TCU vs Michigan
WHAT A GAME. I think when most of us saw the playoff games we figured that the TCU-Michigan game would be a snoozer as we watched the Wolverines lay down the hammer on the Horned Frogs. And then TCU shocked the world as +7.5 underdogs and beat Michigan! This game had it all, explosive offense highlighted by a ridiculous third quarter, key momentum swings, big plays, and key mistakes. Yet, the most important aspect of the game was the defense of TCU. I know that sounds odd given that the final score was 51 to 45 in favor of the Horned Frogs, but the plays made by TCU’s defense won them the game. First, there were the two pick sixes, but there was also the exceptional red zone defense. Michigan got into the RedZone on seven occasions, but only scored a touchdown on three of the trips. And now, against all the odds the TCU Horned Frogs will be playing for a National Championship.
Ohio State vs Georgia
Ohio State came out swinging against Georgia in ways few teams really can. The Buckeyes gave it their all, completely dominating the Georgia defense for large stretches of the game and keeping the Dawg’s offense at bay. C.J. Stroud played the best game of his career going 23/34 from the field for 348 yards, 4 TD’s, and no turnovers. Add in the 34 yards he got on the ground and it’s easy to see why Stroud is projected to be a top-ten pick going into the NFL draft this year. By all accounts, the Buckeyes had this game in the bag….. until they didn’t. The turning point in the game was Marvin Harrison Jr. getting injured. No one on the Georgia defense could truly cover the wideout when he was out there, and despite not playing for much of the second half, Harrison still finished with 106 yards and 2 TD’s. Once Harrison was ruled out due to injury, the Georgia defense was able to mostly neutralize the Ohio State offense for the rest of the game. At the time of the injury, the score was 38-24. Georgia would finish on an 18-3 run to close it out. Give credit where credit is due, Stetson Bennett led the Bulldogs back with a furious fourth-quarter rally despite not playing his best game. That in and of itself is what stood out to me about this game – Ohio State played an A+ game by their standards, and lost, meanwhile Georgia played a B+ game by their lofty standards and won. Such is the dominance and strength of this Georgia team that after the game Kirby Smart and company seemed disappointed by how they played. It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs look to fix their miscues heading into the Championship game next Monday.