No. 1 Georgia overwhelms No. 3 TCU to go back-to-back

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Stetson Bennett threw two landing passes and ran for 2 scores within the first half as No. 1 Georgia demolished No. 3 TCU 65-7 Monday evening to turn out to be the primary group to win consecutive School Soccer Playoff nationwide championships.

The Bulldogs (15-0) are the primary repeat champs since Alabama went back-to-back a decade in the past, and so they left little question that they’ve changed the Crimson Tide as the brand new bullies on the block.

“We needed our children to play with out worry,” Georgia coach Kirby Good mentioned. “All yr I advised them, I mentioned, ‘We ain’t getting hunted guys, we’re doing the looking, and looking season’s nearly over. We have solely obtained yet one more probability to hunt,’ and we hunted tonight.”

The Bulldogs had been relentless whereas efficiently defending the nationwide title they received a yr earlier, leaping on the Horned Frogs early and by no means letting up as Bennett accounted for the 4 first-half touchdowns and 6 general (4 passing, two speeding). Bennett accomplished 18 of 25 passes general for 304 yards whereas additionally speeding thrice for an additional 39 yards, piling up these numbers within the first three quarters earlier than getting pulled from the sport early within the fourth.

Alongside the way in which, Bennett, the one-time walk-on who needed to go away Georgia and are available again after a stint in junior school, handed Aaron Murray for essentially the most passing yards in a single season in this system’s storied historical past. Bennett additionally matched former LSU star and present NFL standout Joe Burrow’s CFP report of six complete touchdowns in a championship sport.

TCU (13-2), the primary Cinderella group of the playoff period, by no means had an opportunity in opposition to the Georgia juggernaut. Not like Michigan within the Fiesta Bowl semifinal, the Bulldogs wouldn’t succumb to the Hypnotoads’ spell.

Georgia turned in one of many all-time beatdowns in a sport that determined a nationwide title, paying homage to Nebraska working over Florida by 38 within the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, USC’s 36-point rout of Oklahoma within the 2005 Orange Bowl and Alabama’s 28-point BCS championship blowout over Notre Dame in 2013.

However this was worse.

An excessive amount of expertise. Too well-coached. Two straight titles for the ‘Dawgs.

No group has ever scored extra factors in a nationwide championship sport, courting to the start of the BCS in 1998.

With 13:25 left within the fourth quarter, Good known as timeout in the midst of an offensive drive so Bennett might exit to hero’s ovation within the remaining sport of his circuitous school profession.

“That was particular,” mentioned Bennett, who completed 18 for 25 for 304 yards and 4 landing passes. “I am going to keep in mind that for the remainder of my life.”

Georgia offensive linemen had been snacking on rooster wings on the sideline as the sport wound down. Then, for the second straight yr, the Bulldogs had been showered by confetti and introduced a championship trophy.

Good is now 81-15 in his first seven seasons at Georgia with two nationwide titles. His mentor, Alabama coach Nick Saban, was 79-15 with three titles in his first seven seasons with the Tide.

The Bulldogs had been a unique type of dominant this season: not fairly as stingy on protection, however extra explosive on offense.

Earlier in Good’s tenure at his alma mater, Georgia followers fearful about whether or not the previous defensive coordinator for Saban would be capable to construct an offense to match this high-scoring period of faculty soccer.

Beneath third-year coordinator Todd Monken, the Bulldogs have turn out to be prolific, artistic and various offensively. They picked aside TCU’s 3-3-5 protection from all angles.

Versatile tight finish Brock Bowers had seven catches for 152 yards. Receiver Ladd McConkey caught two TDs. Georgia ran for 254 yards with seven gamers gaining at the very least 10.

The Bulldogs scored all six instances they touched the ball within the first half. Twice Bennett ran it in himself; the previous walk-on turned two-time nationwide champion was barely touched on the 2 quarterback keepers.

He hit a wide-open McConkey for a 34-yard rating within the first quarter, a wonderfully executed play out of a bunched formation that had TCU’s defensive backs in disarray. Bennett’s 22-yard rating to Adonai Mitchell was a better diploma of issue, dropped in over a defender who had tight protection.

It regarded rather a lot just like the Bennett-to-Mitchell landing that gave Georgia a fourth-quarter lead it could not relinquish in opposition to Alabama in final yr’s CFP title sport.

Georgia vanquished the Tide to interrupt a 41-year nationwide title drought final season, avenging its solely regular-season loss within the course of.

There was no such drama in opposition to the upstart Horned Frogs.

This yr the Bulldogs by no means needed to fear about Alabama. They rolled by means of the SEC, survived Ohio State in a basic CFP semifinal after which emphatically stamped themselves as a burgeoning dynasty with an ideal season.

Bennett hit Bowers for a 22-yard rating with 10:52 left within the third quarter to make it 45-7. The sophomore from Northern California signaled landing whereas mendacity on the turf at Sofi Stadium. Bennett flashed a large grin as he tapped helmets with one in all his linemen.

Georgia’s well-known bulldog mascot UGA couldn’t make cross-country journey to root on his group, however it nonetheless felt a bit like Sanford Stadium in SoCal.

Lots of the TCU followers cleared out with greater than half the fourth quarter left, selecting to enterprise out right into a wet and chilly evening fairly than watch any extra of the large mismatch.

Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan threw two first-half interceptions within the remaining sport of his roller-coaster TCU profession.

A four-year starter who by no means performed in a bowl earlier than this season, Duggan led TCU on one of the crucial inconceivable runs in school soccer historical past.

Unranked after a dropping 2021 season and picked seventh within the Large 12 for Sonny Dykes’ first yr as coach, the Frogs received 9 video games by 10 or fewer factors. They had been inside a victory of this system’s first nationwide title since 1938.

However Duggan apparently had not seen a protection like Georgia’s, which proved simply as dominant as its offense. Defensive again Javon Bullard got here up with each Georgia interceptions of Duggan within the first half, and in addition had the fumble recoverry brought on by fellow defensive again Christoper Smith that arrange the early UGA subject aim.

Georgia later added yet one more Bennett TD toss of 14 yards to McConkey within the third quarter. McConkey’s second TD seize of the evening made it 52-7 with a full quarter nonetheless left to play.

Early within the fourth, Bennett was changed by Carson Beck at quarterback. Beck largely handed off to UGA working backs throughout his stint on the helm, which twice resulted in freshman working again Branson Robinson reaching the top zone for add-on landing runs of 1 yard and 19 yards, respectively.