The University of Georgia needed more than 40 years to ascend to the summit of the college football world.
Now the Bulldogs won’t budge from the top.
Becoming the first program to win consecutive national championships in the College Football Playoff era that began in 2014, top-seeded Georgia obliterated third-seeded TCU 65-7 Monday night at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Monday’s title was very different from last season’s crown, when the Bulldogs finally got over the hump against imposing Alabama by turning an 18-13 deficit with 10 minutes remaining into a 33-18 triumph.
Last season’s championship was Georgia’s first since the 1980 season.
“We had a really aggressive plan and didn’t hold anything back,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told ESPN. “We wanted our kids to play without fear, and all year I told them that we weren’t getting hunted. We were doing the hunting.”
This season’s Bulldogs joined the 2019 LSU Tigers as the only Southeastern Conference teams to post a 15-0 season.
Georgia sixth-year senior quarterback Stetson Bennett capped his rags-to-riches journey by completing 18 of 25 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns, with the former walk-on also carrying three times for 39 yards and two scores. Bennett was named the game’s MVP, though Bulldogs sophomore tight end Brock Bowers was a stellar candidate as well after amassing seven receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown.
“We knew against their defense that my legs would be a part of it,” Bennett said. “I didn’t get touched on both runs.”
TCU’s first possession of the game began with a procedure penalty and its second drive ended in a fumble, which helped enable Georgia to pounce for a 10-0 lead. A 60-yard pass from Max Duggan to Derius Davis as the Bulldogs busted coverage set up Duggan’s 2-yard touchdown run that pulled the Horned Frogs within 10-7 at the 4:45 mark of the first quarter, but Georgia was celebrating two minutes later when Bennett found Ladd McConkey all alone for a 37-yard scoring strike.
Bennett reached the end zone from 21 yards out on Georgia’s first possession, and by the time he strolled in for a 6-yard touchdown to culminate an 11-play, 92-yard drive with 8:30 before the half, the Bulldogs were cruising at 24-7. Georgia increased its advantage to 38-7 at halftime, racking up 371 yards and averaging 9.3 yards a snap.
“We had things go about as bad as they could go in the first half,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. “We turned the ball over three times and gave up a bunch of big plays. It seemed like our guys were a little bit wide-eyed.”
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