Both of these teams have earned the right to be in this game, beating talented opponents along the way. This game has a lot to live up to, as the first round of the Playoffs on New Year’s Eve produced two incredible games.
The Fiesta Bowl between TCU and Michigan saw the two teams combine for 16 scores, 96 total points, and 1,016 yards of offense — all within regulation. Michigan battled all game long, but TCU never trailed as they came away with the 51-45 victory.
The Peach Bowl between Georgia and Ohio State lived up to the standard set by the Fiesta Bowl, as Georgia clawed its way back from a pair of 14-point deficits (first in the second quarter, and then again in the fourth quarter). The Bulldogs ultimately completed the come-back and won 42-41 in the final minute of the game.
Georgia (1) vs. TCU (3)
ESPN - 7:30 p.m.
As you might expect from the last two teams standing, this game will feature some of the top players in the upcoming draft at almost any position. We’ll have several excellent match-ups that are sure to make this game “must-watch” scouting tape throughout the Draft Process.
While Georgia wasn’t the top-ranked team in the nation for the entire season, they’ve been widely considered the most talented team in college football. That said, TCU are no slouches themselves and boast the top receiver prospect in the country.
We pretty much have to start with the match-up between TCU’s Quentin Johnston and Georgia CB Kelee Ringo. Johnston has a rare blend of size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), acceleration, speed, and agility for the wide receiver position. Ringo, meanwhile, has good size himself (6-foot-2, 205 pounds), is a great athlete, and has the versatility to excel in both press-man and zone schemes.
On the inside, Giants fans will want to watch whenever TCU guard Steve Avila and Georgia DL Jalen Carter are going against one another. Carter might be the single best football player at any position in the upcoming draft, while Avila is one of the best interior offensive linemen. TCU will need a strong outing by Avila if they want any hope of winning, and a good performance could be a huge boost to his draft stock.
Both quarterbacks, TCU’s Max Duggan and Georgia’s Stetson Bennet, are worth watching as well. Neither will be reckoned among the top passers in the draft class, either could catch a team’s eye. Bennett has the look of a player who is a 10-year backup around the NFL and a coach in the locker room. Duggan, meanwhile, flashes the kind of mental toughness and ability that coaches want to take a chance on as a developmental prospect.
Players to watch
- Max Duggan (QB)
- Quentin Johnston (WR)
- Kendre Miller (RB)
- Steve Avila (iOL)
- Dylan Horton (DL)
- Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson (CB)
- Josh Newton (CB)
- Noah Daniels (CB)
- Stetson Bennett (QB)
- Broderick Jones (OT) *Red-shirt Sophomore
- Warren McClendon (OT)
- Sedrick Van Pran (OC) *RS Sophomore
- Darnell Washington (TE)
- Kenny McIntosh (RB)
- Jalen Carter (iDL)
- Kelee Ringo (CB) *RS Sophomore
- Christopher Smith II (S)
- Tykee Smith (S)
As this is the biggest game of the year and so many future NFL players are on the field, we’ll take the time to go over the injury report. Several of the biggest prospects make an appearance, and it’s worth knowing who is matched up against whom. As of this writing, Georgia edge defender Nolan Smith is the top prospect to be ruled out.
- RB Kendre Miller (knee)
- LB Thomas Armstrong (knee)
- LB Marcel Brooks (knee)
- WR Quincy Brown (ankle)
- Jalen Carter (ankle)
- LB Robert Beal (cramps)
- WR Adonai Mitchell (ankle)
- WR Ladd McConkey (knee)
- TE Darnell Washington (ankle)
- OT Warren McClendon (knee)
- LB Chaz Chambliss (knee)
- LB Marvin Jones (unknown)
- DB Dan Jackson (foot)
- EDGE/LB Nolan Smith (pectoral)