The 9th college football playoff kicks off on December 31, with the premier primetime matchup being #1 Georgia and #4 Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Kicking off at 8 pm ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the game should generate high ratings, as elite Big Ten teams typically attract large national audiences in big games.
Ohio State Buckeyes Journey
The Ohio State Buckeyes rolled off 11 straight wins to open the season, with an average margin of victory of nearly 30 points. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes suffered a resounding defeat from the Wolverines, losing 45 to 23. The loss temporarily knocked the Buckeyes out of the playoff picture, until USC lost their conference championship game, which resulted in the 11-1 Buckeyes being awarded the #4 seed.
Georgia Bulldogs Journey
The defending champion Georgia Bulldogs are the new powerhouse of college football and appear to be the team to beat for years to come. This year, the Bulldogs completed a dominant 13-0 record, culminating in a dominating 20-point victory in the SEC championship game against the LSU Tigers. They are favored to not only win the Peach Bowl but to repeat as champions as well.
How to Watch the Game
Fans can tune in to watch the game on the ESPN cable channel or ESPN-related streaming service. Other ESPN cable channels such as ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU typically provide a broadcast of the game as well, featuring hometown analysts or important sports figures and celebrities. However, the specifics for the specialty broadcasts have not been finalized yet.
Tickets for the Chick-file-A Peach Bowl can be obtained through a variety of online ticket exchange sites including stubhub.com, ticketmaster.com, seatgeak.com, and the TicketNetwork.
Ohio State - Ryan Day
Since taking over for Urban Meyer at the start of the 2019 season, Ryan Day has amassed an incredible 42-5 record. He has now led the Buckeyes to the college football playoff 3 times, including an appearance in the 2021 National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Georgia - Kirby Smart
After a widely successful stint as the Alabama defensive coordinator at Alabama, Kirby Smart took over for the Bulldogs at the start of the 2016 season. Although the Bulldogs were a solid program up to that point, they had never been able to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the SEC. Within a few years, Smart transformed the Bulldogs into the class of the SEC, eventually winning a national championship last season.
Players to Watch
C.J. STROUD (QB) - For Buckeyes fans, it all starts and ends with C.J. Stroud, who was once again be in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Stroud had another incredible season, passing for 3,340 yards and 37 TDs, and will need to have a monster game for Ohio State to pull off the upset.
MIYAN WILLIAMS(RB) - Although the Ohio State passing attack often gets all the attention, they will ultimately have to be able to have a balanced offensive attack to defeat Georgia. Leading rusher Miyan Williams sported an impressive 6.5-yard-per-carry average this season and needs to get at least 15 to 20 touches during the game.
STETSON BENNET (QB) - Although Stetson Bennet may not have the cache of C.J. Stroud, he is still a great quarterback in his own right, passing for 3,425 yards and 20 TDs this year. As long as Bennet doesn't turn the ball over multiple times, he should be able to lead Georgia to a victory.
BROCK BOWERS (TE) - Brock Bowers is the most reliable receiver that the Bulldogs have, leading them in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving TDs. Ohio State's secondary has been susceptible to deep threats and Bowers should have many chances to make big plays on seam routes up the field.
Although the game will be close most of the way, Georgia is simply a better overall team than Ohio State. Ohio State's defense in particular is of great concern as it has slowly regressed since the departure of Urban Meyer a few seasons ago.
FINAL SCORE: GEORGIA 34 - OHIO STATE 23
College Football Playoff: Can Ohio State beat Georgia? TCU over Michigan? | Number One CFB Show