The College Playoff Semifinal kicks off on New Year’s Eve and plenty of eyes are focused on the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl matchup of Ohio State vs Georgia. It’s a clash of titans as the Ohio State Buckeyes and Georgia Bulldogs battle for a spot in the CFP National Championship.
It’s familiar territory for both storied programs. Georgia crushed Michigan in the Orange Bowl last year, taking out the Wolverines 34-11 at Hard Rock Stadium. It set the stage for the Bulldogs riding a 20-point fourth quarter to defeat Alabam in the 2022 CFP National Championship.
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Ohio State missed out on the CFB Playoff last year, but it made it to the national title game on Jan. 11, 2021, in a one-sided game that the Crimson Tide won 52-24. This is the fifth playoff appearance in program history, but the Buckeyes only have one championship to show for it.
Ohio State vs Georgia odds
The latest odds for Ohio State vs Georgia are via BetMGM, with the Bulldogs a touchdown favorite for the CFP Semifinal matchup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Spread: Georgia -6.5
- Point Total: 62.5 points
- Moneyline: Georgia (-275), Ohio State (+220)
Best bets for Ohio State vs Georgia – Peach Bowl prop bets
- Halftime/final result – Georgia / Georgia (-100)
- Winning Margin – Georgia by 13-18 (+525)
- Georgia first touchdown (-175)
- Georgia first team to 20 points (-200)
- Brock Bowers anytime touchdown
- Stetson Bennett 230+ passing yards
- Marvin Harrison Jr 75+ receiving yards
- Kenny McIntosh 45+ rushing yards
- Both teams to score 20 or more points and Georgia win (-115)
Peach Bowl TV, game info
Here’s a brief rundown of everything to know about the Peach Bowl 2022.
- TV: ESPN
- Time: 8:00 PM ET
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
3 matchups to watch in Ohio State vs Georgia
C.J. Stroud vs Georgia Bulldogs defense
Ohio State has faced some quality defenses this season, including in the home loss to the Wolverines’ secondary. However, the Bulldogs’ defense is easily the best in college football with future NFL starters at nearly every level.
Heading into CFP Semifinal, Georgia is holding opposing quarterbacks to a 56.3% completion rate and opponents averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt this season. The alarming element for the Buckeyes is that Georgia accomplishes all of this despite ranking 88th in sack rate (5.52%).
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None of this bodes well for Ohio State. It’s especially concerning because the play-calling has been rather vanilla at times, not allowing Stroud to show off his arm strength and really test defenses vertically. Most concerning, though, is how Stroud’s performance tailed off
|C.J. Stroud splits
If Stroud performs more like the player we saw in the latter half of the season, this will be a blowout. Georgia will erase the Buckeyes’ passing attack early and its pass rushers will bend their ears back and create havoc.
Bulldogs’ run game vs Ohio State Buckeyes front seven
Ohio State boasted one of the best run defenses in the Power 5 for the majority of the regular season. However, there were reasons to be worried about how its defensive front would handle the Wolverines’ ground game.
Before facing Michigan, the Buckeyes ranked 82 in opponents’ run play rate (53.8%). It is a result of blowing out the competition most weeks, but some of its matchups against Power 5 competition demonstrated success could be had.
- Iowa Hawkeyes: 35 carries, 77 yards, 2.2 ypc
- Penn State Nittany Lions: 33 carries, 111 yards, 3.4 ypc
- Northwestern Wildcats: 59 carries, 206 yards, 3.5 ypc
- Indiana Hoosiers: 40 carries, 150 yards, 3.8 ypc
- Maryland Terrapins: 31 carries, 84 yards, 2.7 ypc
Ohio State sold out to stop the run early, bringing safeties closer to the box and creating one-on-one matchups for wide receivers vs cornerbacks. After being torched by J.J. McCarthy deep passes, the Buckeyes adjusted to defend downfield, the Wolverines ran all over Ohio State.
So, you’ve got a defense allowing 4.6 yards per rush in its last three games against a Bulldogs’ offense that averaged 5.7 yards per carry and runs the football on nearly 55% of its plays.
If Ohio State wants to commit additional defenders to stop the run, Stetson Bennett is more than comfortable throwing to some of the fastest and biggest offensive weapons in the SEC.
Ohio State vs Georgia’s physicality
The Buckeyes are bigger, faster and stronger than 99% of the teams in college football. However, the past two matchups against Michigan have highlighted that this roster lacks physicality against certain opponents.
We saw the Wolverines impose their will in the trenches in 2021 and 2022. It dictated the entire game and really became apparent in the second half. Over the last two seasons, Michigan outscored Ohio State 56-17 in the second half of their last two meetings.
It’s worth keeping in mind for the Ohio State vs Georgia matchup, especially when factoring in how the Wolverines were dominated by the Bulldogs a year ago.
There’s no denying the Buckeyes have the talent and arguably the coaching to beat any team in college football. Yet they seem to back down when they start getting pushed around. If styles make fights, Ohio State is in a different weight class than Michigan right now and that puts it even further behind Georgia.
Ohio State vs Georgia prediction
There’s a realistic possibility the Peach Bowl is a blowout. Ohio State will be playing without Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TreVveyon Henderson, robbing it of two key playmakers against a loaded Bulldogs’ defense.
We also have reason to doubt that Stroud will perform well in this game. Georgia will be able to create pressure on the veteran signal-caller and it boasts the talent, length and size in the secondary to give the Buckeyes’ receivers problems.
Pair that with the advantages Georgia boasts offensively over Ohio State’s defense and it becomes evident how things could get ugly. While we expect a close matchup in the first half, expect some big stops in the third quarter and a statement drive by Georgia’s offense to seal the Peach Bowl long before the fourth quarter.
- Prediction: Georgia 37, Ohio State 24