The Georgia Bulldogs have won the national championship for the second time.
Stetson Bennett passed for 304 yards and six touchdowns as the Bulldogs defeated TCU 65-7 in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday.
Georgia, an unbeatable SEC behemoth and NFL talent factory, is the first team to win back-to-back national titles in the CFP era, and the first repeat champs since Alabama (2011-12).
TCU 7, Georgia 65
TCU’s first drive ended in a three-and-out, and Georgia wasted no time driving into the end zone on their first possession. They covered 57 yards in five plays, capped by Bennett’s 21-yard touchdown.
Misfortune also struck TCU’s second drive, which did not go as anticipated. On a short run, senior receiver Derius Davis mishandled the ball, and the Bulldogs recovered. Georgia capitalised on the fumble with a field goal, increasing the reigning champions’ lead to 10-0.
The Frogs’ subsequent effort was all on redemption. QB Max Duggan found a wide-open Davis for a 60-yard gain late in the first quarter to move the sticks and put TCU deep in the red zone.
Dawgs on a tear
TCU’s defence came up short on the Bulldogs’ following possession, as Georgia wideout Ladd McConkey caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to make it 17-7.
Georgia’s 17 points in the first quarter are the most in the CFP National Championship Game’s history.
Bennett scored his second running touchdown of the game halfway through the second quarter, this time on a 6-yard run to finish off a powerful 11-play drive and put Georgia up 24-7.
Bennett is the first quarterback since Vince Young in 2006 to have multiple running touchdowns in the championship game.
TCU’s next drive was derailed when Duggan was intercepted by Bulldogs defensive back Javon Bullard, ending yet another Frogs possession early.
Duggan threw two interceptions for the second consecutive week, after throwing only four total picks in his first 13 games for TCU this season.
The Bulldogs then scored their fourth touchdown of the game, this time on a short sprint by Kendall Milton late in the second quarter. Georgia quickly built a commanding 31-7 lead against TCU.
Georgia’s third takeaway of the first half came on TCU’s next drive. The Bulldogs promptly converted it into points, due to a stunning goal by Adonai Mitchell with less than 30 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Dawgs led 38-7 at halftime, the most points ever scored in the first half of a CFP title game, beating the previous mark of 35 points established by Alabama vs. Ohio State in the 2021 championship game.
No way out.
The Bulldogs began the second half the same way they concluded the first – with a goal. Early in the third quarter, star tight end Brock Bowers scored from 22 yards out to increase Georgia’s advantage to 45-7.
Meanwhile, Bullard, who had two interceptions in the first half for Georgia, was ruled out for the rest of the game with an apparent shoulder injury.
Bennett sealed the deal with a 14-yard throw to McConkey late in the third quarter, his fourth passing touchdown and sixth total score of the night. Bennett has six total touchdowns in the CFP title game, tying the record established by then-LSU QB Joe Burrow in the 2020 championship game against Clemson.
Georgia led by a massive 52-7 heading into the fourth quarter, as Bennett exited the game after finishing 18-for-25 for 304 yards. His departure was met with a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd at SoFi Stadium.
Following then, backup quarterback Carson Beck entered the game for the Bulldogs. Then, in the fourth quarter, freshman running back Branson Robinson scored twice to increase Georgia’s advantage to 65-7 halfway through the game and seal the victory.
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