NICK CHUBB vs BAKER MAYFIELD… GROUND ‘N’ POUND vs AIR ASSAULT…..GEORGIA vs OKLAHOMA
With the The Rose Bowl usually being a battle between the Big 10 champs and PAC-12 champs, the Big 12 vs SEC battle today is obviously a huge contrast from the norm. The same thing can be said about the matchup on the field between the Ground ‘n’ Pound style of the SEC champion Georgia Bulldogs and the All-out Air Assault style of the Big 12 champion Oklahoma Sooners. It’s a contrast that makes this College Football Playoff Semifinal an intriguing one to say the least.
Much like a basketball game where a team that likes to slow things down takes on a team that wants to go up and down the court all night, the winner of this Rose Bowl will be the team that’s able to get the pace of the game to their liking. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but actually doing it…….ain’t so easy.
That could especially be the case for the Georgia Bulldogs. Basically, because they haven’t seen anything quite like Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and the Sooners’ style of offense in the SEC. Auburn may be the closest thing the Bulldogs have seen. However, Auburn’s offense isn’t Oklahoma’s and Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham certainly ain’t Baker Mayfield.
OU’s dual-threat QB……is just that.
Mayfield puts enormous pressure on any defense he faces, because he has that ability, whether it be with his arm or legs, to make nothing plays into something and something plays into something special. Quite frankly, that’s something Georgia’s D hasn’t seen this season.
The Bulldogs defense is no doubt one of the nation’s best. That’s easily seen statistically and with the eye test, but they’ll need help from the offense to beat OU. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel bring something to the table that the Sooners’ defense also hasn’t seen. Their physical running attack is something the Sooners rarely see, if ever, in the Big 12. Oklahoma, did however, pass their only test against a team that runs with anything near the physicality that Georgia does. OU beat Ohio State 31-16 at the Horseshoe in September. In that game, OU dominated the Buckeyes and were really the more physical team.
Georgia can’t allow that to happen today. The Bulldogs have to run the ball and keep the chains moving to keep Mayfield and company on the sidelines.
Mayfield’s company ain’t half bad either. Marquise Brown is Mayfield’s favorite deep threat and one of the most dynamic receivers in the nation. The Sooners can also run the ball a lot better than they’re given credit for. The trio of Rodney Anderson, Trey Sermon, and Abdul Adams don’t get the hype that Chubb and Michel do, but they’re all good and very underrated running backs. Anderson leads the way with 960 yards rushing and 11 TD’s.
The Dawgs also need their freshman QB, Jake Fromm, to make plays also. Fromm, has been good in spots, but like most freshmen, consistency is his issue. His passing can keep a very underrated OU defense honest. Fromm, is more than capable. Now, he has to prove it.
The Sooners D gave up 38 points or more three times during the regular season. However, they only gave up 16 to Ohio State, then 20 and 17 to TCU in the final game of the season and Big 12 Championship Game, respectively.
So, with everything on the line, who gets it done today in front 100,000+ fans in the Rose Bowl 2018? Will it be Fromm continuing his quest to become the second freshman QB ever to win a national title. The other, you may ask………..none other than Sooner QB Jamelle Holieway in 1985……..or………Will it be Mayfield shaking the Heisman curse and getting the Sooners to Atlanta for next Monday’s title game? Whomever it is, will likely get their because they’re team’s contrasting style wins out on the field.