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TCU vs. Georgia Championship Preview

Sports

Max Duggan and the rest of TCU will take on Georgia in the national championship. | Image by Frogs Today.

The 2022-23 College Football Playoff National Championship Game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT on January 9, with Texas Christian University facing Georgia for the national title from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

Georgia enters the game as the consensus favorite and is looking for back-to-back titles after winning it all in 2022. TCU is appearing in a championship game for the first time in school history after a historic season that saw the Horned Frogs defeat all but one opponent while being considered underdogs in nearly every game.

“We’re glad to be here, we’ve earned our way here, it hasn’t been easy,” TCU head coach Sonny Dykes said. “But we’re a top football team and team that’s very opportunistic and we’ll have to be that way on Monday.”

TCU is led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan at quarterback. Duggan is a dual-threat weapon that can hit deep precision passes and beat defenses with his legs and hard-hitting mentality. Duggan rarely slides, instead lowering a shoulder and challenging defenses to take him on.

Duggan’s top target this season has been Quentin Johnston, considered one of the top receiving prospects heading toward the NFL Draft later this year. Johnston has a knack for beating defenders and breaking away, as he did last week against Michigan on a 79-yard touchdown reception that he caught five yards behind the line of scrimmage.

The Georgia defense will make it hard on Duggan and the Frogs’ offense, who may be without running back Kendre Miller for a second game. The Bulldogs hope to slow down the TCU offense that is known for high-flying antics late in games and racking up big points totals.

Georgia has given up 71 points in its last two games, and echoes of falling short in 2021 and 2020 can be heard as the Bulldogs prepare to face the Frogs.

“They create tough situations defensively, they do an incredible job on special teams, they have one of the best returners I’ve ever faced,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “And they score a lot of points on offense with a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback (Max Duggan), so it’s a recipe to be playing for a national championship.”

The Bulldogs will rely on quarterback Stetson Bennett, who made vital passes to allow a Georgia comeback against No.4 Ohio State last week. The Bulldogs narrowly took the semifinal 42-41 after a last-second Buckeye’s field goal sailed wide right.

The semifinal win was the only single-score game of the season for a Bulldogs team accustomed to dominating opponents.

TCU came out last week and played physical football, with Dee Winters showing up in a significant way, a performance they will need to repeat on Monday to have a chance at the title.

Bennett has over 3,600 passing yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. At the same time, the running back group led by Kenny McIntosh and Daijun Edwards will look to exploit a TCU defense that has allowed big runs, including a 54-yard run on the first play of scrimmage against Michigan.

Georgia is favored to win. However, the Horned Frogs have repeatedly demonstrated that the oddsmakers do not always get it right.

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