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No. 1 Georgia manhandles No. 3 TCU for second straight national title

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Christopher Smith (29) celebrates after defensive back Javon Bullard (22) made an interception against the TCU Horned Frogs during the second quarter of the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stetson Bennett passed for four touchdowns and rushed for two and top-ranked Georgia won its second straight national title by steamrolling No. 3 TCU 65-7 in the College Football Playoff championship game at Inglewood, Calif.

Bennett completed 18 of 25 passes for 304 yards and finished his career with a 29-3 record as a starter as the Bulldogs (15-0) trampled the Horned Frogs (13-2) from the outset. Bennett’s six total touchdowns match the mark set by LSU’s Joe Burrow in 2020 for most during the nine-season CFP era.

Brock Bowers caught seven passes for 152 yards and one touchdown and Ladd McConkey had five receptions for 88 yards and two scores for Georgia. Branson Robinson rushed for two scores, Kendall Milton added one and Adonai Mitchell had a touchdown grab for the Bulldogs, who outgained TCU 589-188.

Georgia’s Javon Bullard had three takeaways before intermission with two interceptions and one fumble recovery before missing the second half with a shoulder injury.

Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan was 14-of-22 passing for 152 yards and two interceptions for TCU, which was unable to match up with the Bulldogs. Derius Davis caught five passes for 101 yards.

Standout Horned Frogs running back Kendre Miller (knee) missed the game after being injured during the CFP semifinal win over Michigan on Dec. 31.

The Bulldogs wasted no time asserting themselves as Bennett ran 21 yards for a touchdown less than four minutes into the game and Jack Podlesny added a 24-yard field goal with 6:51 left in the opening period.

TCU showed life when Duggan scored on a 2-yard run with 4:45 remaining before Georgia scored the game’s final 55 points.

Bennett drilled a 37-yard scoring pass to McConkey with 2:43 left in the first quarter, and ran 6 yards for another score to make it 24-7 with 8:30 left in the half.

The next two Bulldogs’ touchdowns followed interceptions by Bullard. The first set up Milton’s 1-yard run with 1:19 left and the other came two plays before Bennett hit Mitchell for a 22-yard score with 26 seconds remaining for a 38-7 halftime lead.

Bennett connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass to Bowers with 10:52 remaining in the third quarter. He added a 14-yard scoring pass to McConkey with 2:17 left in the period and Robinson later added two scoring runs.

Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart called timeout with 13:25 remaining in the contest to remove Bennett and give him a curtain call from the Georgia faithful. Bennett, a former walk-on, finished fourth in the Heisman balloting this season.

The Bulldogs defeated Alabama 33-18 in last season’s title game.

–Field Level Media