The second-ranked Sooners and third-ranked Bulldogs kick off the 2017 College Football Playoff in the Rose Bowl. It’s the Grand Daddy of them all! Georgia is a 3-point favorite over Oklahoma, but that’s not how we see it. We’re making our picks!
This game starts out all Georgia. Mayfield is still dealing with the remnants of the flu, and it will take a quarter or more to get the offense in rhythm. However, nobody plays with a chip on their shoulder like Mayfield, who loves hearing the opposing crowd get loud just so he can silence it. I like Georgia to control the game for much of the first half, just to give up quick points before they head into the locker room. The Sooner’s quick score ability is just too much for Georgia, and the second half is all Oklahoma. Sooners wins comfortably.
The Sooners win a close one. Georgia’s defense is really talented, but they just haven’t seen the speed and variety that Oklahoma’s offense brings. If the Sooners can force Jake Fromm to throw, and if Baker Mayfield can get going, I’ve got Oklahoma with a late game winning drive.
Oklahoma will come out of the gate on fire and take a quick lead. I predict the Georgia defense will be stunned, but they will settle down and rally to close the gap by the half. The Dawgs will then come out strong in the third quarter to cut the deficit even more. Then however, the Oklahoma offense will explode once again and the game will be all but decided entering the 4th quarter. Sooners win by a couple of scores.
People have undersold the fact that OU’s defense has taken positive steps this year. They are a better defense than they were earlier in the year. Combine that with the best offense in the nation, and I think it leads to an OU victory. Georgia is going to make it incredibly difficult for Baker Mayfield and company, but the Sooners will score enough to win this game.
Of these four teams, Georgia is the one I’d least like to see in the Championship, but I’m going to go with the Dawgs. I do think the OU defense is better than a lot of stats would indicate, particularly against the run. They won’t run all over the Sooners, but I think Georgia can keep the chains moving. Offensively OU will have success but I think Georgia will make just enough stops.
This is a tough one, but I’m picking Oklahoma for two reasons. The first is that OU has already lit up two of the best defenses in the country. Not only that, the best front seven in the nation couldn’t slow down Baker Mayfield and company when the Sooners traveled to Columbus, Ohio. Second, I’ve never seen a team take it so personal with what pundits are saying. OU won’t want to just win this game, they’re looking to drop 80+ points on the Dawgs, they’re that angry. Meanwhile, Georgia’s offense is one-dimensional. I see OU getting Georgia in a position where it has to start passing the ball and getting them away from their identity.
— LandGrant Gauntlet (@the_LGG) January 1, 2018