wild shootout win over Utah in the Rose Bowl, the defense was blamed for all of the world’s ills last year. That was going to be fixed, the offense was going to be the offense, and all was going to be right with the world.

And yeah, things were better. It finished 12th in the nation in total defense and 13th in scoring D, but it’s not like the Buckeyes were dealing with Tennessee and USC every week.

The first dangerous attack OSU faced wasn’t until late October when Penn State rolled up 482 yards in the 44-31 Buckeye win. Maryland put up over 400 in the 43-30 fight, and Michigan ripped off 530 yards with a terrific balance in its 45-23 victory.

This just might be what the Ohio State defense is this season. Oh sure, it rocks against the Iowas and Indianas of the world, but it can buckle.

Give Georgia credit for being ultra-efficient.

It might turn it over a bit too much, but the running game is always good for over 200 yards, Stetson Bennett really was worthy of Heisman finalist – not winning it, but being in the top five – consideration, and the line is every bit as good as the Michigan steamroller that flattened the Ohio State defensive front.

Georgia is No. 1 in the nation in red zone offense, No. 4 in tackles for loss allowed, No. 5 in third down conversions, and No. 8 in time of possession.

The offense doesn’t have to take any chances.

However …

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Why Ohio State Will Win The College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Georgia hasn’t faced an offense with this kind of talent.

Yeah, yeah, YEAH, the Tennessee style and system was a deadly machine that was slowed to a crawl by the Dawgs, but when it comes to NFL guys on the starting 11 – and among the main backups – Ohio State has more.

The Vols had the most efficient passing game in the country. Ohio State was second.

The Northwestern game played in a wild wind storm skewed up the national stats a bit, but the downfield passing game is still amazing, the scoring offense was second in the nation behind – yeah – Tennessee, and the time off really will help the line be even stronger.

Lost in the narrative of the Michigan loss was that the Ohio State offense worked. There were two interceptions, but that wasn’t the norm for CJ Stroud or the attack. Stroud threw for 349 yards and the running game was more than fine – the Buckeye attack put up 492 yards. The O wasn’t why Ohio State lost.

And yes, of course the Georgia defense is amazing. It’s not the 2021 version.

Last year’s defense allowed just 2.6 yards per carry and three rushing touchdowns all year. Tennessee scored 17 points against in in a blowout loss, and Alabama was the only team to score 18 or more – it did it twice. No one else scored more than 13.

It’s hard to have a beef with the No. 8 defense in America overall that finished second in scoring D, but LSU was able to bomb away just enough to be annoying – 502 passing yards – in the 50-30 SEC Championship loss. Missouri was a stop away from pulling off the upset, and Kent freaking State put up almost 300 yards with its 22 points.

The Ohio State offense is going to move the ball.

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Georgia vs Ohio State College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

Ohio State has the talent, the will, the attitude, and the underdog status to have almost all the pressure off – at least as much as reasonably possible in a game like this.

There’s a reason there hasn’t been a repeat College Football Playoff champion.

Whether it was 2016 Clemson the year after losing to Alabama for the national title, or 2018 Alabama the year after losing to Clemson in the title game, or Georgia last year after losing to Bama in the SEC Championship, there’s something to be said for having that little extra juice in a game of this level.

That extra something doesn’t work for mere mortal programs – and we’ll see how this works for Michigan – but it sure as shoot was enough to take Ohio State to a whole other level when it got its shot at Clemson in the 2020 College Football Playoff after losing the year before.

Ohio State will be spectacular enough to be in this throughout, but Georgia’s ruthless efficiency will start to take over in the second half.

The Bulldogs lines will start to dominate – sort of like the Michigan lines were able to against the Buckeyes – Stetson Bennett will lead two late scoring drives, and of course, because it’s Ohio State, there will be one questionable call for the perpetually-aggrieved program to use as motivation for the next nine months.

Georgia will win, but it sure as shoot won’t be easy.

Georgia vs Ohio State College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Prediction, Line

CFN Prediction: Georgia 35, Ohio State 30
Line: Georgia -6, o/u: 62.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Must See Rating (out of 5): 5
CFN Experts CFP NY6, Dec 28-Jan 2

College Football Playoff Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl History

Dec. 30, 2021 Michigan State 31, Pitt 21
Jan. 1, 2021 Georgia 24, Cincinnati 21
Dec. 28, 2019 LSU 63, Oklahoma 28
Dec. 29, 2018 Florida 41, Michigan 15
Jan. 1, 2018 UCF 34, Auburn 27
Dec. 31, 2016 Alabama 24, Washington 7
Dec. 31, 2015 Houston 38 Florida State 24
Dec. 31, 2014 TCU 42 Mississippi 3
Dec. 31, 2013 Texas A&M 52 Duke 48
Dec. 31, 2012 Clemson 25 LSU 24
Dec. 31, 2011 Auburn 42 Virginia 23
Dec. 31, 2010 Florida State 26 South Carolina 17
Dec. 31, 2009 Virginia Tech 37 Tennessee 14
Dec. 31, 2008 LSU 38 Georgia Tech 3
Dec. 31, 2007 Auburn 23 Clemson 20 (OT)
Dec. 30, 2006 Georgia 31 Virginia Tech 24
Dec. 30, 2005 LSU 40 Miami 3
Dec. 31, 2004 Miami 27 Florida 10
Jan. 2, 2004 Clemson 27 Tennessee 14
Dec. 31, 2002 Maryland 30 Tennessee 3
Dec. 31, 2001 North Carolina 16 Auburn 10
Dec. 29, 2000 LSU 28 Georgia Tech 14
Dec. 30, 1999 Mississippi State 17 Clemson 7
Dec. 31, 1998 Georgia 35 Virginia 33
Jan. 2, 1998 Auburn 21 Clemson 17
Dec. 28, 1996 LSU 10 Clemson 7
Dec. 30, 1995 Virginia 34 Georgia 27
Jan. 1, 1995 N.C. State 28 Mississippi State 24
Dec. 31, 1993 Clemson 14 Kentucky 13
Jan. 2, 1993 North Carolina 21 Mississippi State 17
Jan. 1, 1992 East Carolina 37 N.C. State 34
Dec. 29, 1990 Auburn 27 Indiana 23
Dec. 30, 1989 Syracuse 19 Georgia 18
Dec. 31, 1988 N.C. State 28 Iowa 23
Jan. 2, 1988 Tennessee 27 Indiana 22
Dec. 31, 1986 Virginia Tech 25 N.C. State 24
Dec. 31, 1985 Army 31 Illinois 29
Dec. 31, 1984 Virginia 27 Purdue 24
Dec. 30, 1983 Florida State 28 North Carolina 3
Dec. 31, 1982 Iowa 28 Tennessee 22
Dec. 31, 1981 West Virginia 26 Florida 6
Jan. 2, 1981 Miami 20 Virginia Tech 10
Dec. 31, 1979 Baylor 24 Clemson 18
Dec. 25, 1978 Purdue 41 Georgia Tech 21
Dec. 31, 1977 N.C. State 24 Iowa State 14
Dec. 31, 1976 Kentucky 21 North Carolina 0
Dec. 31, 1975 West Virginia 13 N.C. State 10
Dec. 28, 1974 Texas Tech 6 Vanderbilt 6
Dec. 28, 1973 Georgia 17 Maryland 16
Dec. 29, 1972 N.C. State 49 West Virginia 13
Dec. 30, 1971 Mississippi 41 Georgia Tech 18
Dec. 30, 1970 Arizona State 48 North Carolina 26
Dec. 30, 1969 West Virginia 14 South Carolina 3
Dec. 30, 1968 LSU 31 Florida State 27

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Story originally appeared on College Football News