No. 1 Georgia overwhelms No. 3 TCU to go back-to-back

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Stetson Bennett threw two landing passes and ran for 2 scores within the first half as No. 1 Georgia demolished No. 3 TCU 65-7 Monday night time to develop into the primary staff to win consecutive Faculty Soccer Playoff nationwide championships.

The Bulldogs (15-0) are the primary repeat champs since Alabama went back-to-back a decade in the past, they usually left little question that they’ve changed the Crimson Tide as the brand new bullies on the block.

“We needed our youngsters to play with out concern,” Georgia coach Kirby Good stated. “All yr I informed them, I stated, ‘We ain’t getting hunted guys, we’re doing the searching, and searching season’s virtually over. We have solely acquired another probability to hunt,’ and we hunted tonight.”

The Bulldogs have been relentless whereas efficiently defending the nationwide title they received a yr earlier, leaping on the Horned Frogs early and by no means letting up as Bennett accounted for the 4 first-half touchdowns and 6 total (4 passing, two speeding). Bennett accomplished 18 of 25 passes total for 304 yards whereas additionally speeding thrice for an additional 39 yards, piling up these numbers within the first three quarters earlier than getting pulled from the sport early within the fourth.

Alongside the best way, Bennett, the one-time walk-on who needed to go away Georgia and are available again after a stint in junior faculty, handed Aaron Murray for probably the most passing yards in a single season in this system’s storied historical past. Bennett additionally matched former LSU star and present NFL standout Joe Burrow’s CFP file of six complete touchdowns in a championship sport.

TCU (13-2), the primary Cinderella staff of the playoff period, by no means had an opportunity towards the Georgia juggernaut. In contrast to Michigan within the Fiesta Bowl semifinal, the Bulldogs wouldn’t succumb to the Hypnotoads’ spell.

Georgia turned in one of many all-time beatdowns in a sport that determined a nationwide title, paying homage to Nebraska operating over Florida by 38 within the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, USC’s 36-point rout of Oklahoma within the 2005 Orange Bowl and Alabama’s 28-point BCS championship blowout over Notre Dame in 2013.

However this was worse.

An excessive amount of expertise. Too well-coached. Two straight titles for the ‘Dawgs.

No staff has ever scored extra factors in a nationwide championship sport, relationship to the start of the BCS in 1998.

With 13:25 left within the fourth quarter, Good known as timeout in the midst of an offensive drive so Bennett may exit to hero’s ovation within the closing sport of his circuitous faculty profession.

“That was particular,” stated Bennett, who completed 18 for 25 for 304 yards and 4 landing passes. “I am going to keep in mind that for the remainder of my life.”

Georgia offensive linemen have been snacking on hen wings on the sideline as the sport wound down. Then, for the second straight yr, the Bulldogs have been showered by confetti and offered a championship trophy.

Good is now 81-15 in his first seven seasons at Georgia with two nationwide titles. His mentor, Alabama coach Nick Saban, was 79-15 with three titles in his first seven seasons with the Tide.

The Bulldogs have been a special form of dominant this season: not fairly as stingy on protection, however extra explosive on offense.

Earlier in Good’s tenure at his alma mater, Georgia followers apprehensive about whether or not the previous defensive coordinator for Saban would be capable to construct an offense to match this high-scoring period of school soccer.

Beneath third-year coordinator Todd Monken, the Bulldogs have develop into prolific, inventive and various offensively. They picked aside TCU’s 3-3-5 protection from all angles.

Versatile tight finish Brock Bowers had seven catches for 152 yards. Receiver Ladd McConkey caught two TDs. Georgia ran for 254 yards with seven gamers gaining at the very least 10.

The Bulldogs scored all six occasions they touched the ball within the first half. Twice Bennett ran it in himself; the previous walk-on turned two-time nationwide champion was barely touched on the 2 quarterback keepers.

He hit a wide-open McConkey for a 34-yard rating within the first quarter, a superbly executed play out of a bunched formation that had TCU’s defensive backs in disarray. Bennett’s 22-yard rating to Adonai Mitchell was a better diploma of problem, dropped in over a defender who had tight protection.

It regarded so much just like the Bennett-to-Mitchell landing that gave Georgia a fourth-quarter lead it could not relinquish towards Alabama in final yr’s CFP title sport.

Georgia vanquished the Tide to interrupt a 41-year nationwide title drought final season, avenging its solely regular-season loss within the course of.

There was no such drama towards the upstart Horned Frogs.

This yr the Bulldogs by no means needed to fear about Alabama. They rolled via the SEC, survived Ohio State in a basic CFP semifinal after which emphatically stamped themselves as a burgeoning dynasty with an ideal season.

Bennett hit Bowers for a 22-yard rating with 10:52 left within the third quarter to make it 45-7. The sophomore from Northern California signaled landing whereas mendacity on the turf at Sofi Stadium. Bennett flashed a large grin as he tapped helmets with considered one of his linemen.

Georgia’s well-known bulldog mascot UGA couldn’t make cross-country journey to root on his staff, nevertheless it nonetheless felt somewhat like Sanford Stadium in SoCal.

Lots of the TCU followers cleared out with greater than half the fourth quarter left, selecting to enterprise out right into a wet and chilly night time slightly than watch any extra of the huge mismatch.

Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan threw two first-half interceptions within the closing sport of his roller-coaster TCU profession.

A four-year starter who by no means performed in a bowl earlier than this season, Duggan led TCU on one of the crucial inconceivable runs in faculty soccer historical past.

Unranked after a shedding 2021 season and picked seventh within the Large 12 for Sonny Dykes’ first yr as coach, the Frogs received 9 video games by 10 or fewer factors. They have been inside a victory of this system’s first nationwide title since 1938.

However Duggan apparently had not seen a protection like Georgia’s, which proved simply as dominant as its offense. Defensive again Javon Bullard got here up with each Georgia interceptions of Duggan within the first half, and likewise had the fumble recoverry attributable to fellow defensive again Christoper Smith that arrange the early UGA area objective.

Georgia later added yet one more Bennett TD toss of 14 yards to McConkey within the third quarter. McConkey’s second TD seize of the night time made it 52-7 with a full quarter nonetheless left to play.

Early within the fourth, Bennett was changed by Carson Beck at quarterback. Beck largely handed off to UGA operating backs throughout his stint on the helm, which twice resulted in freshman operating again Branson Robinson reaching the tip zone for add-on landing runs of 1 yard and 19 yards, respectively.