TJ’S PICK 3 OF 2022 PLAYOFF BOWLS
TCU -v- Michigan (Glendale, AZ) Michigan -7.5 O/U 57.5
#3 TCU is 12-1 after losing to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship game. The Horned Frogs have zero opt outs of and no players have entered the Transfer Portal since the regular season ended. Senior quarterback Max Duggan has completed 64.9% of his passes, is 20th in the nation with 3,321 passing yards, 12th with 30 touchdowns and tied for 11th with four interceptions. Duggan has also added 404 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Kendre Miller is 18th in the nation with 1,342 rushing yards and tied for seventh with 17 touchdowns. Junior wideout Quentin Johnston has 53 catches for 903 yards and five touchdowns. Senior wide receivers Taye Barber and Derius Davis have combined for 69 catches for 1,011 yards and nine touchdowns. TCU’s defense has been a bit leaky, giving up 25 points per game and 385.1 yards per game while getting 26 sacks, 14 interceptions and five fumble recoveries. Junior linebacker Johnny Hodges leads with 76 tackles and has added two sacks and one pass deflection. Senior linebacker Dee Winters leads the Horned Frogs with 7.5 sacks while junior cornerback Josh Newton has three interceptions, one pick six and is tied for 13th nationally with 12 pass deflections.
#2 Michigan is 13-0 and are the Big Ten Conference champions. While the Wolverines have had zero opt outs for the Fiesta Bowl, they have had two players enter the Transfer Portal, quarterback Cade McNamara and tight end Erick All. Sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy has 2,376 yards, 20 touchdowns and tied for sixth nationally with three interceptions while adding 254 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Star junior running back Blake Corum is out with a knee injury, so sophomore running back Donovan Edwards will be the Wolverines’ feature back. Edwards has 872 yards, seven touchdowns, 192 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Ronnie Bell has 56 catches for 754 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wideout Cornelius Johnson has 30 catches for 469 yards and a team leading six touchdowns. The Michigan defense has been statistically great, but as I’ve said most of the season, they’ve built those numbers up against some of the worst offenses in the country. The maize and blue are tied for fourth in the country giving up 13.4 points per game and are third giving up 277.1 yards per game while getting 36 sacks, 12 interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Sophomore linebacker Junior Colson has 95 tackles and two sacks. Sophomore defensive back Rod Moore has 59 tackles, a 1/2 sack, three pass deflections and three interceptions. Senior linebacker Mike Morris leads Michigan with seven sacks.
Prediction: TCU is coming off a loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 championship game while Michigan beat Purdue in the Big Ten championship game. I think this will be a high scoring game as the TCU defense hasn’t been great and Michigan tends to give up a fair amount of points and yards to teams with a good offense. TCU has a very good offense. While the College Football Playoffs are uncharted waters for TCU (1st ever playoff appearance) I think the loss to K-State will help focus the Horned Frogs. Max Duggan and the passing attack will lead TCU to the upset.
TCU: 41 Michigan 36 take the points with TCU and take the over.
Ohio State -v- Georgia (Atlanta, GA) Georgia -5.5 O/U 62.5
#4 Ohio State is 11-1 and did not have any players opt out of the bowl game while having only one play enter the Transfer Portal. Junior quarterback CJ Stroud has completed 66.2% of his passes for 3,340 yards, 18th in the country, is tied for fifth in the country with 37 touchdowns and has thrown six interceptions. Sophomore running back Treveyon Henderson is injured and won’t play in the playoffs. So junior running back Miyan Williams has taken over, getting 817 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Super sophomore wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. has 72 catches for 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Emeka Egbuak has 66 catches for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns. The Buckeye defense has been good, giving up 19.3 points per game and 303.9 yards per game while getting 32 sacks, 10 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries. Senior linebacker Tommy Eichenberg has 112 tackles, 72 of which are solo which is fourth in the country, 2.5 sacks, three pass deflections and a pick six. Senior defensive end Zach Harrison is tied for sixth nationally with three forced fumbles while sophomore defensive linemen Jack Sawyer and Jaylen Johnson are tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks.
#1 Georgia is 13-0 and won the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs have had nobody opt out of this game and only one player hit the Transfer Portal. Senior quarterback Stetson Bennett has completed 68.1% of his passes for 3,425 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Bennett also rushed for 184 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior running back Kenny McIntosh has 709 yards rushing, 10 rushing touchdowns while chipping in with 37 catches for 449 yards and one receiving touchdown. Junior running back Daijun Edwards has 681 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. Sophomore tight end Brock Bowers, considered by many to be the best tight end in the country, has 52 receptions for 726 yards and six touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Ladd McConkey has 51 catches for 675 yards and five touchdowns, but McConkey is listed as questionable for the Peach Bowl with a knee injury. The Georgia defense has been great, giving up only 12.8 points per game, second in the country, 292.1 yards per game, seventh in the country and have gotten 26 sacks, 10 interceptions and six fumble recoveries. Three Dawgs defenders tied for the team lead with 64 tackles: Sophomore linebackers Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Smael Mondon, Jr. and freshman cornerback Malaki Starks. Dumas-Johnson tied with junior defensive lineman Jalen Carter and senior linebacker Nolan Smith to lead the team with three sacks.
The defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs have been great at times this season, but they’ve also shown some kinks in the armor when it comes to pass defense. Ohio State’s passing game is one of the best in the country. The Buckeye defense has been ok but got torched by Michigan in the season finale. If Ladd McConkey is out Georgia will rely heavily on the run game and Bowers. Whether McConkey plays or not I think Georgia is just too good to lose in what will seem like a home game in Atlanta.
Georgia: 31 Ohio State 27 take the Buckeyes getting the points and take the under.