No. 3 Georgia blasts No. 2 Michigan, earns title-game rematch with Tide
Stetson Bennett passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns and No. 3 Georgia advanced to the College Football Playoff title game with a dominating 34-11 win over No. 2 Michigan on Friday night in a national semifinal at Miami Gardens, Fla.
Derion Kendrick intercepted two passes as the Bulldogs (13-1) turned the Orange Bowl into a one-sided contest in the first half and were never threatened.
Georgia will meet No. 1 Alabama in the CFP final on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis. The Crimson Tide walloped the Bulldogs 41-24 in the Southeastern Conference title game on Dec. 4, Georgia’s lone loss.
Bennett completed 21 of 31 passes and threw scoring aerials to Brock Bowers, Jermaine Burton and James Cook (three receptions, 99 yards). Kenny McIntosh tossed a halfback option touchdown pass to Adonai Mitchell, and Georgia accumulated four sacks.
Cade McNamara completed 11 of 19 passes for 106 yards and two interceptions for Michigan (12-2), while backup J.J. McCarthy was 7 of 17 for 131 yards and one touchdown. Heisman Trophy runner-up Aidan Hutchinson had four tackles, with one going for a loss.
Georgia rolled up 515 yards of total offense to Michigan’s 325.
The Bulldogs set the tone for the rout with two touchdowns in the first 10-plus minutes.
Bennett capped a game-opening, seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 9-yard scoring pass to Bowers.
Georgia dipped into its bag of tricks on its second possession as McIntosh took the handoff and delivered a strike to Mitchell for an 18-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 with 4:41 remaining in the period.
Jack Podlesny kicked a 43-yard field goal to boost the lead to 17 early in the second quarter. Jake Moody connected on a 36-yard field goal to get the Wolverines on the board with 7:16 left in the half before Podlesny tacked on a 28-yard field goal to make it 20-3 with 3:50 to play.
Two-plus minutes later, Burton badly beat Michigan cornerback Vincent Gray for a 57-yard scoring pass from Bennett as the Bulldogs led 27-3 at the break. Georgia more than tripled the Wolverines’ total offense in the half — 330 to 101.
Michigan had a scoring opportunity early in the third quarter, but McNamara’s throw to the end zone was intercepted by Kendrick with 10:02 left.
The Bulldogs increased their advantage to 34-3 when Bennett threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Cook with 11:11 left in the contest.
The Wolverines finally found the end zone with 4:25 left when McCarthy threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andrel Anthony. A.J. Henning scored on an end-around on the two-point conversion play.
–Field Level Media