The College Football Playoff National Championship will be on the line Monday night as the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs (13-1) take on the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (14-0). This game will be played at SoFi Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 pm ET.
To get to this point, TCU pulled off a monumental upset as they defeated No. 2 Michigan 51-45 in the New Year’s Eve Fiesta Bowl. In the win, Max Duggan threw for 225 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also rushed for 57 yards and another two scores.
For Georgia, they were able to avoid the upset in the Peach Bowl in large thanks to a late missed field goal by No. 4 Ohio State. In the 42-41 win, Stetson Bennett threw for 398 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
Georgia is the overwhelming favorite in this one. They are -480 to win, while the Horned Frogs’ moneyline sits at +360. The spread features TCU as 12.5-point underdogs (-108), and the over/under for total points is 62.5.
TCU Looks To Pull Off Even Bigger Upset
Last week, TCU pulled off the biggest upset in College Football Playoff history as they overcame being 8-point underdogs. Now, they have an even tougher task as they take on the top-ranked Bulldogs as 12.5-point underdogs.
To get it done, TCU will try to lean on an offense that ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 39.7 points per game. In their last three games, this offense has averaged 47 per game.
Under center for the Horned Frogs is senior Max Duggan. This season, he has thrown for 3,546 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. Duggan has also rushed for 461 yards and eight touchdowns on 127 carries.
The Horned Frogs’ leading rusher, Kendre Miller, is questionable for this one with a knee injury. This season he rushed for 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns. Even if he can’t go, Emari Demercado is more than a suitable backup, as he rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl.
Defensively, TCU is going to have to step it up a bit. This season, they ranked 63rd in the nation, allowing opponents 27.2 points per game. If they hope to pull off the upset, they are going to need a better showing than the 45 points they gave up to Michigan.
Georgia Looks To Go Back To Back
No team in college football has repeated as national champions in back-to-back years since Alabama did it over a decade ago in 2011 and 2012. This would be the first time that anyone has won back-to-back since the College Football Playoffs were put into place.
Like TCU, Georgia has a high-octane offense. They rank sixth in the nation in scoring, averaging 39.8 points per game.
Senior Stetson Bennett leads the attack under center. This season, he has thrown for 3,823 yards, 23 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. His favorite target on the season has been tight end Brock Bowers, who has a team-high 56 receptions, 790 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns.
On the ground, the team has three rushers with over 500 yards, led by senior Kenny McIntosh. He has 142 rushing attempts for 779 yards and 10 scores. He also has 42 receptions for 505 yards and another two touchdowns.
The difference between TCU and Georgia is that the Bulldogs also have a dominant defense. Even though they gave up 41 points to Ohio State, Georgia’s defense ranked fifth this season, allowing just 15.9 points per game to opponents.
Take Georgia To Win, But TCU To Cover
Looking at the trends, TCU is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games. In their last seven games as underdogs, the OVER has hit in five of those games.
For Georgia, they are undefeated on the season, but they are just 7-7 against the spread this year. The total has gone OVER in four of the last five games that the Bulldogs have played in.
TCU does a great job attacking both through the air and on the ground, so this won’t exactly be an easy game for a Georgia defense that dominated this season, but has been torched in recent weeks.
Still, the question will be whether TCU has enough defense to slow down Georgia. They did get some big plays from the defense in the Fiesta Bowl, including a couple of interceptions returned for touchdowns, but TCU is not known for their defense and will need another big night Monday.
This seems like it is Georgia’s game to lose, but it wouldn’t be shocking if TCU kept this one close throughout. Georgia might win this one straight up, but take the Horned Frogs and the 12.5 points (-108).