Georgia Routs Michigan in Dominant Win, Will Play Alabama in 2021 CFP Championship | Bleacher Report
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Georgia is one game away from its first national championship since 1980 after a 34-11 win over Michigan in the 2021 Orange Bowl.
Stetson Bennett was nearly flawless Friday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, throwing three touchdown passes for the Bulldogs. The defense held up its end of the bargain, forcing three turnovers for what became an easy win in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Even with Michigan entering as the No. 2 seed, it was No. 3 seeded Georgia that dominated from the start with an offensive explosion in the first half:
The Wolverines couldn’t match the success and were held to their lowest point total of the season.
It sets up a rematch of the SEC Championship Game for the national title as Georgia (13-1) will try to avenge its 41-24 loss to Alabama earlier this month. The Crimson Tide defeated Cincinnati in the first semifinal Friday.
Michigan (12-2) was making its first appearance in the College Football Playoff, but the run was short-lived as the squad’s biggest stars were held in check.
Stetson Bennett, QB, UGA: 20-30, 310 passing yards, 3 TDs
James Cook, RB, UGA: 6 carries, 32 rushing yards, 4 catches, 109 receiving yards, 1 TD
Brock Bowers, WR, UGA: 5 catches, 55 receiving yards, 1 TD
Cade McNamara, QB, MICH: 11-19, 106 passing yards, 2 INTs
J.J. McCarthy, QB, MICH: 7-17, 131 passing yards, 1 TD
Hassan Haskins, RB, MICH: 9 carries, 39 rushing yards
Stetson Bennett Ignites Georgia Offense
After getting plenty of criticism from the SEC Championship Game, Stetson Bennett silenced doubters with an outstanding showing in the Orange Bowl.
Bennett was in complete control of the game and produced beautiful throws to key the Georgia attack.
Though many expected a run-first attack from the Bulldogs, it was Bennett who stole the show:
Georgia also got creative offensively as running back Kenny McIntosh threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter.
It gave Michigan even more to think about as it tried to slow down this offense.
Georgia slowed its production in the second half, but Bennett didn’t provide much opportunity for a comeback thanks to an efficient, mistake-free showing in the most important game of his career to date.
If the senior can repeat this performance against Alabama, the Bulldogs will be difficult to beat.
Georgia Wins Battle of Highly Touted Defenses
Michigan had an elite defense this season, tied for fourth in the country with just 16.1 points allowed per game. Heisman Trophy runner-up Aidan Hutchinson keyed one of the best pass-rushes in college football.
Of course, Georgia was even better (NCAA-best 9.5 points allowed per game), and it demonstrated its prowess throughout Friday’s game.
The Bulldogs thrived at all levels of the defense and made game-changing plays.
It was hard not to be impressed by the team’s effort against a quality opponent.
The unit allowed just 3.1 rushing yards per carry from Michigan while quarterbacks Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy were under pressure all game long. The Wolverines only found the end zone in the final five minutes, with the outcome no longer in question.
On the other side of the field, Michigan’s defense had a hard time stopping either the run or the pass.
Georgia had a solid game plan to limit Hutchinson’s impact:
It kept the All-American relatively quiet after starring all season long.
The cornerbacks also couldn’t match up in man coverage as Georgia had one explosive play after another.
It let the SEC squad build an insurmountable lead on the way to an Orange Bowl victory.