By Justin Gray
The Georgia Bulldogs started off 2023 in dramatic fashion with their CFP Semi-Final win over Ohio State. This game was one for the ages as the #4 Buckeyes went toe-to-toe with the defending champs.
Ohio State got on the board first with a touchdown, but the Dawgs quickly responded with a touchdown from Stetson Bennett to Kenny McIntosh from 25 yards out. Ohio State scored another, intercepted Bennett and scored again, then the Dawgs found themselves down 21-7.
The Bulldogs responded with a four-play, 75-yard drive with McIntosh running it in from 11 yards. A great defensive stand by the Dawgs got the ball back. It took only three plays for the Dawgs to tie it as Bennett ran it in. Georgia forced yet another punt and took advantage and got a field goal for the lead 24-21 before half, but the Dawgs left too much time on the clock as Ohio State scored quickly and retook the lead 28-24 at the half.
The Dawgs received the second half kickoff, but the drive stalled fast. Ohio State drove it down the field and punched in another one and extended their lead to 35-24. The teams then traded punts before the Dawgs kicker Jack Podlesny missed a 52-yard field goal and gave it back to Ohio State. They got points out of a UGA error again with a field goal to make it a two touchdown lead 38-24.
The Dawgs responded with a field goal of their own to cut it to 38-27. The Dawg defense came up with a huge stop, and the offense responded with a 76-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Arian Smith on the first play of the drive and the Dawgs were back in it, and after the successful two-point play, they cut the lead to 38-35.
Ohio State drove the ball down the field, shaved six minutes off the clock and extended their lead to 41-35 on a field goal.
The Dawgs had around three minutes left in the game, when Bennett drove his offense down the field on five plays, 72 yards in 1:49 and hit Adonai Mitchell for the ten-yard touchdown pass to take the lead. The Dawgs left 54 seconds on the clock, and many felt like they left too much time. Ohio State drove it down the field fast and got it inside of Georgia’s 40-yard line.
As the time ticked, Ohio State opted to kick a 50-yard field goal for the win. The Ohio State kicker lined up and as soon as Midnight struck and the New Year began the kick was wide left and the Dawgs won the game, 42-41.
What a game! Arguably the greatest College Football Playoff Semi-final game ever!
The Dawgs won the Peach Bowl and are headed to their second straight National Championship, trying to defend their crown. They will take on TCU on January 9th in Los Angeles.