New Year’s 6 Bowl Preview – Part 2

New Year’s 6 Bowl Preview – Part 2
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You can see part 1 of this College Football New Year’s 6 Bowl Games Preview here.

 CFP Semi-Final – Peach Bowl: Ohio State v Georgia

Image Credit: Buckeyes Wire

The 2nd CFP semi-final sees the No.1 Georgia Bulldogs take on the No.4 Ohio State Buckeyes.

 For Ohio State this game represents a second chance. After their final regular season loss to arch-rival Michigan, they appeared to be out of the playoffs. However, a surprise defeat by USC at the hands of Utah, gave the Buckeyes that all-important 4th ranking place. As such they have nothing to lose, without the added pressure and buoyed by having that second chance they could be very dangerous. 

 Their offence has been spectacular, scoring over 40 points in all but 2 regular season games, and most worryingly for other team’s defences, they are multi-dimensional. QB CJ Stroud has been exceptional throwing for 3,340 yards and 37 TD’s, in other years he may well have won a Heisman. The strength of the Buckeyes squad is demonstrated by the fact that key WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba has been injured for most of the season but has been replaced by Marvin Harrison Jr and Emeka Egbuka, without any loss in production, they both have over 1,000 yards and 21 TD’s between them. Similarly, star RB TreVeyon Henderson is also out, but backup Miyan Williams has been equally effective. In summary, the Buckeyes have one of the most talented and multi-dimensional offences in the country and are probably as good as Georgia has seen all season.

 On defence, the Buckeyes have been known to give up some big plays – see the game against Michigan, where they gave up 4 plays of over 68 yards, yet Georgia’s offence is known for being more conservative, and not producing many big plays. Star of the defence is LB Tommy Eichenberg, but look out for Sophomore DE J T Tuimoloau, who if unchecked, can do it all. 

 Georgia will have the advantage of a practical home game (the match takes place in Atlanta) and the experience of being in this position last year, as they look to repeat. This season they have been clinical and ruthless, but without getting as much attention as last year, and without being as dominating.

 The offence is led by QB Stetson Bennett, who from 2 years ago being a backup, has become one of the most consistent winners in the game. His stats and performances may not be as sensational as some (Caleb Williams, Max Duggan, Hendon Hooker) but he runs the offence to perfection. His primary target is TE Brock Bowers, who is one of the best TEs in the game, and with the lethal combination of both size and speed, is a nightmare for any defence. WR Ladd McConkey is an equable reliable target. On the ground, Georgia features 2 RBs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton, who have shared the work and combined for 17 TDs.

 As per last year, Georgia’s defence has been its strength and ranks 1st in rushing defence. The leader of the defence is DL Jalen Carter, who is now fully fit, and showing why he is certain to be an early NFL draft choice. In the secondary star, man is DB Kelee Ringo, his battle with Marvin Harrison could be pivotal. 

 Ohio State will make the most of the second opportunity they have been given, and their offence will give the Georgia defence its toughest test yet. However, the Bulldogs know how to win, and have home-field advantage.

 Georgia by 3

 Cotton Bowl: Tulane v USC 

Image Credit: NBC

One of the most fun and intriguing aspects of the New Year’s 6 bowls, is that a place is always guaranteed for a Group of 5 teams, who are always keen to produce an upset, this year represented by Tulane.

 This season has been a miracle for Tulane, finishing 11-2 and winning the AAC, after last year going 2-10. Their success has been primarily focused on an impressive defence, that has the incredible knack of stopping teams short or getting that vital turnover. They are led by LBs Dorian Williams and Darius Hodges who have 10 sacks between them.

 The star man on offence is do-it-all RB Tyjae Spears, probably the best offensive player in the Group of 5. His special speed and quick moves have combined for 1,376 yards, and 15 TDs. QB Michael Pratt is that dangerous combination of being a dual-threat QB, passing for 25 TDs and also rushing for a further 10.

 USC have also had a massive improvement from last season, as the Lincoln Riley era begins, and would have been in the playoffs, but for a shock defeat in the Pac-12 title game to Utah, who inflicted their only 2 losses of the season. Their offence has been spectacular, led by Heisman winner Caleb Williams, whose injury during the title game, was a major contributing factor to the defeat. Wiliams is expected to be fit for this game and will be eager to reproduce his Heisman form, although key WR Jordan Addison is likely to miss the game through injury. 

 The USC defence has at times been suspect, and only saved by its ability to create impromptu turnovers, they lead the country in turnover margin.

 The key to this game will be Caleb Willams fitness, assuming he plays and is at least 90% fit, his magic should be enough for the Trojans

 USC by 6

Rose Bowl: Penn State v Utah

Image Credit: USA Today

The Rose Bowl is rightly referred to as the Grandaddy of the bowls, as this is where the whole bowl concept standard, this year’s participants may not be the most glamorous but are sure to give us a close and entertaining game.

 Penn State are the third best team in the Big 10, and due to being in the same division as Ohio State and Michigan the only 2 teams to beat the Nittany Lions this year, don’t get the recognition they deserve. 

 Penn State’s offence is led by 5-year senior QB Sean Clifford who is solid if not spectacular and will be looking to end his career with a win, although it might be interesting if highly rated Freshman Drew Allar gets any game time. The rushing attack also features another two outstanding Freshmen in RB Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen, these three could be quite a feature in forthcoming seasons. 

 Penn State’s defence is solid, only 3 teams have scored more than 16 points on them, and as a team, they have an impressive 37 sacks and 12 INTs.

 As Pac-12 Champions, Utah are back in the Rose Bowl for a 2nd consecutive year, they will be full of confidence having beaten USC in the title game. 

On offence they are led by QB Cameron Rising, whose stats and style of play is very similar to his counterpart Clifford, his one main advantage is that he has probably the best offensive player of either team in TE Dalton Kincaid, who has made huge improvements this year and is one of the best in the sport. 

 The Utes’ defence has given up some big plays, but has also improved over the season, and finished by limiting the outstanding USC offence to just 24 points, which should give them plenty of confidence. 

 The key to this game could be how the Utes defence is able to handle the Nittany Lions’ powerful rushing game. As a proven winner, it is hard to imagine Cameron Rising finishing on a loss.

 Utah by 3

Thanks to Andy Normile for producing this College Football preview. We are thrilled to have him on board and you can see more of his work here in the Future!

If you enjoy Andy’s writing find more from him here.

Feature Image Credit: UGA Wire

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