Previewing Michigan Football vs Georgia in the Orange Bowl

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports /

Michigan’s defense may be the toughest challenge for Georgia this season

Though Georgia finished the regular season 12-0, they have no top-20 wins this season. The Bulldogs’ highest-ranked win came over No. 22 Arkansas (8-4 overall); however, the highest-ranked team they have played in Alabama, which defeated Georgia by a wide margin.

The Bulldog offense does not match up well with Michigan’s phenomenal defense. Georgia ranked 55th in passing offense and 31st in rushing, with an offensive line that ranks 5th in sacks allowed and T-2nd in tackles for loss allowed. Still, against Alabama’s 18th-ranked scoring defense, the Bulldogs struggled to move the ball.

Michigan’s defense is respected as one of the toughest in the country, known best for attacking opponent’s quarterbacks and the offensive line’s with a violent purpose.

The Wolverine defense is led by a first-team All-American and Heisman runner-up Aidan Hutchinson. Hutchinson now holds the Michigan single-season sack record with 14 sacks, as well as earning national awards such as the Ted Hendricks Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Rotary Lombardi Award, and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football. Hutchinson is also currently the projected No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Michigan’s defensive specialty is its pass rush. Both of the Wolverines’ defensive ends, junior David Ojabo and Hutchinson, are projected first-round draft picks and have recorded double-digit sacks on the season.

Michigan’s defense has had impressive performances all season long, giving up 30+ points only once and holding the nation’s No. 1 offense (Ohio State) to only 27. In the Wolverines’ most recent match-up, they held No. 13 Iowa to a field goal and would go on to win the Big Ten title by a score of 42-3.

Michigan’s defense should come out with a purpose, and against Georgia’s offensive line, it should be able to dictate the pace of the game. If Michigan can play its best ball on defense, the Bulldogs’ offense should look helpless for most of the match-up.

Authors prediction:

If the game is played as scheduled with Covid-19 concerns, this match-up will no doubt become a dog fight. If Michigan can find an offensive rhythm, their defense should be able to propel them to a playoff victory and advance to the National Title Game. In a nail-biter, Michigan wins 31-30.

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