College Football and College Basketball Writer
College Football & Soccer Analyst
The College Football Playoffs will be played on Saturday with two semi-finals.
Entering the defending champions of Georgia with clear plans for a repeat, undefeated since last season’s SEC championship game.
Two Big 10 powers are also there, one undefeated (13-0 Michigan State) and one (12-1 Ohio State) with just one loss to its bitter rival.
Then of course there are these last four Cinderellas, the 12-1 TCU. This is the only team to reach the CFP after joining last season’s Michigan team and starting the season unranked.
Here’s everything you need to know about the college football playoffs.
fiesta bowl: No. 3 TCU Against No.2 Michigan
where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
when: Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Michigan 7.5 (per FOX bet)
peach bowl: No. 4 Ohio Against No.1 Georgia
where: Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta
when: Saturday, 8:00 PM ET
Odds: Georgia 6.5
fiesta bowl key
Who must be the star for Michigan to win?
Season-ending knee injury sustained by tailback Blake Colm opens door for backup Donovan Edwards to justify the five-star rating he received from West Bloomfield High School as an in-state prospect. Edwards had the best game of his career against Ohio State, where he scored 22 times for 216 yards and scored twice. Both were shocking long-range touchdowns that helped Michigan pull away from the Buckeyes.
A week later in the Big Ten title game, Edwards tallied 185 yards on 25 carries and scored another touchdown, convincing the coaching staff that he could be the centerpiece of an offensive game plan. I was allowed to. That he navigated both of these games with a cast protecting his injured right hand/wrist made the level of production even more impressive. Still playing the cast when practice went to, there’s no question he’ll be in the spotlight on Saturday. Expected to lean into the ground game against the TCU run defense that is out there.
Who must be the star for TCU to win?
Few teams have matched what TCU has achieved in downfield passing offense this season. The Horned Frogs, led by quarterback Max Duggan, completed at least his 50 yards 13 times.Main target is wideout Quentin Johnstona potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, is someone TCU needs to dazzle if it wants to advance to the national championship.
At 6 feet 4 inches and 215 pounds, Johnston has caught 53 passes for 903 yards and scored five touchdowns this season, spreading his productivity across the field. 25.9% he was 9 yards or less. According to Pro Football Focus, 24.7% fell at mid-range 10-19 yards downfield, and 25.9% were deep his balls that traveled at least 20 yards in the air. In total, Johnston caught 9 of 22 deep passes thrown in his direction for 381 yards and all five touchdowns. Such downfield proficiency will clash with Michigan’s defense, which had only 12 pass plays of 30+ yards and one completion of 50+ yards this season. It takes a big play for the horned frog to win.
What’s Wrong with Michigan TCU?
What is the X Factor in this game?
Given the number of blowouts Michigan has produced this season, it’s hard to pinpoint a consistent weakness in a team that excels in all three phases. But one potential concern for first-year defensive coordinator Jesse Minter is: Duggan’s power, scrambled for 404 yards and 6 touchdowns en route to CFP. Duggan said he rushed for at least 50 yards in five of his 13 games for the team, and for the Big 12 title he had 15 carries and 110 yards in the game’s overtime loss to Kansas State. Including Shaw, he exceeded 100 yards twice. His 21 total missed tackles ranked him 14th in the nation and eighth among power-5 quarterbacks, according to the PFF.
Duggan’s running prowess is relevant as Michigan puts up a low-key struggle to defend Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa in the narrowest Big Ten victory of the season. Tagovailoa scrambled to find the slow lane, gaining time as much as the actual yardage, and keeping Terrapin close at hand until he left with an injury in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines also had trouble in the first half of their eventual big win against Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. Clifford finished as the leading rusher for the Nittany Lions with six attempts for 74 yards. A reporter who attended a public practice in Michigan noted safety RJ Morten training with the linebacker. Presumably, Minter plans to deploy him as a quarterback spy.
– Michael Cohen
peach bowl key
Who must be the star for Georgia to win?
go corner back Kelly RingoHe is tasked with covering for Ohio receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. He became the star of the season after Jackson-Smith-Nigba went down in the opener. Harrison Jr. is 6-foot-4 and leads the Buckeyes with 1,157 yards he has 72 catches and he has 12 touchdowns. Ringo, who is 6-foot-2, has two interceptions this season and he has six pass breaks. This sophomore battle is fun for one of him and gives the team a huge advantage no matter who wins.
Who must be the star for Ohio State to win?
left tackle paris johnson He moved from right guard to left tackle earlier this season and is the anchor for Ohio State’s offensive line. Ohio State ranks 3rd in the nation for the fewest tackle losses allowed (44) and 5th in sacks allowed (8). The 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior is a likely first-round draft pick, but defensively tested by his tackle Jaren he’s another prospective top pick for Carter, Georgia-like passing rushes with his pick. Not.
What is the X Factor in this game?
Aside from in-game schemes and game battles, what interests me most is what kind of oh will appear against Georgia. Will we see an injured Buckeyes team still reeling after back-to-back Michigan losses, or will we see a tough and talented team playing with an edge? If , this could be a close match and Bulldog could be the toughest game of the year.
– Reken Littmann
Can the Buckeyes pull off an upset?
We asked the experts to predict what the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will be like. Below is a brief excerpt, See all predictions here.
who will win fiesta bowl Why?
“Michigan is full of confidence going into the Fiesta Bowl playing on both sides of the ball as any of the four teams in the playoffs. “In general, that rush attack is clearly trying to tip things in the Wolverines’ favor. Duggan and receiver Quentin Johnston are making some noise.” but this feels like a bias between the two semi-finals. fisher
- Candidate: Michigan (4 votes total)
who will win peach bowl Why?
“We have to think Ohio State will give them the edge they didn’t get last time against Michigan, but Georgia won’t let any team get in the way of their winning streak,” he said. ”- Littmann
- Candidate: Georgia (3 votes)
How to read before the game
- Did you know that Jim Harbaugh has never won a TCU (he was 0-2 as a Stanford coach). Did you know Georgia has gone 27-1 in the last two seasons?Our research team looks at history and data to break down the semi-finals by numbers. read more
- What are the three keys to each team? RJ Young details it in the latest episode of his podcast, The Number One College Football Show, and wrote a story to go along with it. read more
- Michigan is looking to acquire the most unique recruit, a player with the size of the NFL and the speed of an Olympic sprinter. There is the story of Michael Cohen. read more
- It’s been a long and winding road for each of the four teams to reach the CFP. Bryan Fischer outlines how each team got to this point. read more
- We have a lot of great players in the semi-finals. See how many of them made the FOX Sports All-America team. read more
- With both Michigan and Ohio reaching the CFP, it could be a season for the Big Ten to claim their status as sports giants. Brian Fisher explains why. read more
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