Last Updated: 2018-01-01
Now we get to the main course, beginning the college football playoffs with the Rose Bowl in an intriguing game between Georgia and Oklahoma. The Bulldogs are favored by 2.5 points and the total is 61.
The Sooners were an offensive machine this season, scoring 44.9 points per game against teams who allowed an average of 27.9. The Sooners could hurt you both on the ground or through the air and actually rushed 39 times per game and threw 31, although that could be slightly misleading, as Baker Mayfield rushed 6.5 times per game and several of those rushing players were designed as passing plays, not to mention being sacked a few times, so it’s probably closer to 50-50 in terms of play calling.
Oklahoma averaged 5.6 yards per carry against teams who allowed just 4.1 and Mayfield completed 71% of his passes against defenses who allowed 60.2%. The Sooners averaged 12 yards per pass attempt against teams who allowed an average of just 7.6 yards, so Oklahoma’s passing game lives up to the hype.
On defense, the Sooners held foes to 5.4 fewer points than they averaged and allowed 4.0 yards per rush to teams who averaged 4.3 yards a carry and surprisingly saw more running plays during the season than they did passing plays, despite being ahead nearly every game. Oklahoma was a little better than average against the pass.
While Georgia’s defense gets most of the attention, the Bulldogs were a pretty good offensive team, averaging 9.3 more points than their opponents allowed and doing most of their damage on the ground, where they ran 45 times per game and only threw 19. Georgia averaged 5.8 yards per carry against teams who allowed 4.4.
Defense was the strength og the Bulldogs, who allowed 13.2 points against teams who averaged 28.1. The Bulldogs were solid against the run or the pass, allowing 1.2 fewer yards per rush than the opponents averaged and 1.8 fewer yards on pass attempts.
You have to think the Bulldogs are going to look to slow down the game and not get involved in a shootout with the Sooners, so I expect Georgia to try and pound the ball and use up a fair amount of the play clock. Mayfield can’t do much damage from the sidelines and that’s where Georgia would like to see him for 33 or 34 minutes in this one, so will take the under, as the Bulldogs are the best defense the Sooners have seen yet and think the Bulldogs will do what they can to shorten the game.
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