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5 winners and losers from Georgia crushing TCU in CFP National Championship

CFP National Championship
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs have had a great season, led by first-year head coach Sonny Dykes and Heisman runner-up Max Duggan. Good enough to reach the CFP National Championship for a matchup against Kirby Smart’s Georgia Bulldogs.

For Stetson Bennett and Co., it’s a chance to defend their crown after taking home the trophy last season. For Duggan, Dykes and the rest of TCU, it’s an opportunity to show they are not only among the best college football team in the nation, but actually the best.

Yet, that’s not what happened. At all. Instead, it was the Bulldogs who proved they were once again the best team in college football in 2023. In a game that was never really close, we dive into the five biggest winners and losers from the College Football National Championship.

Related: TCU vs Georgia live blog: CFP National Championship score, stats, highlights and reactions

Winner: Georgia Bulldogs’ suffocating defense

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
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It was evident from the very start that Georgia’s defense had too much speed, and too much talent for TCU to compete with. The Horned Frogs attempted to get their athleticism on the edge, in one-on-one matchups to give their players a chance, but it didn’t matter. Georgia’s Bulldogs were an aligned pack swarming off their leash, ready to chase down every Horned Frog that got in their way.

It didn’t help that Kendre Miller was ruled out with a knee injury prior to the start of the game, but even had TCU’s leading producer from scrimmage been able to play, it likely wouldn’t have made a difference. Georgia had an answer for everything, and once a 10-point deficit grew to a 31-point lead by halftime, TCU’s day was over.

In all, the Georgia defense sacked Duggan three times, intercepted him twice, and forced a fumble. These mistakes were just too much to overcome on a day where Georgia’s offense didn’t stop pouring the points on with every chance they got.

Related: Comparing TCU’s Max Duggan to Georgia’s Stetson Bennett ahead of CFP National Championship

Loser: Max Duggan fails on the final stage

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
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On one sideline, we had Max Duggan, who was coming off the best season of his professional career. He passed for 3,546 yards while doubling his touchdown total from 16 to 32, while throwing just six interceptions. But Duggan also continued to remind us that he also isn’t afraid to move the chains with his legs, and scored another eight touchdowns on the ground.

He came into the game averaging a total of 286 yards per game, but again, he had yet to face a defense like Georgia. The story was much different against the Bulldogs, where Duggan had multiple turnovers for just the second time this season.

Duggan could never get any momentum going, leading to the lowest point total of TCU’s season. It was quite the drop-off from their season average of 41.1 points per game, which ranked fifth in the nation. Considering the Horned Frogs had scored 28 points or less in just one game this season, putting just seven points on the board just shows what type of opponent showed up on the opposite sidelines in the CFP National Championship.

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Winner: Brock Bowers puts on a show

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
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While the entire Georgia team shined from kickoff to the final whistle, if there’s one player who’s spotlight somehow only continued to get brighter, it’s do-it-all ‘tight end’ Brock Bowers. He’s the next freakish athlete set to take the NFL by storm, but for now, he has to return to Georgia for his junior year.

By the looks of it, Bowers is having a blast during his time on campus. After a fine season which saw the 6-foot-4, 230-pound split end record 790 receiving yards and six touchdowns, Bowers was back terrorizing defenders in the CFP National Championship game.

Bowers hauled in all seven of his targets for 152 yards and a touchdown. He also added 15 yards on two rushes, but it was his work in the pass-catching department that will have scouts drooling about selecting the prospect in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Listed as a tight end, Bowers can beat defenders vertically, horizontally, any direction you can dream up, he’ll do it. As the TCU defense saw, if you get him the ball, chances are, Bowers will make an impact. In this case, he was unstoppable.

Related: 4 best college football teams of all time

Loser: Quentin Johnston fails to boost draft stock

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Texas Christian at Michigan
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In some aspects, it didn’t really matter what Quentin Johnston did against Georgia. His status as a likely first-round pick is likely safe. As talented as the 6-foot-4 receiver is, few anticipated the 21-year-old wideout to take over the game against a top-notch defensive unit.

But that doesn’t mean NFL evaluators weren’t watching Johnston closely, trying to see how he handles himself, not only on the biggest stage of his career thus far, but also against elite talent.

Johnston averaged 82 yards per game this season, scoring a total of six touchdowns, but he didn’t get much of a chance to show his horns against Georgia. Yet, it’s not like Johnston was peppered with targets on a day where nothing went right for TCU. He finished with just three targets, catching one pass for three yards. Either way, he’s a top wide receiver prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order: Round 1, updated NFL Draft picks by team after regular season

Winner: Stetson Bennett joins small group of multiple title winners

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to tonight, there have only been two other quarterbacks in the modern era who have led their teams to multiple College Football National Championship wins. Tommie Frazier (1994, 1995) for Nebraska, and A.J. McCarron (2011, 2012) for Alabama.

Now Stetson Bennett becomes the third, after leading to Georgia to back-to-back championships. yet, like McCarron, many would agree that Bennett isn’t close to the biggest reason why the Bulldogs continue to have so much success.

Yet, we also can’t take away from his impressive performance against TCU. Even with a lot of help from a shutdown defense forcing turnovers, putting up 52 points is no small feat.

Bennett completed 18-of-25 passes for 305 yards and four passing touchdowns. He also added 39 yards on the ground, scoring two more touchdowns with his legs. Not bad for a walk-on who was never supposed to be a starter, let alone a two-time National Championship winner.

It’s official, Stetson Bennett and the Georgia Bulldogs own college football, that includes joining in on the fun with their own twist on the Hypnotoad craze.

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