The Michigan Wolverines are just a few days away from their first appearance in the CFP and will have the opportunity to continue their incredible season.
The Georgia Bulldogs are returning for their second appearance in the CFP, with their last coming in the 2017-18 season. Georgia seeks to prove its performance in the SEC Championship wasn’t reflective of what it is as a team.
Georgia has one of the best defenses in the country, allowing opponents only 9.5 points on average this season. The Bulldogs are ranked second against rushing offenses, limiting opponents to 81.7 rushing yards a game. Their focus will be on stopping Michigan’s stellar running back duo. While defenses throughout the season have worked to actively eliminate Michigan’s ground game, the Wolverines have found success through other means.
Georgia has to force Michigan off the field and contain its explosive offense. It’s a tall order, but after falling to Alabama in a similar fashion, they hope to not make the same mistakes twice. What do you think is Michigan’s greatest threat?
Michigan has as much offensive output as the Bulldogs. Both teams average more than 400 yards of offense this season and score more than 35 points a game. The Wolverines are fully capable of going toe to toe with Georgia, but their greatest advantage lies in adjusting to what their opponents are actively trying to control. They’ll continue moving the chains with their running backs, but they also have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep the Bulldogs on their toes.
Michigan’s defense is as much a contributor to their success as any other position group. The Bulldogs rely on their passing threat to elevate them to wins. This plays right into Michigan’s hand as getting to the quarterback and breaking up passes is Michigan’s forte, which will force Georgia off the field and limit scoring opportunities. What do you think will be Michigan’s greatest advantage against Georgia?
This game against Michigan will be the indicator of whether or not Georgia is up to snuff and truly belongs in the playoff. The Bulldogs went undefeated through the regular season with their highest graded win against a top 10 (at the time) Clemson. None of the other teams Georgia defeated were playoff caliber.
The Wolverines were the underdog at home against No. 2 Ohio State in their last game of the regular season. They played to their strengths and came away with a win. They were playing some of their best football at the end of the season and it paid off substantially. They have multiple tactful advantages to take down Georgia, so are the current betting odds correct? Does Michigan have what it takes to beat Georgia?
The Maize and Blue have a daunting task in defeating Georgia, but the Bulldogs are beatable. They play heavy in the trenches and actively stifle their opponent’s run game. Michigan is fully capable of playing tough up front and matching Georgia blow for blow, but will Georgia be able to wear down the Wolverines? The Bulldogs best advantage lies in being able to do this. This will allow them to control the tempo of the game while forcing Michigan’s offense off the field. Forcing Michigan’s defense on the field could prove to be a double edged sword though as they’ve scored several touchdowns throughout the season. How do you think Michigan will fare against Georgia?
The Orange Bowl is approaching quick. Current predictions place Michigan with the second-worst odds to win the championship. With a 0.02% chance to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season, the Wolverines are no strangers to those who doubt them.
What will Michigan have to do to ensure it heads back to Indianapolis for the second time this season? Who will be the major contributors for the Wolverines? Share with us your thoughts on Michigan’s chances in the Orange Bowl in the comments below!