Stats That Matter: Georgia vs. Ohio State

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Stats That Matter: Georgia vs. Ohio State

Stetson Fleming Bennett IV and the physicality of these 2022 Georgia Bulldogs are two core identities that have shaped them to be the team that they are to this point. They’re one game away from lifting another National Championship trophy and they have their Heisman finalist, run game, and defense to credit for it. Of course, there’s more to it, but those three things in particular have been essential.

And it just so happens that those three atttributes were on full display against Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Peach Bowl last Saturday. The most impressive of which was Stetson Bennett’s fourth quarter performance. The sixth year senior admitted that for a “30 minute period” he played bad football, but when he wasn’t living up to his standards he was going above and beyond them.





His play on New Year’s Eve has his team back for another national title against the 13-1 TCU Horned Frogs led by Sonny Dykes and fellow Heisman Finalist Max Duggan. While Vegas will keep the odds heavily leaning in the Dawgs favor, keep in mind there’s a reason that these games are actually played. The numbers aren’t everything, but for the Dawgs’ Peach Bowl victory here are the stats that mattered.


In the fourth quarter of the 2022 Peach Bowl, something just clicked in Stetson Bennett. Down 14 points in a College Football Playoff semi-final game, the mailman did what he does best: delivered. 10 for 12 for 190 yards, two touchdowns, to seven different receivers. Video game numbers, for sure. 190 is an impressive halftime stat, but Bennett managed to fit it all into 15 minutes. Although the numbers are impressive, it’s the mentality that should really boggle the mind. To start the second half Bennett only amassed 17 yards through the air, and on the other side of the ball, Ohio State continued to add to their lead. It takes a different kind of man to be a difference maker, and Stetson Bennett proved that he was just that in the Dawgs 42-41 victory over the Buckeyes.






Don’t be distracted by the sky-high passing statistics and the big numbers on the scoreboard. There’s a reason the Dawgs were able to put up those kinds of numbers, and it starts with having a physical rushing attack. Coach Smart always says that teams that can run the ball are more often than not the guys that come out on top in these big postseason games, and that’s just what they were able to do (averaging 5.2 yards/carry). Albeit there was a lot of catchup to be played because of the volatility of the Ohio State offense, but when they needed to pound it on the ground, the Dawgs were getting it done at a high level. A good chunk of that yardage did come out of a 52-yard Kenny McIntosh run, but regardless, fellow backs Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton averaged 7.3 and 8.7 yards per carry respectively. RBU is in good shape heading into its second national championship appearance in the past two years.


The Georgia defense’s most impressive stand began with a 5-yard rush from C.J. Stroud in what would be the Buckeye’s final possession of the game with 54 seconds left to go. Subsequent play is a 12-yard throw and catch to Julian Flemming. Next play Stroud steps back and rolls to evade pressure. What looked like a coverage sack turned into a 27-yard run to put Ohio State in position to kick a game-winning field goal and take this one home. While fans at home may have had their hands on their head preparing for the end, the Georgia defense didn’t even bother to flinch. Now on the UGA 31, the Buckeyes tried a run which went for a one yard loss. Stroud attempted a pass, broken up by Kelee Ringo. Stroud tried again, but it goes out of bounds. The Dawgs bring the Buckeyes to fourth down. Day calls on the kicking team, and they miss. Even in the face of death, Georgia’s defense remained composed, and even though they let up 41 points, the defense won the game on that drive.





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