We’re gonna keep this short, sweet, simple, and to the point. Georgia beats Michigan in the orange bowl by keeping Michigan’s DE’s away from ball, not turning the ball over more than once, having success (5+ yards) on first downs, and controlling the LOS which would keep Michigan’s rushing attack from controlling the game. After watching film of this Michigan defense, it’s easy to see they are coached well and have extremely good athletes on that side of the ball.
Let’s start by pointing out Heisman finalist Aidan Hutchinson, who is as good as it gets in the country for any defensive player. If UGA can figure out creative ways to keep him out of the game and away from the ball, Georgia’s offense will have plenty of success. Whether that’s throwing quick screens or passes to get the ball out of Stetson’s hands quickly, or using the TE’s to block and release to help the tackles, I’m sure Monken has a plan to avoid being eaten up all night by Michigan’s edge rushers, and only time will tell if they succeed.
To the turning the ball over point, Stetson just simply can’t make stupid decisions like we saw vs Alabama in the SEC Championship. If it’s not there, throw it away, don’t force the football anywhere. It’s that simple, and of course the defense forcing a few turnovers would help as well.
Controlling the LOS: it’s no secret that UGA’s front seven is arguably the best in the country. And personally, I don’t think Michigan’s offense is powerful enough to go 75 yards down the field every drive against the best front seven in the country, for 60 minutes straight. If Kirby, Lanning and company keeps the defense simplified, unlike what they did against Alabama where they tried to do too much, UGA’s defense will have plenty of success. I haven’t watched Michigan much this year, but from what I’ve seen, you cannot convince me that Michigan will win a football game in which they are forced to throw the ball to catch up. If UGA gets ahead by 10 points, this game is over. We have to start fast and keep that foot on the pedal all night long.
Prediction: Georgia 31, Michigan: 21