April 20, 2024

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Byte Class Technology & Sports Update

2023 national championship: Georgia, Stetson Bennett overpower TCU for most dominant victory of title game era

2023 national championship: Georgia, Stetson Bennett overpower TCU for most dominant victory of title game era

LOS ANGELES — No. 1 Georgia won the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship in record-setting fashion Monday night, overpowering No. 3 TCU in a gaudy 65-7 victory that marked the most dominant title-game performance in the sport’s history. The win, which featured the Bulldogs scoring the most points in any FBS national title game, makes Georgia the first back-to-back national champions of the CFP era and first at all since Alabama in 2011-12.

The Bulldogs (15-0) were balanced on offense, scoring on every possession in the first half and 10 of 12 possessions overall (including the victory formation to end the game). They amassed a whopping 589 yards of offense (averaging 8.2 yards per play), while their defense held the Horned Frogs (13-2) to just 188 yards with three turnovers, five sacks and nine tackles for loss.

Georgia’s 58-point margin of the victory also stands as the most in any FBS bowl game.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV was a shining star with 304 yards and six total touchdowns (four passing, two rushing). He took some individual records with him as he was celebrated by a curtain call early in the fourth quarter. Bennett tied LSU QB Joe Burrow for the most touchdowns responsible (six) in any BCS or CFP national title game.

The domination started immediately as Georgia forced three-and-out on TCU’s opening possession only for Bennett to rush for a 21-yard touchdown on his team’s first possession. Three plays later, TCU wide receiver Derius Davis was stripped by Chris Smith, and the Dawgs turned the mistake into quick points with a field goal. The Frogs finally offered a response as QB Max Duggan hooked up with Davis for 60 yards; Duggan ran in a touchdown to cut TCU’s deficit to 10-7 and provide some belief that the game would be less lopsided than it appeared in the first quarter. 

However, what followed before halftime — from that 10-7 score onward — was one punt and two interceptions for TCU resulting in four consecutive touchdown drives for Georgia. In less than 20 minutes of game time, a 3-point deficit between two of college football’s top teams turned into a 38-7 rout heading into the locker rooms.

The second half was a slow march to crowning the kings of college football on the game’s biggest stage. Georgia extended its lead to 52-7 by the end of the third quarter and quickly went ahead 65-7 with two early fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Beyond Bennett’s curtain call, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart executed similar send-offs via called timeouts for numerous other stars, many of whom are headed into the 2023 NFL Draft after the game.

Winning the title in such dominant fashion, Georgia has opened up all of the discussions regarding a new dynasty in college football and brought to the surface comparisons between Smart and his mentor, Alabama coach Nick Saban. It is Saban with more national championships (seven) than Smart (two), but Georgia has won 29 of its last 30 games and stands 72-10 since the start of the 2017 season with three SEC titles and five SEC East division crowns.

As it was after the 2021 season, Smart’s Dawgs end 2022 atop the college football world; Monday’s dominant performance in is only a reminder how much work has to be done for the rest of the sport to catch up with Georgia.