Sets Up All-SEC Rematch
Heading into Friday night’s Orange Bowl match up many wondered what Georgia team would show up in Miami. Is the the team that dominated the first 12 weeks of the 2021 season or the one who was blitzed by Alabama? It didn’t take long for the answer as Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs jumped out to a huge lead then held on in the second half. Let’s recap it all as Georgia blows out Michigan 34-11.
Huge First Half
Georgia took the opening kick and marched 80 yards in seven plays for the score. Stetson Bennett hit Brock Bowers with a nine yard pass putting Georgia up 7-0. They went up 14-0 after a gadget play featuring Kenny McIntosh hitting Adonai Mitchell with an 18 yard pass.
Kenny McIntosh that spiral is beautiful 🤩pic.twitter.com/Jlb0wPzlSM
— Barstool UGA (@ugabarstool) January 1, 2022
Michigan finally got on the board with a field goal however by the time Bennett hit Jermaine Burton on a 57 yard bomb the lead grew to 27-3 at the half.
Bulldog Defense Came Up Huge
If you read our game preview, and we know you did, we said for the Wolverines to have any chance they needed to find a mix between run and pass. Unfortunately for them even with their Joe Moore Award winning offensive line they couldn’t get anything going. For a team who averaged 42 points a game in wins over Ohio State and Iowa putting up 11 was a tough pill to swallow.
Coming into the Orange Bowl Jim Harbaugh’s team came in 10th in the country averaging 224 yards a game. However Georgia held Michigan to only 87 rushing yards and 321 overall. Many of those came late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.
In addition we say it all the time whoever wins the turnover battle usually wins the game. The Orange Bowl was certainly no exception as the Bulldog defense forced three turnovers. One on a fumble and they intercepted Cade McNamara twice. This effort certainly echoed the group which came into Friday second in the nation in yards allowed and first in points.
Big Night For Bennett
Heading into the Orange Bowl much of the talk centered on the Georgia quarterback. Over the years he’s definitely had some ups and downs. While he did throw for 340 yards and three scores against Alabama he spend most of the game running from the Crimson Tide defense.
However he saved arguably his best performance for the national semi-final game. Bennett completed 20 of 30 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. In addition he gained another 32 yards on the ground.
Overall Georgia ran up 518 yards of total offense on what had been one of the top defenses in the country. The did a great job of keeping Aidan Hutchinson away from not only Bennett but pretty much the entire Bulldog backfield.
Like it or not Georgia’s win sets up a rematch with Alabama. The Crimson Tide ended Cincinnati’s Cinderella hopes. Smart of course is 0-4 against Nick Saban including the 41-24 loss in the SEC title game. Of course you can’t forget the epic 2018 National Title game in which Alabama won 26-23. Will the fifth time be the charm for Smart? We’ll find out on January 10th.
On the other side of the ball Michigan finishes up at 12-2. Considering the fact Harbaugh’s name was at the top of every “hot seat” list the Wolverines had an incredible season. They finally beat Ohio State and won their first Big 10 title under Harbaugh. They’ll be ranked near the top when the 2022 rankings come out.
Again Georgia blows out Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl setting up what should be an epic rematch with Alabama. Thanks for checking out our recap here at Last Word On College Football. Don’t forget we cover every game leading up to the big one on January 10th.