AP Photo/John Bazemore
If Georgia is to have an opportunity to attempt to win a second straight national championship, it must get past Ohio State first. And that might not be the easiest task.
The Bulldogs and Buckeyes will face off in a college football playoff semifinal game on December 31 when they face off in the Peach Bowl. Given that the game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, it should be almost like home for Georgia.
Not only will Ohio State have to travel further, but it will try to create an upset. Georgia is No. 1 in the CFP after going 13-0 and winning the SEC Championship. Ohio State is No. 4 despite failing to make the Big Ten Championship Game after finishing the regular season 11-1.
Here’s everything you need to know about heading into this year’s Peach Bowl.
Latest Peach Bowl Odds
Spread: Georgia -6.5
About Below: 62 points
money line: Georgia -260 (bet $260 to win $100); Ohio State +220 (bet $100 to win $220)
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Georgia and Ohio State have been two of the top college football programs in recent years. But it’s been quite a while since the Bulldogs and Buckeyes crossed paths.
The only previous meeting between Georgia and Ohio State came at the end of the 1992 season when the Bulldogs defeated the Buckeyes 21-14 in the Citrus Bowl. Could there be a similar result this time?
It’s no surprise that Georgia are considered favorites to win. It stormed through the regular season in impressive fashion and then defeated LSU 50-30 in the SEC championship game.
The Bulldogs have relied primarily on their dominant defense to win games. They only allow 292.1 total yards per contest (ninth best in the country), and they’re particularly hard on the run, giving up an FBS low of 77 rushing yards per game.
It will be interesting to see if the Georgia defense can end a strained Ohio State offense led by redshirt sophomore CJ Stroud, one of the four finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He will try to get the ball frequently into the hands of talented second wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart is hoping his defense will do better than it did last time against LSU.
“We can’t play the defense we played [in the SEC Championship Game] and expect to become champions of some sort,” Smart said recently, per Eleven Warriors’ Chase Brown.
If Georgia has the ball, it will have its own Heisman finalist leading its offense. Sixth-year quarterback Stetson Bennett has done a fine job leading the Bulldogs again this year, and he knows what it takes to win when the stakes rise.
That will be the case for some players in Georgia’s squad. The Bulldogs defeated Michigan and Alabama in the college football playoffs last season to secure the program’s first national title since the 1980 season.
Because of that experience and his shutdown defense, Georgia will return to the CFP National Championship Game on January 9th. Ohio State could close things out early in the Peach Bowl, but it will be a little overwhelmed in the second half.
The Bulldogs will retire late and make some big stops to defeat the Buckeyes to continue.
Forecast: Georgia 31, Ohio 21
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