As the old saying goes: “when it rains, it pours,” and oh boy was their a torrential downpour of points in Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship between Georgia and TCU.
Unfortunately for fans of the classic title game shootout, this one was a bit more lopsided than many would have expected. By the time the game clock finally struck zero, the Bulldogs had won their second straight title by a score of 65-7.
The vaunted Georgia defense harassed TCU quarterback Max Duggan all night long, keeping the fourth-best scoring offense in the country to just a single touchdown. This year’s Heisman runner-up was held to just 152 yards passing with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He did score the team’s lone touchdown on the ground late in the first quarter but that was as close as they ever got the rest of the way.
Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett put together a masterful performance, scoring six total touchdowns before being pulled at the start of the fourth quarter. But even after the starters were pulled, the Georgia backups continued to lay on the points with another two touchdowns from freshman running back Branson Robinson.
Despite this game getting out of hand long before it hit halftime, there was still plenty to glean from this historic beatdown by the Bulldogs. With that said, let’s take a look at three things we learned from this year’s College Football Playoff national championship game.
1.) Georgia will have a ton of players drafted for a second consecutive year
Depending on what site you visit, you can find as many as seven Georgia players among the top 100 prospects for this year’s draft. With 15 total players drafted a year ago, the Bulldogs have a real shot at potentially coming close to that number this season and a blowout win over TCU will only add to their already-sterling on-field resumes.
While matching that 15 total players drafted would be something to see, it’d be even more impressive to watch them produce another five first-round picks in a second consecutive draft. With guys like defensive tackle Jalen Carter, offensive tackle Broderick Jones, and cornerback Kelee Ringo leading the way as consensus top-20 players, it might as well be a foregone conclusion before draft season even officially arrives.
2.) TCU’s performance won’t do any favors for future non-SEC teams fighting for the College Football Playoff
With Georgia winning their second straight title, the SEC has now won the past four College Football Playoff national championships and six of the first nine in the CFP era.
This year, many believed 10-2 Alabama deserved to be in the playoff over either TCU or Ohio State, both of whom ended the regular season with only one loss. All things equal, the latter two teams certainly deserved it over a team with more losses, but those who have watched college football over the past 10-15 years know that a two-loss Alabama team is still likely better than the majority of one-loss teams and probably even some undefeated clubs.
But let me be clear: I believe the selection got it CORRECT with these four teams. I just wish TCU was able to put up more of a fight against the Bulldogs as now this outcome will be used as fresh fodder to undercut future deserving teams who are only guilty of playing the schedule that’s in front of them.
3.) NFL quarterback or not, Stetson Bennett is a dang good football player
When the clock ticked away in the first half, Stetson Bennett was the author of four total touchdowns (two rushing, two passing). At the time, that was also the same amount of incompletions he had through the first 30 minutes of regulation (13-of-17, 213 yards).
Stetson Bennett with his SECOND rushing TD of the first half ♂️ pic.twitter.com/t4YW4R7Ngx— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2023
By the time Bennett was taken out of the game with over 13 minutes remaining in the final period, he had a final stat line of 304 passing yards, four touchdowns, 39 rushing yards, and two more scores on the ground.
Whether or not the whole quarterback thing works for him in the NFL, he’s shown enough as one of the most-productive passers in school history that it’d be incredibly surprising were he not to get an opportunity to play more football after his college career comes to a close.
Maybe a position change is in his future. Heck, it worked out for Julian Edelman, and Bennett looked pretty good in the open field on Monday night. Maybe he makes a splash for The Rock in his resurrected XFL?
Whatever he ends up doing later this year, I’ll be rooting for him.
Future slot receiver Stetson Bennett— JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp) January 10, 2023