The national title is heading back to Athens. College Football Playoff National Championship No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (15-0) on Monday night at No. 3 completed a flawless title defense in dominant fashion with a 65-7 rout of the Horned Frogs (13-2) at TCU.
The victory at Sophie Stadium in Inglewood, California made Kirby Smart’s team the first repeat national champs in school history and the CFP era. The Alabama Crimson Tide was the last team to win national titles in 2011 and 2012. The Bulldogs also repeated in record-setting fashion.
The 58-point victory broke the previous record for the largest margin of victory in a championship game. The previous record was Nebraska’s 38-point win over Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. USC’s 36-point win over Oklahoma in 2004 was the longest in the national title game era (since the BCS began in 1998).
Second straight title game. The Heisman Trophy finalist had a six-touchdown performance, completing 18 of 25 passes for 304 yards and rushing for 39 yards and two scores. Safety Javon Bullard earned Defensive MVP honors behind two-time Heisman finalist Max Duggan.
TCU is looking to cap off an improbable season with its first national championship since 1938. After finishing seventh in the Big 12 preseason poll, first-year head coach Sonny Dykes and co. Went 12-0 in the regular season and were eliminated. In the Fiesta Bowl, previously unbeaten no. 2 Michigan Wolverines. But the underdog Horned Frogs matched the Bulldogs – with the game decided before halftime.
Georgia scored six goals in the first half to take a 38-7 lead. The Bulldogs forced three turnovers in the opening 30 minutes — two interceptions, one fumble — and outgained the Horned Frogs 354-121 in total yards. Bennett started the offensive attack with a 21-yard touchdown run on Georgia’s opening possession.
The Bulldogs’ 24-yard field goal from TCU wideout Derrius Davis to Jack Podlesny made it 10-0. TCU came up with a response on the next possession, a 60-yard hookup between Duggan and Davis setting up a two-yard touchdown run for Duggan. But the Bulldogs looked desperate with 28 unanswered points to end the half.
The four touchdowns came on a 37-yard catch by wideout Ladd McConkey, a six-yard run by Bennett, a one-yard run by halfback Kendall Milton and a 22-yard catch by wideout Adonai Mitchell.
After the teams traded three-and-outs to start the second half, Georgia provided some more offensive fireworks.
Bennett hit tight end Brock Bowers, who went 152 yards on seven catches for a 22-yard score, and McConkey hit a 14-yard score on back-to-back possessions to extend the lead to 52-7. Bennett’s touchdown pass to McConkey proved to be the last of his legendary Georgia career, as he left the game at the 13:25 mark of the fourth quarter and received a standing ovation from Bulldogs fans.
Running back Branson Robinson added two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cap Georgia’s historic offensive performance. The Bulldogs finished with a stunning 589-188 advantage in total yards.